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Supporting missions improves lives

October 13th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Supporting the church’s work in missionary lands with their prayers and their financial contributions, Catholics also improve the lives of the poor and promote dialogue, said the new prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

“Evangelization always promotes the development of peoples,” Archbishop Fernando Filoni told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Oct. 2.

“The proclamation of the Gospel brings and creates solidarity,” said the archbishop, who was appointed in May to head the Vatican congregation responsible for the church in mission territories.

The Vatican newspaper interviewed him about the importance of the church’s observation of October as a month dedicated to the missions. World Mission Sunday is Oct. 23.

Archbishop Filoni said all of the baptized have a responsibility for mission; besides being a command of Jesus, being blessed with the gift of faith naturally should lead people to want to share it.

Sharing the good news of God’s love and of salvation offered through Jesus, he said, helps people live with greater dignity and instills in them the values they need to improve their societies.

“In defending the principles of the Gospel, one must speak of justice,” which many of the countries in the mission lands need, he said.

While the first obligation of Christians is to tell others about Jesus, reaching out to them also includes concretely recognizing their human dignity by supporting education, health care and government and social networks that protect their human rights, he said.

“Evangelization also promotes ecology, helping make known and increasing respect for the environment both on the part of the local population as well as on our own,” the archbishop said.

Archbishop Filoni, who served in the Vatican diplomatic corps in Iraq, Jordan and the Philippines, said the church’s activity in mission lands also can promote dialogue with members of other religions.

“If the church is esteemed, it’s clear that it always will be able to have a role anywhere, including in the Islamic world. I lived for a long time in the Muslim world and saw how our schools, for example, were very often frequented by Muslim students, which is a sign that their families valued and appreciated our service. Often,” he said, “they asked that their children be formed in our principles of justice, truth and good.

“Esteem allows for dialogue, and with dialogue it is possible to coexist with all,” the archbishop said.

While financial support for the missions is very important, he said, “we hope the generosity of Christians always will be accompanied by a great love for the missions and by fervent daily prayer in support of missionaries and the proclamation of the Gospel.”

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Vatican official says Japan nuclear crisis signals global problem

October 4th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican official told members of the International Atomic Energy Agency that this year’s nuclear disaster in Japan has raised new concerns about the safety of nuclear plants around the world.

In a speech at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna Sept. 20, Msgr. Michael Banach questioned whether nuclear power plants should be built and operated in areas prone to earthquakes and whether plants that already exist in such areas should be shut down.
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Vatican official: No room for Catholics supporting death penalty

October 4th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church’s position on capital punishment has evolved considerably over the centuries.

And as a result, “it is not a message that is immediately understood — that there is no room for supporting the death penalty in today’s world,” said a Vatican’s expert on capital punishment and arms control.

Because the church has only in the past few decades begun closing the window — if not shutting it completely — on the permissibility of the death penalty, people who give just a partial reading of the church’s teachings may still think the death penalty is acceptable today, said Tommaso Di Ruzza, desk officer at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
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In centuries-old buildings, some Vatican workers have techie paradise

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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VATICAN LETTER

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Looking at the centuries-old buildings and palaces, not many people would know that the Vatican has become a techie paradise, a wonderland of modern equipment and know-how.

For instance, the Vatican Library is using NASA technology to digitize its treasures, according to some of the latest facts listed in the “The Activity of the Holy See: 2010,” a yearbook published by the Vatican in September.
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US cardinal helped finalize pope’s visit with Vietnam’s president

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — U.S. Cardinal Bernard F. Law helped finalize plans for the first ever meeting of a president of communist Vietnam with a pope, according to a U.S. government cable appearing on the WikiLeaks website.

Cardinal Law, archpriest of Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major, visited Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, in 2009 to meet with government officials and discuss bilateral relations between the Vatican and Vietnam, the cable said.

“It took a visit to Vietnam last week by American Cardinal Bernard Law to finalize arrangements to allow the visit (of Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet) to go forward,” said the cable dated Dec. 4, 2009. The cable was released on the WikiLeaks website Aug. 30, 2011.
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US group gives Vatican ways to put social encyclical into action

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A group of U.S. Catholic Latino business leaders presented Vatican officials detailed reflections on how laypeople can fulfill Pope Benedict XVI’s call to make today’s societies and economies more just.

Four members of the San Antonio-based Catholic Association of Latino Leaders and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez presented a written reflection, “Caritas in Veritate — Charity in Truth: Our Response in Faith,” to a number of Vatican dicasteries Sept. 22-23.
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Pope changes responsibility of worship congregation, tribunal

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has transferred responsibility for two very precise administrative procedures from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments to the Roman Rota, a church court.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published the papal directive Sept. 27 giving the Rota responsibility for handling procedures involving a marriage that was celebrated validly but not consummated and for cases involving the nullity of an ordination.

Pope Benedict said he made the change so that the congregation for worship could “dedicate itself principally to giving a new impulse to the promotion of the sacred liturgy in the church, according to the renewal willed by the Second Vatican Council.”
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