The Holy Father´s Week: July 13, 2009

A report on Benedict XVI´s messages and activities.
by Maribel de Torres | Source:

Benedict XVI´s third encyclical was published today. The Holy Father offers inspiration -- presenting "charity in truth" as a guide for personal and community life, said one of his collaborators. VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2009

Benedict XVI dedicated the general audience to a consideration of "Caritas in Veritate."
He explained that the inspiration for the encyclical is a passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, in which the apostle speaks of acting according to truth in charity.
Truth in love, the Pope explained, is the "heart of the Church's social teaching."
The Holy Father stated that the encyclical "focuses on the principles indispensable for human development.”
"Most important among these is human life itself," he declared, "the center of all true progress. Additionally, [the encyclical] speaks of the right to religious freedom as a part of human development, it warns against unbounded hope in technology alone, and it underlines the need for upright men and women -- attentive to the common good -- in both politics and the business world."
Benedict XVI gave particular attention to the "scandal" of world hunger, noting how "Caritas in Veritate" calls for "decisive action to promote food security and agricultural development, as well as respect for the environment and for the rule of law."
He affirmed that humanity is a single family where every development programme -- if it is to be integral -- must consider the spiritual growth of human persons and the driving force of charity in truth.
The Holy Father ended by asking for prayers for all those who serve in politics and the management of economies, and in particular for the Heads of State gathering in Italy for the G8 summit. May their decisions promote true development especially for the world’s poor.  VATICAN CITY, JULY 8, 2009

"The Proclamation of Christ Is the First and Principal Factor of Development" Benedict XVI said to the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the midday Angelus. The Pope mentioned the G-8 summit. “Some of the topics on the agenda were dramatically urgent. In the world there are social inequalities and structural injustices that are no longer tolerable.” and he explained that, although the Church may not have all the technical solutions to the problems afflicting the world today, it is an expert in humanity and offers to all mankind teachings of truth, justice and love.
The Church “ offers to everyone the teaching of the sacred Scripture on the truth about man and proclaims the Gospel of Love and justice” he said.
The Holy Father mentioned his third encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” where he affirms that "[a] new economic plan is needed that will reshape development in a global way, basing itself on the fundamental ethics of responsibility before God and before man as a creature of God."
"In an increasingly globalized society”, He explained as he wrote in the encyclical, “ the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family" VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2009

Benedict XVI is following the events in Honduras with lively concern. During the midday Angelus, he invited to pray for that dear country so that, through the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Suyapa, the authorities of the nation and all its inhabitants can patiently follow the way of dialogue, of reciprocal understanding, and reconciliation. He assured “the beloved Honduran people of my prayer and impart a special apostolic benediction.” VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2009

Benedict XVI will begin his two weeks of annual vacation on Monday in Les Combes in Valle d'Aosta.
He stressed the duty of all to be prudent in driving and to respect highway laws. "A good vacation truly begins with this!" he said. He asked for prayers and recalled that "Prayer does not know distances and separations: wherever we are, it makes us one heart and one soul," VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2009

Other papal messages and activities. 

The Holy Father re-opened the newly restored Pauline Chapel. It features Michelangelo's depictions of the conversion of St. Paul and the crucifixion of St. Peter, painted between 1542 and 1550. This chapel is used by the Pope and his collaborators to meditate in silence and adore the living Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2009

Benedict XVI asked Haitian authorities to give more support to poor families in his address to the new Haitian ambassador to the Holy See. The Pontiff insisted that it is necessary to "get to the roots of the poverty problem." and affirmed that "the education of youth is a priority for the future of the nation." On the other hand, the Pope said that, despite its extreme poverty, there are also signs of hope in Haiti: Hope "founded particularly in the human and Christian values in Haitian society, such as respect for life, close-knit families, a sense of responsibility, and above all, faith in God, who does not abandon those who trust in him."VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2009

Appointments for Roman Curia. Benedict XVI made various appointments to dicasteries of the Roman Curia. VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2009

Benedict XVI met with the prime minister of Japan and discussed issues such as their mutual commitment to help the African people. VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2009

The Pope received the visit of the wives of some of the presidents and prime ministers in Italy for the Group of Eight meeting. He used the occasion to urge these influential women to help Africa. Those in attendance included the wives of the presidents of Mexico and South Africa, the prime ministers of Great Britain, India and Sweden, and the president of the European Commission. Also present was Josette Sheeran, president of the United Nations World Food Programme. VATICAN CITY, JULY 8, 2009

Benedict XVI restructured the Pontifical Comission "Ecclesia Dei". He issued a letter "motu propio" (on his own initiative), that  restructured the commission, which was formed in 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of St. Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Successor of Peter." The commission is now comprised of various officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a secretary.  VATICAN CITY, JULY 8, 2009

Australian Prime Minister and Korean President visited the Pope. Both of them are in Italy for the Group of Eight summit. The Pope gave them a signed copy of "Caritas in Veritate." VATICAN CITY, JULY 9, 2009

Benedict XVI and U.S. President B. Obama met today. The Pope received the president, who was in Italy for the Group of Eight summit. The two discussed bioethics, conscience protection, abortion, moral values in international politics, immigration and the importance of the education of tolerance in every country.
Benedict XVI gave to the U.S. president a copy of his encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate," and a copy of the 2009 letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "Dignitas Personae" (The Dignity of a Person), which deals with questions of bioethics. VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2009

The Pope met in an audience the new Mexican ambassador to the Holy See. He recognized the country's "high esteem" for families, Mexico's efforts in favor of life and against drug trafficking problems, while calling for a deeper understanding of the citizen's right to religious freedom. VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2009

Canada's Prime minister met Benedict XVI and praised him as a spiritual leader who promotes human dignity, peace and religious liberty. With regard to Canada, the conversation involved ethical values, the defence and promotion of life, marriage and family. VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2009

A prayer for the Holy Father 
Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen. 

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