The Holy Father´s Week: August 31, 2009

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

“The natural environment is given by God to everyone, and its use entails a personal responsibility towards the whole of humanity, in particular, towards the poor and future generations” Said Benedict XVI at this Wednesday's general audience, which gathered pilgrims in Castel Gandolfo.
“Experiencing the shared responsibility for creation (Cf. 51), the Church is not only committed to the promotion of the defence of the earth, of water and of air, given by the Creator to everyone, but above all is committed to protect man from the destruction of himself.”
The Holy Father affirmed that “If the human creature's relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the "final authority," and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.”
He explained that “Creation, matter structured in an intelligent manner by God, is entrusted to man's responsibility, who is able to interpret and refashion it actively, without regarding himself as the absolute owner.”
 “Man is called to exercise responsible government to protect it, to obtain benefits and cultivate it, finding the necessary resources for a dignified existence for all.”  But, for this to happen, the Pope said, man must act in a way that acknowledges that "we come from God and we are all going back to him.
"Together we can build an integral human development beneficial to present and future peoples, a development inspired by the values of charity in truth," the Pope affirmed. "For this to happen it is indispensable that the present model of global development be transformed through a greater and shared responsibility for creation: This is demanded not only by environmental emergencies, but also by the scandal of hunger and poverty."  CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 26, 2009

Benedict XVI spoke about St. Monica, St. Augustine, marriage and virginity to the crowds gathered for the praying of the midday Angelus. Aug. 27 we celebrated the liturgical memorial of St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine. “ She is considered the model and patroness of Christian mothers” the Holy Father said. “God heard the prayers of this saintly mother, to whom the Bishop of Tagaste had said: "It is impossible that the son of so many tears will be lost." In fact, Augustine not only converted, but decided to embrace the monastic life and, returning to Africa, found a community of monks.” “St. Augustine repeated that his mother "gave birth to him twice."

“Matrimony and virginity are intimately connected and mutually illuminate each other” the Pope explained “When the husband and wife generously dedicate themselves to the education of their children, guiding and orienting them in the discovery of God's design of life, they are preparing that fertile spiritual soil from which vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life grow and mature.”
“Dear brothers and sisters”, he concluded, “ in this Year for Priests, we pray that, "through the intercession of the holy Curé d'Ars, Christian families become little churches, in which all the Christian vocations and all charisms, given by the Holy Spirit, can be welcomed and valued". “May the Holy Virgin, whom we now invoke together, obtain this grace for us” CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 30, 2009

Other papal messages and activities.

"To the extent that the sense of sin is lost, feelings of guilt increase which people seek to eliminate by recourse to inadequate palliative remedies.”  The Pope affirmed in a letter sent  on the occasion of Italy's 60th National Liturgical Week, being held in Barletta with the theme: "Celebrate Mercy: 'Let Yourselves Be Reconciled With God.'" 
“Along with an adequate formation of the moral conscience, maturity of life and celebration of the sacrament, it is necessary to foster in the faithful the experience of spiritual support.” Precisely for this reason, the Pope continued to note, today "wise and holy 'spiritual teachers'" are needed, exhorting priests to keep "ever alive within them the knowledge that they must be worthy 'ministers' of divine mercy and responsible educators of consciences," inspired in the example of the Cure d'Ars, St. John Vianney. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 25, 2009

Benedict XVI sent a letter to U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy shortly before the latter's death, reports the. L'Osservatore Romano. The newspapaer published a short article today to mark the death of Kennedy, who died Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Kennedy's sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver,who  died Aug. 10. also received a letter from the Pope before she died. Both were siblings of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who were both assassinated in the 1960s. VATICAN CITY, AUG. 27, 2009

The new ambassador-designate of the United States to the Holy See arrived in Rome today: he will take up his position after presenting his letter of credentials to the Pope. ROME, AUG. 27, 2009

Benedict XVI's position was right in the debate on AIDS and condoms. Edward Green, the director of Harvard's AIDS Prevention Research Project affirmed this in an address at the 30th annual Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini, sponsored by the lay movement, Communion and Liberation.
Green, an expert on AIDS prevention, said that "as a scientist he was amazed to see the closeness between what the Pope said last March in Cameroon and the results of the most recent scientific discoveries." RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 27, 2009

On the death of four italian rescue workers, the Holy Father expressed his "profound sentiments of sympathy". He sent a telegram to the families of the four Italian rescue workers of the medical emergency services (SUEM), who died in a helicopter accident near the town of Cortina D'Ampezzo, in northern Italy. BELLUNO, Italy, AUG. 28, 2009

68 Protestant Leaders Applaud Benedict XVI´s latest Encyclical. In a message released last month, titled "Doing the Truth in Love," a group of university leaders and professors, press editors and presidents of various institutions signed a message to "applaud" the Pope's encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate."

The message called on Christians everywhere to "read, wrestle with, and respond to 'Caritas in Veritate' and its identification of the twin call of love and truth upon our lives as citizens, entrepreneurs, workers and, most fundamentally, as followers of Christ." WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 28, 2009

"I call everyone to a greater commitment to the safeguarding of creation, gift of God," the Holy Father said to the crowds gathered at Castel Gandolfo to pray the midday Angelus.
Italy will observe the day to protect the environment on Tuesday., Benedict XVI spoke about the event and said "It is a significant event, even of ecumenical importance, that has as its theme this year 'air,' an indispensable element for life." He encouraged in particular the industrialized countries to cooperate responsibly for the future of the planet, and that the poorest populations not pay the greatest price for climactic changes." Italy, AUG. 30, 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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