The Holy Father´s Week: September 28, 2009

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

St. Anselm: theologian, teacher and pastor. At the General audience, the Pope reflected on this Saint, eminent personality of the Medieval Age, founder of Scholastic Theology and who was given the title of "magnificent doctor”.
As prior, he did not like authoritarian methods; “comparing young men to small plants that develop better if they are enclosed in a greenhouse.” The Holy Father explained. “He was very exacting with himself and with others in the monastic observance, but instead of imposing discipline he was determined to have it followed with persuasion.”
Named Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, he defended the Church from undue interference by political authorities. The courageous zeal that distinguished his pastoral action, procured for him misunderstandings, bitterness and finally exile.
St Anselm was also a theologian and, according to him, “the activity of a theologian develops in three stages: faith, free gift of God that must be received with humility; experience, which consists in the incarnation of the word of God in one's daily life; and lastly true knowledge, which is never the fruit of aseptic thoughts, but of a contemplative intuition.” the Holy Father said.
The Pope said this prayer from St. Anselm, enables us to understand the mystical soul of this great Saint: "God, I implore you; I want to know you, to love you and to be able to enjoy you. And if in this life I am not capable of it fully, that at least I might progress each day until I attain its fullness". VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 23, 2009

The Holy Father visits the Czech Republic. He arrived in Prague on Saturday morning, giving an address at a welcoming ceremony at the airport, and losing no time in encouraging Catholics of the Republic.
The first stop for the Bishop of Rome was a visit to the Infant Jesus of Prague where he took the occasion to reflect on the dignity of children.
The Pope's day wrapped up with two more discourses: one to the civil authorities and diplomatic corps of his host nation, another to religious, priests and seminarians during the praying of vespers at the cathedral.
On the second day of his pastoral visit, the Holy Father travelled to Brno where he celebrated an open-air Mass attended by some 150,000 people. Father Lombardi said it was the largest turnout for a Mass in the history of the Czech Republic, and the Holy Father's message turned on the theme of hope.
After praying the midday Angelus with the faithful, the Pontiff returned to Prague for two more discourses: one to an ecumenical gathering and another to representatives of the world of education.
The Pope on Monday will celebrate the liturgical memorial of St. Wenceslaus, patron of the Czech Republic, before his return to Rome in the evening.

“We must be very attentive indeed to the message of this country” Benedict XVI told the press on Saturday on his flight to the Czech Republic. “In every century the Czech Republic, the territory of the Czech Republic, has been a place for the meeting of cultures. “ 
He recalled how, even though the Czech Republic suffered under a particularly harsh communist dictatorship, there was also strong Catholic and secular resistance.
“ I think that from this meeting of cultures over centuries, and precisely from this last phase of reflection -- but not only this period -- of suffering for a new concept of freedom and free society, many important messages emerge for us that can and must be fruitful for the building of Europe.” 
“I have in mind, for example, a text of Vaclav Havel that says: “Dictatorships are based on lies and if the lie is overcome, if no one lies any more and if the truth comes to light, there will also be freedom.”
“And this was how he explained the connection between truth and freedom, where freedom is not libertinism, arbitrariness, but is connected to and conditioned by the great values of truth and love and solidarity and the good in general.”
Freedom must go together with values, good and truth: Otherwise freedom too is destroyed.
 “This seems to me to be the message that comes from these countries and that must be realized in this moment.”  VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 27, 2009

The Holy Father thanked President Václav Klaus for inviting him to visit the Czech Republic. In his address, upon arriving at the Airport, he remarked that throughout its history, there have been courageous martyrs whose fidelity to Christ spoke far louder and more eloquently than the voice of their executioners.    
“Now that religious freedom has been restored,” he said, “I call upon all the citizens of this Republic to rediscover the Christian traditions which have shaped their culture, and I invite the Christian community to continue to make its voice heard as the nation addresses the challenges of the new millennium. "Without God, man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is" (Caritas in Veritate, 78). The truth of the Gospel is indispensable for a healthy society, since it opens us to hope and enables us to discover our inalienable dignity as God's children.• PRAGUE, Czech Republic, SEPT. 26, 2009

"May Children Always Be Accorded the Respect and Attention That Are Due to Them" Benedict XVI said when he visited the Infant of Prague at the Church of Our Lady Victorious. “The figure of the Child Jesus, the tender infant, brings home to us God's closeness and his love.” He said, “Every human being is a child of God and therefore our brother or sister, to be welcomed and respected. May our society grasp this truth!”
“In the Holy Infant of Prague we contemplate the beauty of childhood and the fondness that Jesus Christ has always shown for little ones” Yet, he noted, “how many children are neither loved, nor welcomed nor respected! How many of them suffer violence and every kind of exploitation by the unscrupulous! May children always be accorded the respect and attention that are due to them: they are the future and the hope of humanity!”
He thanked and blessed the children who, in large numbers, went to meet him. PRAGUE, Czech Republic, SEPT. 26, 2009

"Truth does conquer, not by force, but by persuasion" the Holy Father said when he met with civil and political authorities and the diplomatic corps of the Czech Republic in the Presidential Palace of Prague. He noted that his pastoral visit to the Czech Republic coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, and the "Velvet Revolution" which restored democracy to this nation. In that respect he spoke about freedom. 
“Freedom seeks purpose: it requires conviction.” He said. “True freedom presupposes the search for truth - for the true good - and hence finds its fulfilment precisely in knowing and doing what is right and just. Truth, in other words, is the guiding norm for freedom, and goodness is freedom's perfection.”
“For Christians,” he affirmed, “truth has a name: God. And goodness has a face: Jesus Christ.”
"Veritas vincit". This is the motto that the flag of the President of the Czech Republic bears”: the Holy Father said, “In the end, truth does conquer, not by force, but by persuasion, by the heroic witness of men and women of firm principle, by sincere dialogue which looks beyond self-interest to the demands of the common good.”
“I offer prayerful good wishes that your service be inspired and sustained by the light of that truth which is a reflection of the eternal Wisdom of God the Creator”. He ended. PRAGUE, Czech Republic, SEPT. 26, 2009

"Christ Is for Everyone!" The Holy Father told priests, religious, seminarians and lay movements gathered in the Cathedral for the celebration of vespers. “Only the love of Christ can make the apostolate effective, especially in moments of difficulty and trial. Love for Christ and for one's fellow men and women must be the hallmark of every Christian and every community.”
“Nourish your love for Christ by prayer and listening to his word; feed on him in the Eucharist, and by his grace, be builders of unity and peace wherever you go.” He said. PRAGUE, Czech Republic, SEPT. 26, 2009

"May Mary keep the flame of faith alive in all of you" The pope said before praying the Angelus with pilgrims in the Czech Republic. “A faith that is nourished by traditions of popular piety with deep roots in the past, which you rightly take care to maintain, so that the warmth of family conviviality in villages and towns may not be lost.”  After the Angelus he greeted pilgrims from Slovakia, Poland, Germany and Austria.  BRNO, Czech Republic, SEPT. 27, 2009

Benedict XVI spoke about hope in the homily at the Mass he celebrated at the Turany airport in Brno. “Your country, like other nations, is experiencing cultural conditions that often present a radical challenge to faith and therefore also to hope.” He explained.
History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions, and how hard it is to build a society inspired by the values of goodness, justice and fraternity, because the human being is free and his freedom remains fragile.
 “In present-day society, many forms of poverty are born from isolation, from being unloved, from the rejection of God and from a deep-seated tragic closure in man who believes himself to be self-sufficient, or else merely an insignificant and transient datum” he affirmed; “in this world of ours which is alienated "when too much trust is placed in merely human projects" (Caritas in Veritate, 53), only Christ can be our certain hope. This is the message that we Christians are called to spread every day, through our witness.”
Here, as elsewhere, many people suffered in past centuries for remaining faithful to the Gospel, and they did not lose hope; many people sacrificed themselves in order to restore dignity to man and freedom to peoples, finding in their generous adherence to Christ the strength to build a new humanity.
“Jesus never abandons his friends. He assures us of his help, because nothing can be done without him, but at the same time, he asks everyone to make a personal commitment to spread his universal message of love and peace.” BRNO, Czech Republic, SEPT. 27, 2009

Christianity has much to offer on the practical and ethical level, for the Gospel never ceases to inspire men and women to place themselves at the service of their brothers and sisters. “As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own”  Benedict XVI said at an ecumenical meeting in Prague. But, he warned, attempts to marginalize the influence of Christianity upon public life - sometimes under the pretext that its teachings are detrimental to the well-being of society - are emerging in new forms.
The Holy Father said that those who fix their gaze upon Jesus of Nazareth with eyes of faith know that God offers a deeper reality which is nonetheless inseparable from the "economy" of charity at work in this world (cf. Caritas in Veritate, 2): He offers salvation.
“We take confidence in knowing that the Church's proclamation of salvation in Christ Jesus is ever ancient and ever new, steeped in the wisdom of the past and brimming with hope for the future.”  PRAGUE, Czech Republic, SEPT. 27, 2009

The idea of an integrated education, based on the unity of knowledge grounded in truth, must be regained.” Benedict XVI said at a meeting in Prague with representatives of the world of academia and culture. “With the massive growth in information and technology there comes the temptation to detach reason from the pursuit of truth.” 
“Separated from the fundamental human orientation towards truth, reason begins to lose direction: it withers, either under the guise of modesty, resting content with the merely partial or provisional, or under the guise of certainty, insisting on capitulation to the demands of those who indiscriminately give equal value to practically everything.”
 “In the end, the Holy Father affirmed, "fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom" (Caritas in Veritate, 9). This confidence in the human ability to seek truth, to find truth and to live by the truth led to the foundation of the great European universities. Surely we must reaffirm this today in order to bring courage to the intellectual forces necessary for the development of a future of authentic human flourishing, a future truly worthy of man. PRAGUE, Czech Republic, SEPT. 27, 2009

Other Papal messages and activities:

Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev met with Benedict XVI in the Vatican. He affirms that it is time for Catholics and Orthodox to move past divisions and competition and exist in solidarity and mutual love. "We support the Pope in his commitment to the defense of Christian values" he said. Later he told a group of journalists that he hopes the Holy Father and Patriarch Kirill will be able to meet soon. ROME, SEPT. 21, 2009

The Pope sent a message of condolence for the six Italian soldiers who were killed in a car bomb attack Thursday in Afghanistan. ROME, SEPT. 21, 2009

The Holy Father grants its first Jubilee to the Diocese of Plasencia, Spain. The Jubilee starts next month, marking the 400th anniversary of the recovery of the relics of the city's patrons: Sts. Fulgentius and Florentine. PLASENCIA, Spain, SEPT. 21, 2009

Benedict XVI urges Bishops to help Priests when he was visited  by bishops who have been ordained over the last year.  He acknowledged that priests, and even more so, bishops, face a "lot of work that tends to absorb [them] continually and totally.". But, he said "It is important not to forget that one of the essential tasks of the bishop is precisely to help priests, by example and with fraternal support, to follow their vocation faithfully, and to work with enthusiasm and love in the Lord's vineyard."  CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 22, 2009

The Holy Father mourns missionary slain in Brazil. He sent a message strongly condemning this "vile and cruel act against a peaceful servant of the Gospel," and transmits his spiritual closeness in prayer. Father Ruggero Ruvoletto, killed Saturday in his parish of St. Evelina, on the outskirts of Manaus, in Brazil, was vocal in denouncing "drugs and prostitution as social plagues."  VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 22, 2009

Benedict XVI appointed two new members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to serve under the leadership of its prefect, Cardinal William Levada. A Vatican communiqué announced the appointments of Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Bishop Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez of San Cristobal, Venezuela.  VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 22, 2009

Date and theme for the next International Eucharistic Congress were approved by the Pope. The event’s date is June 10-17, 2012 and it will be held in Dublin, Ireland.The Congress will focus on the Eucharist as communion with Christ and with one another. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 22, 2009

The Pope proposed the example of Padre Pio. At the end of the general audience, the Pope pointed to today's feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, offering him as a model for youth, newlyweds, the ill and priests. The Holy Father called him a "dispenser of divine mercy" through the confessional and exhorted the faithful to approach the "sacrament of reconciliation." VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 23, 2009

Benedict XVI was given the last volume of the New Catholic Encyclopaedia in Japanese. With the publication of this fourth volume, the work of nearly 30 years and more than 6,000 pages has been completed. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 23, 2009

Benedict XVI Talked with Honduran Cardinal. As the political crisis in Honduras continues to escalate, Benedict XVI  spoke with the president of the Honduran Episcopal conference, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga. The Vatican has not given details of the conversation VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 23, 2009

A Papal Video statement was sent to the. summit on climate change. It contained the words he said on this issue Aug. 26, 2009, during the Wednesday general audience. He stated that we are all called to exercise responsible stewardship of creation, to use resources in such a way that every individual and community can live with dignity, and to develop "that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God"  VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 24, 2009
On the Net:
Benedict XVI's video statement:
www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/2009summit/statements

Benedict XVI prayed for dead miners and their families. "I entrust all in prayer to Divine Mercy," he said. "I pray for the eternal rest of the deceased, healing for the wounded, and the gift of fortitude, which comes from faith, for all their loved ones."
In the Sept. 18 explosion at a coal mine in Silesia 17 miners died while 35 are still in the hospital. VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 24, 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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