The Holy Father´s Week: November 16, 2009

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

The order of Cluny helped to forge Europe’s identity. The Pope said as he reflected on the Cluniac reform during the general audience.  He noted that at a formative time of Europe’s history, the Order of Cluny helped to forge the Continent’s Christian identity by its emphasis on the primacy of the spirit, respect for human dignity, commitment to peace and an authentic and integral humanism.
The monks of Cluny practiced charity with determination, he noted. "In all houses, the almoner had to receive passers-by and needy pilgrims, travelling priests and religious, and above all the poor who came to ask for food and roof for a day.”
“At a time strongly marked by violence and the spirit of revenge” Cluny promoted two institutions, typical of Medieval civilization: the so-called truce of God and the peace of God.
The monks of Cluny also contributed to the reform of the universal Church by its concern for holiness, the restoration of clerical celibacy and the elimination of simony. 
Cluny’s reputation for sanctity and learning caused its influence to spread to monasteries throughout Europe, the Holy Father explained. At the beginning of the 12th century, the time of its greatest expansion, it had almost 1,200 monasteries.
They dedicated themselves with love and great care, among other things, to the celebration of Holy Mass.  “So much importance was given to the liturgy because the monks of Cluny were convinced that it was participation in the liturgy of Heaven and they felt responsible to intercede at the altar of God for the living and the dead”.  VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2009
Full text of general audience address: http://catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=27518

“The whole of creation is marked by finiteness.” The Pope explained before praying the Angelus as he reflected on Christ’s prophesy "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away"(Mark 13:31)
 “There is no confusion between creation and the Creator, but rather a clear difference.” he said “With such a clear distinction, Jesus affirms that his words "will not pass," that is, they come from the part of God and because of this are eternal.”
“Those who hear it, receive it and bear fruit are part of the Kingdom of God” the Holy Father continued, “They remain in the world, but are no longer of the world; therefore, in them is a seed of eternity, a principle of transformation that already now is manifested in a good life, animated by charity, and in the end will produce the resurrection of the flesh”.
“The Virgin Mary is the living sign of this truth.” He affirmed, “Her heart was "good earth" that received with full disposition the Word of God, so that all her existence, transformed according to the image of the Son, was introduced into eternity, soul and body, anticipating the eternal vocation of every human being.”
In prayer, the Pontiff said, let us imitate her by "following Christ on the way of the Cross," so that "we might also be able to come to the glory of the Resurrection." VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009

“An authentic social life begins in each one's conscience” Benedict XVI said to bishops of Southern Brazil in Rome for their five-yearly visit.  “A well formed conscience leads to fulfilling the true good of man” he explained.
 “The teaching of the Church, due to its origin -- God --, to its content -- the truth -- and to its point of support -- the conscience -- finds a profound and persuasive echo in the heart of each person, whether or not a believer.”
Concretely, he continued, "the question of life and of its defence and promotion is not only the prerogative of Christians. Even if it receives the light and extraordinary strength of faith, it belongs to every human conscience that aspires to truth and lives attentive and watchful of the destiny of humanity.”
Human life, he said, is a "gift of God received in the loving intimacy of marriage between a man and a woman," but is often "now seen as a mere human product."
 “Venerable Brothers, speak to the heart of your people, awaken consciences, unite wills in a joint effort against the growing wave of violence and contempt for the human being.” VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009
Full text: http://catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=27554

"Anglicanorum Coetibus," Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution for Anglicans who want to enter the Catholic Church was published. The constitution introduces a canonical structure that will allow groups of Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Complementary norms and an official commentary were also published. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2009

"Anglicanorum Coetibus": http://catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=27490

Complementary norms: http://catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=27491

Official commentary: http://catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=27492

Other papal messages and activities.

Sport has a notable educational potential above all in the realm of youth and, because of this, it is of great importance not only in the use of free time, but also in the formation of the person." The Pope stated this in a message sent to participants in a seminar on "Sports, Education and Faith: For a New Stage in the Catholic Sports Movement," which took place Friday and Saturday in Rome. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2009

We must bring the truth of God back into the world, make him known, make him present," the Holy Father declared. "Education is a constitutive and permanent need in the life of the Church," the Pope affirmed. He urged the Italian bishops to "place the formation of new generations at the center of the attention and efforts of each one, according to each person's respective responsibilities." The Pope affirmed this in a message to the prelates, who have gathered in Assisi for their 60th general assembly. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2009

"Migrations are an invitation to perceive clearly the unity of the human family, and the values of acceptance, hospitality and love of neighbor" Benedict XVI reminded the faithful as he addressed participants in the 6th Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is considering migration in the context of globalization and the implementation of the instruction "Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi," five years after its release. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2009

The Pope called for a just political solution to challenges that Sri Lanka is still facing, A 26-year conflict ended there in May after the government's victory over the rebel Tamil Tigers. But around 250,000 Tamils are still living in refugee camps as monsoon season nears. The Bishop of Rome urged the international community to do everything possible to assist the humanitarian and economic needs of Sri Lanka. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2009

Pontiff congratulated Poland on its Independence Day at the end of today's general audience. 
Also, on this saint’s feast day, Benedict XVI pointed to the example of charity given by St. Martin of Tours. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2009

University communities cannot be satisfied with merely imparting knowledge; they must also teach students values and profound motivations, Benedict XVI affirmed, He addressed staff and students from the Libera Universita Maria Santissima Assunta (LUMSA), which is celebrating its 70th year. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2009

Croatian President Stjepan Mesic visited Benedict XVI and discussed with him the "ancient and living" Catholic tradition in Croatia. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2009 

The Church must fulfil its role as a "channel for the goodness and love of God." the Pope stated in an audience with participants in the 28th plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Benedict XVI noted the Church's specific role in promoting justice, not by politics, but by its announcement of the Gospel and its promotion of virtues like charity and faith. 
Even the most developed countries need charity, he affirmed.All those who serve in Catholic charitable works, the Pope explained, should have the main objective of "bringing people to know and experience the merciful face of the heavenly Father, because in the heart of God-Love is the true answer to the most intimate hopes of every human heart". VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2009

 The prime minister of Hungary, Gordon Bajnai, visited the Pope. They spoke about relations between the Church and state communities in that Central European nation. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2009

The successor for the slain iraqui Archbishop was elected. Benedict XVI approved the election of Father Emil Shimoun Nona as the new archbishop of the Archeparchy of Mosul of the Chaldeans.  Catholics in Mosul are welcoming the news of his appointment with "joy and renewed hope," AsiaNews reported. The late Archbishop, P. Faraj Rahho, was kidnapped and killed in March 2008. MOSUL, Iraq, NOV. 13, 2009

The Pope will visit the headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, to speak on behalf of all people of the universal right to food. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009

Benedict XVI offered special prayers for those injured and killed in traffic accidents, and their families and friends, acknowledging today's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009

The president of Serbia, Boris Tadic, met with  Benedict XVI and affirmed the positive dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in that country. 
The Holy Father also met with the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Jan Fischer. VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009

Bishop Jerome Listecki was appointed as the archbishop of Milwaukee. Also on Friday, Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, for reasons of age, and named Bishop Kevin Rhoades as his successor. MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, NOV. 15, 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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