The Holy Father´s Week: July 5, 2010

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

Benedict XVI created a pontifical Council for New Evangelization to give new impulse to the Church's missionary vocation.

   During the vigil for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul the Holy Father noted that, challenges of our time are "certainly beyond human capacities," But, he added, Jesus also showed the apostles that "with faith in God nothing is impossible, and that a few loaves and a few fish, blessed and shared, could satiate all. But it was not -- and is not -- only hunger for material food: There is a more profound hunger, which only God can satiate." even in the deserts of the secularized world, "man's soul thirsts for God, for the living God." man desires an "authentic and full life, he has need of truth, of profound liberty, of gratuitous love."

   "The Church is an immense force of renewal in the world" he said, and he explained that this is "because of the force of the Gospel, in which the Holy Spirit of God breathes, the God Creator and Redeemer of the world".

   The Holy Father concluded by praying that the intercession of the two great saints would "obtain for the whole Church ardent faith and apostolic courage, to proclaim to the world the truth of which we all have need, the truth that is God, origin and end of the universe and of history, merciful and faithful Father, hope of eternal life." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010

Benedict XVI recommended spiritual direction. He dedicated the address at the general audience to a wise spiritual director, 19th-century Italian saint: Father Joseph Cafasso who was St. John Bosco's spiritual adviser for a quarter of a century.

   St. J. Cafasso devoted his entire ministry to the formation of priests, spiritual direction and service to the poor, especially prisoners condemned to death.

   "He dedicated many hours of the day [to hearing confessions]. Bishops, priests, religious, eminent laymen and simple people went to him: To all he was able to give the necessary time. For many, as well, who became saints and founders of religious institutes, he was a wise spiritual adviser."

   "The whole of holiness, perfection and profit of a person is in doing the will of God perfectly." St J. Cafasso used to say.

   Another element that characterizes the ministry of this saint was the attention to the least, in particular to prisoners, who in 19th-century Turin lived in inhuman and de-humanizing places. The simple presence of Cafasso did good: It brightened and touched hearts hardened by the ups and downs of life and above all enlightened and shook indifferent consciences.

   His secret was simple, the Holy Father explained, "to be a man of God; to do, in little daily actions, that which can turn to the greater glory of God and to the advantage of souls." He loved the Lord totally, he was animated by a well-rooted faith, sustained by profound and prolonged prayer, he lived a sincere charity toward all. "May his example be a call to all to intensify the way toward the perfection of the Christian life, holiness." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2010

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The two patron saints of Rome, St. Peter and St. Paul,  though having received from God different charisms and different missions to fulfill, are both the foundation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Pope affirmed before praying the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

   May the example of the Apostles Peter and Paul illumine minds and ignite in the hearts of believers the holy desire to do the will of God, so that the Church journeying on earth may always be faithful to her Lord. Let us turn with confidence to the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, who from Heaven guides and sustains the path of the People of God. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2010

Let us not be afraid of silence. The Pope said in his one-day trip to Italy's Abruzzi region on the 800th anniversary of the birth of Celestine V, the only Pope in history to abdicate Peter's Throne. During an open-air Mass with some 25,000 faithful, the Holy Father reflected on the life of his 13th-century predecessor, not focusing on his five months of papacy, but rather on his holiness of life.

   He noted that silence was the element that characterized St. Peter Celestine’s daily life. "It is precisely in external silence, but above all in internal silence, that he succeeded in perceiving God's voice, a voice that was able to guide his life".

   "The cross also gave St. Peter Celestine a clear awareness of sin that was always accompanied by an awareness that was just as clear of God’s mercy for his creature."

   "We live in a society in which it seems that every space, every moment must be 'filled' with initiatives, activity, sound; often there is not even time to listen and dialogue." The Pope  encouraged "Let us not be afraid to be silent outside and inside ourselves, so that we are able not only to perceive God's voice, but also the voice of the person next to us, the voices of others."

   "We must be attentive, always keep our 'interior eyes' open, the eyes of our heart. And if we learn how to know God in his infinite goodness, then we will be able to see, with wonder, in our lives -- as the saints did -- the signs of that God, who is always near to us, who is always good to us, who says: 'Have faith in me!'"  SULMONA, Italy, JULY 4, 2010

The Pope spoke of the need to appreciate a sober way of life, to "keep our minds and hearts more free to be able to share our goods with our brothers". The Pope prayed the Angelus with the faithful in Sulmona, Italy. He spoke of the example of St. Peter del Morrone who, in Mary, Virgin of silence and listening, found the perfect model of obedience to the divine will, in a simple and humble life, committed to seeking out the essential, always able to thank the Lord, recognizing everything as a gift of his goodness" He prayed:" May Mary Most Holy, help the Church of today to bear credible witness to the Gospel, She who "animated the first community of Jesus' disciples with her maternal presence."

   After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI went to a retirement home for ill and elderly priests, where he was to lunch with the region's bishops. The retirement home was inaugurated today after some restoration work and is dedicated precisely to Benedict XVI. SULMONA, Italy, JULY 4, 2010

Papal prayer intentions for July:  His general prayer intention is: "That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens."
The apostolic intention is: "That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace." VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

The Holy Father received in audience the archbishop of Vienna
and president of the Austrian episcopal conference. Cardinal C. Schönborn wished to clarify the exact sense of his recent statements on some aspects of present ecclesiastical discipline. Invited to the meeting subsequently were cardinals Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state.

   Recalling with great affection his pastoral visit to Austria, the Holy Father sends through Cardinal Christoph Schönborn his greeting and encouragement to the Church in Austria and its pastors, entrusting to the celestial protection of Mary, so venerated in Mariazell, the path of a renewed ecclesial communion. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010

A delegation was sent by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. The Pontiff greeted them with great joy and affection. He said that dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox is at a "crucial point" and invited heartfelt prayer to the Holy Spirit for progress to continue. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010

The Pope inaugurated renovated sections of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls after celebrating vespers for Tuesday's feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The renovation program was undertaken already a few years ago, in the context of preparations for the 2008-2009 Pauline Jubilee Year. In addition to new visibility for St. Paul's tomb, there are also new structures and services for pilgrims. ROME, JUNE 30, 2010

Benedict XVI bestowed the pallium on 38 archbishops. At the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on the solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul he spoke about the freedom of the Church. The Pope explained that the biblical texts of this solemnity show that "God is close to his faithful servants and frees them from all evil, and frees the Church from negative powers."

   "Thus we see that the promise of Jesus -- "the powers of hell shall not prevail" on the Church" -- goes further than the historical experience of persecution suffered by Peter and Paul and other witnesses of the Gospel, "wanting to protect especially against threats of a spiritual order, as Paul himself writes in his Letter to the Ephesians": (Eph 6:12). The Pope mentioned what St .Paul says about negative attitudes that belong to the world and can infect the Christian community: selfishness, vanity, pride, love of money, etc.

   "In fact," the Holy Father affirmed, the Church "suffers greatest damage from what pollutes the Christian faith and life of its members and its communities eroding the integrity of the Mystical Body, weakening its ability to prophesy and witness, tarnishing the beauty of its face".

   "In the fight against the spirit of evil, God has given us in Jesus the 'Advocate', defender, and after his Easter, "another Paraclete" (Jn 14:16), the Holy Spirit, which remains with us always and leads the Church into the fullness of truth (cf. Jn 14:16; 16:13), which is also the fullness of charity and unity."

   "The Petrine ministry is a guarantee of freedom in the sense of full adherence to truth and authentic tradition, so that the People of God may be preserved from mistakes concerning faith and morals." VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page: Full text:

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, was appointed as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
The Congregation for Bishops is responsible for selecting new bishops, planning the Papal audiences during the episcopal five-yearly visits to Rome, and organizing the creation of new dioceses.

   The Pontifical Commission for Latin America, which falls under this congregation, deals with matters pertaining the Church in that region. Cardinal Ouellet, 66, succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 76, who resigned for reasons of age. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2010

Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella was appointed as president of the recently created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Fisichella, 58,who was president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and has also been serving as rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.

   Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, has been appointed as the academy's new president. VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2010

Registrations for the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid opened today. Benedict XVI is the first participant to sign up.

   Though participation is free in the main events of World Youth Day (the inaugural Mass, welcome ceremony, Way of the Cross, Saturday vigil and Sunday Mass), participants are encouraged to register and pay a fee that helps cover WYD costs and brings the benefits of being a registered participant. MADRID, JULY 1, 2010

On the Net: Registration:

Bishop Walter Mixa's retirement was  confirmed. The former bishop of Augsburg, Germany, presented his resignation amid accusations that he physically abused orphans in the 1970s. VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2010

26 victims of religious persecution in Spain during the 1930s have been recognized as martyrs. Benedict XVI today authorized their decrees of martyrdom, as well as that of five others, along with five decrees recognizing miracles, and six decrees declaring heroic virtue. There are two teenagers among those : Cecilia Eusepi (1910-1928), Italian member of the Third Order of the Servants of Mary and María Teresa (1927-1946) (born María del Carmen Albarracín), Spanish professed religious of the Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters. VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2010

Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, Switzerland, has been appointed as the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity simultaneously with elevation to the dignity of archbishop.

   He is to succeed Cardinal Walter Kasper, 77,who resigned for reasons of age after more than a decade leading the council. VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2010

The Pope received in audience the new Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See, Habbeb Mohammed Hadi Ali Al-Sadr. The Holy Father expressed the "earnest hope" that Iraq "will emerge from the difficult experiences of the past decade as a model of tolerance and cooperation among Muslims, Christians and others in the service of those most in need." VATICAN CITY, JULY 2, 2010

On ZENIT's Web page: Full text:

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,the Pope's secretary of state,reached 50 years as a priest. Benedict XVI congratulated him and sent him a personal letter, which was published today by L'Osservatore Romano, alluding to their 15-year history as close collaborators. VATICAN CITY, JULY 2, 2010

The current consumerist culture tends to flatten man to the present, to make him lose the sense of the past, of history; "but in this way it also deprives him of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems and to build tomorrow." The Pope said as he met a group of young people in the Cathedral of Sulmona at the end of his visit to the city in Italy’s Abruzzi region. The area was devastated by an earthquake in 2009 and this is the Holy Father's second trip to the zone. 

   He noted that there are "shadows that obscure your horizon: they are concrete problems, that make it hard to look to the future with serenity and optimism." But, he added "there are also false values and illusory models that are proposed to you and that promise to fill up life but empty it instead." SULMONA, Italy, JULY 4, 2010

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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