The Holy Father´s Week: July 12, 2010

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

"We attain happiness, freedom and perfection by opening ourselves to God's gracious self-revelation in Christ Jesus". The Holy Father affirmed in the general audience as he spoke of another important figure in the history of theology: John Duns Scotus, who lived at the end of the 13th century.

   An ancient inscription on his tomb summarizes the geographical coordinates of his biography: "England received him; France instructed him; Cologne, in Germany, keeps his remains, he was born in Scotland."

   "Duns Scotus is best known today for his contribution to the development of Christian thought in three areas." The Pope explained. "First, he held that the Incarnation was not directly the result of Adam's sin, but a part of God's original plan of creation, in which every creature, in and through Christ, is called to be perfected in grace and to glorify God for ever. In this great Christocentric vision, the Incarnate Word appears as the centre of history and the cosmos."

   "Secondly, Scotus argued that Our Lady's preservation from original sin was a privilege granted in view of her Son's redemptive passion and death; this theory was to prove decisive for the eventual definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception."

   "Finally, Duns Scotus paid great attention to the issue of human freedom, although by situating it principally in the will, he sowed the seeds of a trend in later theology that risked detaching freedom from its necessary relation to truth."

   "Blessed Duns Scotus teaches us that what is essential in our life is to believe that God is close to us and that he loves us in Christ Jesus, and therefore to cultivate a profound love of him and of his Church." VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2010

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God is love, and worshiping him means serving our brothers with sincere and generous love!

   Benedict XVI affirmed before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. "Today’s Liturgy reminds us that to be Christians means to be faithful to the words and example of Jesus," he said, "especially by living a life of love of God and neighbour. May the Lord give us grace and courage so that we may always respond generously, as good Samaritans, to the needs of all who suffer, near and far."

   The Holy Father also recalled that today the Church remembers St. Benedict of Norcia -- the patron of his pontificate -- the father and legislator of western monasticism. He, as St. Gregory the Great reports, "was a man who lived a holy life … blessed by grace and blessed in grace" "He wrote a rule for monks … the mirror of a teaching incarnated in his person: for the holy man could not otherwise teach, than himself lived"

   Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict the Patron of Europe on Oct. 24, 1964, recognizing the wondrous work he did in the formation of European civilization. VATICAN CITY, JULY 11, 2010

Other papal messages and activities

"To trust God does not mean to see everything clearly according to our criteria, it does not mean to carry out what we have planned; to trust God means to empty ourselves of ourselves and to deny ourselves, because only one who accepts losing himself for God can be "just" as St. Joseph, that is, can conform his own will to God's and thus be fulfilled."

   Benedict XVI reflected on the "silent but beautiful life" of St. Joseph, who is portrayed in a new fountain in the Vatican Gardens. The fountain, which he inaugurated today, has six bronze panels detailing six moments in the life of Mary's husband, it was a gift to the Pope from the Governor's Office of Vatican City State. Benedict XVI concluded his reflection by entrusting the Church and the world to Joseph's intercession. VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2010

New appointments. Benedict XVI named Monsignor Robert McElroy of the San Francisco Archdiocese as an auxiliary bishop. He will serve under Archbishop George Niederauer.

   Bishop Konrad Zdarsa, 66, of Görlitz, Germany, was appointed to take the place of Bishop Walter Mixa, the former bishop of Augsburg who retired amid accusations of abuse.

   The Pope also named several new members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.: Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India; Archbishop Ioan Robu of Bucharest, Romania; and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, Ireland.

   As congregation members he named: Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes; Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature; Bishop Julián López Martín of Leon, Spain; and Bishop Aloysius Maryadi Sutrisnaatmaka of Palangkaraya, Indonesia.  JULY 6, 2010

A statue of a saint dedicated to praying for vocations was blessed today by Benedict XVI. The image of St. Annibale (1851-1927) was unveiled in one of the exterior niches of St. Peter's Basilica. St. Annibale Maria di Francia was a Sicilian priest convinced of the need to "ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest," as the Gospel recommends; he is the founder of the Rogationist Fathers.

   Before blessing the statue, the Pope recited a prayer that evoked the vocational apostolate, and care of orphans and the poor, essential features of the spirituality and activity of the Sicilian priest. VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2010

The Pope pointed to the example of St. Maria Goretti, whose feast day was Tuesday."a girl who, though very young, was able to demonstrate strength and courage against evil." He explained.

   Maria Goretti (1890-1902) was killed when she was 11 years old because she defended her chastity from the advances of a 20-year-old neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli.

   Her assassin spent 15 years in prison, where he had a conversion, aided by the intercession of his young victim. After completing his sentence, he retreated to a monastery of Friars Minor.

   At Maria Goretti's canonization, Serenelli was present in St. Peter's, as was the saint's mother, Assunta.

   "I invoke her for you, dear young people, so that she will help you to always choose the good, even when it is costly." He said as he gave his traditional greeting to youth, the sick and newlyweds at the end of the general audience. He VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2010

Proclaim the Good News with comprehensible languages and ways to the men of our time, involved in rapidly changing social and cultural processes, the Pope said in a message he sent to the 11th Chapter of the Rogationist Fathers. "In particular, spread ever more the spirit of prayer and of solicitude for all vocations in the Church; be eager laborers for the coming of the Kingdom of God, dedicating yourselves with every energy to evangelization and human development." VATICAN CITY, JULY 8, 2010

The Holy Father begins his summer vacation at Castel Gandolfo. His plans for these weeks include spending time with his brother and writing new books. All private and special audiences will be suspended during the summer, in addition to the Wednesday general audiences on July 14, 21 and 28. General audiences will resume again Aug. 4. CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 9, 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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