Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Few Things

Benedict to Make First Papal Visit to Africa in March
By Associated Press Writer
Frances D'Emilio

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday he will make his first papal pilgrimage to Africa — a continent where the Catholic Church is growing — with visits next year to Cameroon and Angola.

The 81-year-old Benedict gave the surprise news at the end of his homily in St. Peter's Basilica, during a ceremony closing three weeks of discussions by bishops from around the world about the Bible.

Benedict did not give specific dates for the trip, which traditionally are first announced by local Church officials in the host countries. The Vatican usually gives details of papal pilgrimages closer to departure.

"Next March, I intend to go to Cameroon" as part of preparations for an October 2009 bishops' meeting at the Vatican dealing with Africa, Benedict said at the end of his homily.

"From there, God willing, I will go on to Angola, to celebrate solemnly the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of that country," Benedict said.

The Catholic Church has been growing in parts of Africa and Asia, with those continents sometimes supplying priests for parishes in parts of Europe and North America where vocations have steadily declined in the last few decades.

While the Vatican has been concerned about the flagging faith of some Catholics in the affluent West, Church officials are heartened by the vibrancy of local churches in parts of Africa and Asia.
When the pope visits Cameroon, representatives of Africa's bishops conferences will be meeting there to prepare for next year's Vatican synod on Africa.

Cameroon, formed in 1961 from western African territories governed by the French and British, has an 18 million population that is about 40 percent Christian.

Angola's history as a former Portuguese colony has given the country Christian roots. The southern African country was lacerated by a civil war that started with its 1975 independence and ended in 2002.

Since being elected pontiff in 2005, Benedict has visited several European countries, including France in September, his latest foreign trip. He has also traveled to Brazil, the United States and Australia earlier this year.

His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, visited Africa several times in his 26 1/2 years as pontiff.
On Sunday, Benedict paid tribute to the Church in another distant part of the world — China — where Catholics loyal to him worship in clandestine churches and have sometimes suffered harassment, or in the case of clergy, even imprisonment.

The pontiff noted that bishops from China had been unable to attend this month's gathering at the Vatican. The Vatican and Beijing do not have formal ties, largely due to China's insistence that it make appointments of bishops, a right claimed by the Holy See.

Benedict said he was thankful for the Chinese bishops' "faithfulness" to the pope, and he prayed that they receive the "strength and zeal to guide, with wisdom and far-sightedness, the Catholic community of China that we love so dearly."

Copyright 2008 Associated Press
Beirut- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is due to travel to Vatican City later this week for talks with Pope Benedict XVI, a presidential palace source said Tuesday. Suleiman, 59, a Maronite Christian and former commander-in-chief of the army, will meet the pontiff on Friday, the source said.

Suleiman was elected on May 25, 2008, after months of political crisis in the country, during which Benedict had urged Lebanese leaders to reach an agreement.
From Earth Times
Local rabbi traveling to Rome to meet pope
By Mike Randall
October 28, 2008
CITY OF NEWBURGH — Rabbi Daniel Polish, an adjunct professor of religious studies at Mount Saint Mary College, will be among a group of rabbis traveling to Rome Tuesday to discuss Jewish-Catholic relations with Pope Benedict XVI.
Polish said this is a sensitive time for Jewish-Catholic relations because the Catholic church is considering beatification for Pope Pius XII, a man some Jews believe didn’t do enough to oppose Adolph Hitler’s treatment of Jews.
Pope Says We Owe a Debt to Vatican II
Calls It Ever More Timely in Globalized World
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2008 ( The Second Vatican Council is not losing its relevance with the passing of decades, but rather is "particularly pertinent" for the Church in today's globalized world, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this in a message today to participants in an international conference being held in Rome on "Vatican II in the Pontificate of John Paul II."
The event is sponsored by the St. Bonaventure Theological Faculty and the Institute for Documentation and Study of the Pontificate of John Paul II.
Benedict XVI wrote that "all of us are truly debtors of this extraordinary ecclesial event," and that for him it was "an honor to participate as an expert."
"Making divine salvation accessible to the man of today was for Pope John the fundamental motive for convoking the council, and it was with this perspective that the fathers worked."
From God's heartIn this context, the German Pontiff praised his Polish predecessor, saying that "in the council [John Paul II] made a significant personal contribution as a council father," and that later he became its "primary executor during the years of his pontificate, by divine will."
John Paul II "took up practically in all of his writings, and even more in his decisions and actions as Pontiff, the fundamental urgings of the ecumenical council Vatican II, of which he became a qualified interpreter and coherent witness," he added.The council, Benedict XVI continued, "came from the heart of John XXIII, but it is more accurate to say that in the end, as with all the great events in the history of the Church, that it came from the heart of God, from his salvific will."
"The multifaceted doctrinal heritage that we find in its dogmatic constitutions, in the declarations and decrees, moves us even now to go deeper in the Word of God to apply it today to the Church, keeping in mind the needs of the men and women of the contemporary world, who have an extreme need to know and experience the light of Christian hope."
The Holy Father expressed his hope that the conference participants approach "the conciliar documents to seek in them satisfactory answers to many of the questions of our time."
"The ultimate goal of all our activities should be communion with the living God," he concluded. "In this way as well, for the fathers of Vatican II, the ultimate goal of all of the elements of renewal of the Church was to guide toward the living God, revealed in Jesus Christ."

No comments: