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Pope Compares the Family to Holy Trinity

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  • Paing Soe
    Pope Compares the Family to Holy Trinity Describes Both as Communities of Love VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The family is called to reflect the
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      Pope Compares the Family to Holy Trinity
      Describes Both as Communities of Love

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The family is called to reflect the "community of love and life" of the Trinity, says Benedict XVI.

      Before praying the midday Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered today in St. Peter's Square, the Pope reflected on the "ineffable mystery of God one and triune."

      The Holy Father said the family is analogous to the Trinity and "is called to be a community of love and life, in which differences must come together to become a 'parable of communion.'"

      Guided by the Holy Spirit, believers can know "the intimacy of God himself, discovering that he is not infinite solitude, but communion of light and love, life given and received in an eternal dialogue between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit -- lover, beloved and love," the Pontiff said, quoting St. Augustine.

      Benedict XVI continued: "No one can see God, but he himself has made himself known so that, with the Apostle John, we can affirm: 'God is love … we know and believe the love God has for us.'"


      Recalling the promise of Jesus -- "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23) -- the Pope said that to encounter Christ and enter into friendship with him means to receive "the very Trinitarian communion in one's own soul."

      "For him who has faith, the whole universe speaks of God one and triune," the Holy Father said. "All beings are ordered according to a harmonic dynamism, which we can call, analogically, 'love.' But only in the human person, free and rational, this dynamism becomes spiritual, a responsible love, as response to God and one's neighbor in a sincere gift of self."

      And it is "in this love" that "the human being finds his truth and happiness," the Pontiff said.

      To "be able to progress in love and make our lives songs of praise" to the Trinity, Benedict XVI invited pilgrims to have confidence in the help of the Virgin Mary -- "masterpiece of the Most Holy Trinity among all creatures" -- in whose "humble heart full of faith in God, he prepared a worthy dwelling for himself, to fulfill his mystery of salvation."


      Pontiff Promotes Corpus Christi Procession

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI invited all in Rome "to take part in great numbers" in the Corpus Christi procession this week.

      The liturgical ceremonies surrounding Thursday's feast express "the faith and love of the Christian community for its Lord present in the Eucharist," the Pope said today after reciting the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

      The Bishop of Rome will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. on the feast of Corpus Christi, in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

      At the end of Mass, "we will solemnly accompany the Most Holy Sacrament on the Via Merulana to St. Mary Major's Square, where I will impart the Eucharistic blessing," the Pontiff said.

      The Vicariate of Rome announced that for two days preceding the celebration, 40 uninterrupted hours of Eucharistic adoration will be held in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.


      Africa's Woes Still Ignored, Says Vatican Paper

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The international community continues to ignore the tragedy that consumes Africa on a daily basis, says L'Osservatore Romano.

      "Every day 800 African children die, simply because their families cannot afford an appointment with a doctor or basic health care. Very little would be needed to save them," states a front-page story in Saturday's Italian edition of the semiofficial Vatican newspaper.

      Under the headline "Africa, the Scandal of Poverty," the article observes: "It would be enough to assume health expenses, which, although entailing a few coins by Western criteria, weigh like lead on African families' budgets.

      "However, despite the good intentions expressed on several occasions in international conferences, in Africa the scandal of poverty continues to reap innocent victims."

      L'Osservatore Romano quotes a report, "Paying With Their Lives," published by Save the Children United Kingdom, a branch of the Save the Children International Alliance.

      The report reveals that the lives of 285,000 children in Africa (almost 800 a day) could be saved every year by meeting basic health expenses.

      The article concludes with an appeal to rich countries to keep their commitment to increase development aid and to help lower health costs in poor countries.




      Chinese Diocese Remembers Its Martyrs
      Looks Back, and Ahead, at 150th Anniversary

      ROME, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Diocese of Cangzhou helped to stimulate the Catholic community's missionary effort, said diocesan representatives.

      Bishop Joseph Li Liangui of Cangzhou, in the province of Hebei, opened the anniversary ceremonies last month, reported Eglises d'Asie, an agency of the Foreign Missions of Paris.

      A key event took place in the Catholic cemetery of Xianxian, where a small monument was recently erected in memory of the diocese's founders. Buried in the cemetery are five French bishops, a Chinese bishop and many Chinese priests and foreign missionaries.

      All their tombs were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976.

      Using the cathedral's paschal candle to light a 2-meter torch, the bishop appealed to priests and faithful to continue the missionary endeavor undertaken in the region more than 150 years ago.

      In a pastoral letter last January, Bishop Li, 44, a prelate accepted by both Rome and Beijing, invited the diocesan faithful to prepare for this jubilee.


      The French missionaries who "brought to this land the seeds of light and truth" founded the diocese in 1856.

      "Today, the hour has come to write new pages of the history of our diocese," wrote the bishop. "Animated by an unbreakable spirit, we have inherited from our predecessors the seed of the Good News."

      Accompanied by saints' relics, including those of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, for five months the torch will go from parish to parish, symbolizing the light of Christ spread throughout the region. The torch will be returned to the cathedral Oct. 15.

      In early October, an assembly will be held of representatives of the diocese, culminating with the baptism of 150 catechumens, and, on Oct. 12-13, a university colloquium will take place on evangelization.

      Known for its numerous priestly and religious vocations, the Diocese of Cangzhou has more than 200 parishes and 75,000 faithful.

      The bishop is assisted by some 100 priests and 227 women religious. About 80 seminarians are studying in the diocese's intermediate seminary, before attending the regional seminary of Shijiazhuang.

      The Holy See established the diocese in 1856, splitting the Catholic mission of Tcheli in three territories. The southeastern Vicariate of Tcheli was entrusted to the French Jesuits and, in 1924, it took the name Vicariate of Xianxian.

      Elevated to the rank of diocese in 1946, Xianxian was renamed Cangzhou in 1981.

      Fourteen of China's 120 martyrs, canonized in Rome in October 2000, were from the Diocese of Xianxian during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Four priests and 5,153 faithful died as a result of the rebellion directed against the Western presence in China.




      New Ecclesiastical Aide Named for Caritas

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See named Father Hubert Andrzej Matusiewicz as new ecclesiastical assistant of Caritas Internationalis.

      A member of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, Father Matusiewicz has a licentiate in microbiology and theology. He has been deputy director of Caritas Poland.

      He succeeds Monsignor Nelson Viola.

      The president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," Archbishop Josef Cordes, joined Caritas Internationalis to welcome the new ecclesial assistant.

      Denis Viénot, president of Caritas Internationalis, said: "The presence of Cor Unum's representatives among us is natural. I thank them for showing in this way our closeness in performing one of the services of the Church, the service of charity, which is the 'duty of the entire ecclesial community,' as Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his first encyclical."


      Priests and Religious to Receive Pope in Valencia

      VALENCIA, Spain, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Priests, cloistered nuns and religious of Valencia will receive Benedict XVI when he arrives in Spain for the 5th World Meeting of Families.

      According to Archbishop Agustín García-Gasco of Valencia, after the Pope lands in the Manises airport July 8 he will visit the city's cathedral and be received by more than 800 priests, cloistered nuns and a representation of religious of the dioceses.

      All the bishops of the Spanish episcopal conference will welcome the Holy Father in the chapel of the Holy Chalice of the Last Supper, also located in the cathedral.

      The Pontiff will venerate the relic for a few moments, which will be place on his altar, confirmed the organizers of the meeting of families.

      On the same day, after visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of the Helpless and praying to the patroness of Valencia, Benedict XVI will pray the midday Angelus in the basilica square with Spanish seminarians and their relatives.

      Benedict XVI will visit Spain July 8-9 to preside over the last two days of the World Meeting of Families.


      Philadelphia Prelate to Head Raleigh Diocese

      WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Francis Gossman of Raleigh, for reasons of age, and named Auxiliary Bishop Michael Burbidge of Philadelphia as his successor.

      Bishop Gossman, 76, had been head of the Raleigh Diocese, in North Carolina, since 1975.

      Bishop Burbidge, 48, is a native of Philadelphia. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Villanova University and Immaculata University, all in Pennsylvania.

      He was ordained a priest of the Philadelphia Archdiocese in 1984. He was named an auxiliary bishop in 2002.

      The Raleigh Diocese in eastern North Carolina has about 188,000 Catholics in a total population of about 4 million.

      Benedict XVI also appointed Monsignor Daniel Thomas, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia.

      Bishop-designate Thomas, 47, is a native of Philadelphia. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and was ordained a priest in 1985.

      He obtained a licentiate in theology at the Gregorian University, Rome, in 1989, and was an official of the Congregation for Bishops from 1990 to 2005. Concurrently he served as spiritual director of seminarians at the North American College.




      Archbishop Naumann on Benedict XVI and the Family
      Interview With Kansas City Prelate

      KANSAS CITY, Kansas, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's trip to Spain for the World Meeting of Families next month will only confirm the pontiff's evident concern for the renewal of the family.

      So says Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, a member of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family.

      Archbishop Naumann, 57, shared with ZENIT how the Pope has shown that the state of the family is a priority during the first year of his pontificate.

      Q: Pope Benedict XVI has made few international trips, but he has decided to be present at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Valencia. What does it tell us about the importance he places on the family?

      Archbishop Naumann: His decision to attend the World Meeting of Families is a public affirmation of the invaluable worth he places on the family. We have already seen in just the year since his election that renewing the family is a priority of his pontificate.

      His first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," gives much attention to the love between a man and a woman, how human love, especially eros, must be connected to divine love and the good of children, and the important role of love in the public life.

      And since the family is the first school of love, we can infer that a healthy family is essential to a healthy society.

      With all of this is Pope Benedict's constant interest in uniting questions of the social order with a vigorous pursuit of truth. To be a well-ordered society the truth of the family must be upheld.

      So, his decision to attend the World Meeting of Families is consistent with his interest in defending the proper relationship between truth and love within the family.

      Q: Does the Pope have a "theology of the family"?

      Archbishop Naumann: I would not necessarily say that Pope Benedict XVI has his own theology of the family, but that he teaches with unique clarity the mind of the Church.

      His new role as the universal pastor of the Church means that he is not out to suggest his own way of thinking, but to simply propose in new ways what the Church already believes.

      Pope Benedict's teaching on marriage and family is obviously consistent and in harmony with the teaching of Pope John Paul II. We must, therefore, read Pope Benedict within the context of John Paul II.

      If anyone hopes to understand the mind of Pope Benedict relative to the family, he or she needs to spend time with the writings of Pope John Paul II, especially "Familiaris Consortio" and his "Letter to Families."

      That being said, Pope Benedict is making some important applications, especially as to the situation in Europe, about the decline of the family's unique role in culture, and how a European culture separated from its Christian roots is harmful to family life.

      He recently affirmed that marriage is one of the issues that Catholics cannot allow any compromise. This should not be surprising, but it does suggest that this issue is very much something that concerns him.

      Q: Is there anything in the then Cardinal Ratzinger's writings or background that may provide a clue to his pastoral plan at the meeting?

      Archbishop Naumann: Again, I would first suggest that we can get insight into Cardinal Ratzinger's thinking by looking at the writings of Pope John Paul II.

      As prefect for Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger reviewed and contributed to the official writings of John Paul II. The two of them had a very close relationship and it is reasonable to think that they influenced each other.

      Aside from his collaborations with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict spoke many times with his own voice about the dignity of marriage and family.

      A few years ago, when then Cardinal Ratzinger addressed the Italian Senate, he identified three areas of concern for Europe -- one of which was the legal status of the family. He argued that Europe would no longer be Europe if the status of the family was essentially changed.

      From this I think it is safe to assume that he will vigorously defend a Christian understanding of the family. Christian people have a responsibility to stand against the dissolution of marriage and the family, and I imagine the Pope will remind the Church of her role as a defender of the family.

      We see in his motto, "cooperators veritatis," that he is especially concerned with truth. He believes the family, as well as being a place of love, is called to be a school of truth.

      Civilization must be founded on truth, and it is within the Christian family that truth is first lived and experienced. The relationship of the family to truth and love within culture is a theme that he has touched on in the past; whether he brings it up explicitly, it colors his entire approach to the subject.

      Q: It appears that the nations of Europe are aggressively trying to redefine the family. What can philosophers and theologians do to combat this trend?

      Archbishop Naumann: This is a critical issue facing the Church today. More and more, traditional marriage is under attack in Europe.

      The European Union, in particular, is pressuring all its members into abandoning the traditional definition of marriage and family. Europe is turning into a culture that is growing more hostile toward traditional marriage -- not just in practice but also in law.

      Pope Benedict has said, however, that either Europe is Christian or there is no Europe. The fight for the family, which is part of the fight for Europe's Christian identity, will determine whether Europe continues to exist as we know it.

      It is the responsibility of the laity to engage the emerging European culture and political order to remind Europe of its heritage and the dangers of abandoning the values that held Western civilization together through some very difficult periods of history.

      Philosophers and theologians must show the errors of an absolute secularization of European culture and provide coherent reasons to protect the family from being redefined into nonexistence.

      Europe has tragically suffered through countless wars, but the cultural war we see today and the growing widespread antagonism toward Christianity imperils the very soul of Europe in ways that Europe has to date been able to resist.

      This is no more evident than in the battle for marriage and the family, which is seen in the growing societal acceptance of anti-family forces such as contraception, divorce and homosexuality.

      It is up to the Church, especially those who can influence the public debate, to fight against a secular Europe, and uphold the dignity of traditional, Christian values.

      Q: The Pope has made several pronouncements criticizing same-sex unions. What are his reasons behind his conviction that they are not an acceptable form of the family?

      Archbishop Naumann: Same-sex unions are not marriages. The attempt to put same-sex unions on equal footing with marriage is a direct attack on the family, and the Pope is right to speak out aggressively in defense of traditional marriage.

      Marriage, by its natural purpose, is directed toward the complementary union of the man and the woman and the gift of children; homosexual relationships seek to remove sexuality from these goods.

      Marriage is not a convenient arrangement by which two individuals seek self-gratification. It is ordered toward the gift of self, both in the form of the spouses to each other and in the raising of children.

      Same-sex unions are a violation on the moral order. The premise of same-sex union is homosexual activity of the participants. Homosexual activity violates the natural law, clear biblical teaching and the consistent teaching of the magisterium of the Catholic Church.

      The effort to give societal approval to same-sex unions, consciously or unconsciously, undermines traditional marriage by equating it with sinful behaviors. While in fact, traditional marriage is an opportunity to imitate the love of Jesus for his spouse the Church.

      Q: How do you think Pope Benedict conceives of the family's role in the re-evangelization of Europe?

      Archbishop Naumann: My impression is that he believes that there cannot be a re-evangelization of Europe without a defense and renewal of the family. The two are intimately connected.

      His encyclical suggests that love is the source for hope. If there is to be a re-evangelization of Europe it will come through love, which is born from the family.




      On the Most Holy Trinity
      "Lover, Beloved and Love"

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before praying the midday Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

      * * *

      Dear Brothers and Sisters!

      On this Sunday, following that of Pentecost, we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

      Thanks to the Holy Spirit, who helps us to understand the words of Jesus and guides us into all the truth (John 14:26; 16:13), believers can know, so to speak, the intimacy of God himself, discovering that he is not infinite solitude, but communion of light and love, life given and received in an eternal dialogue between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit -- lover, beloved and love, to recall St. Augustine.

      So, no one can see God, but he himself has made himself known so that, with the Apostle John, we can affirm: "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16), "we know and believe the love God has for us" ("Deus Caritas Est," No. 1; cf. 1 John 4:16).

      Whoever encounters Christ and enters into a relationship of friendship with him, receives the very Trinitarian communion in his own soul, in keeping with the promise of Jesus to his disciples: "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23).

      For him who has faith, the whole universe speaks of God one and triune. From interstellar space to microscopic particles, all that exists refers to a being who communicates himself in the multiplicity and variety of the elements, as in an immense symphony.

      All beings are ordered according to a harmonic dynamism, which we can call, analogically, "love." But only in the human person, free and rational, this dynamism becomes spiritual, a responsible love, as response to God and to one's neighbor in a sincere gift of self. In this love the human being finds his truth and happiness.

      Among the different analogies of the ineffable mystery of God one and triune, which believers have the capacity to perceive, I would like to mention the family. It is called to be a community of love and life, in which differences must come together to become a "parable of communion."

      The masterpiece of the Most Holy Trinity among all creatures is the Virgin Mary: In her humble heart full of faith in God, he prepared a worthy dwelling for himself, to fulfill his mystery of salvation. Divine love found in her perfect correspondence, and the only-begotten Son was made man in her womb. With filial confidence let us turn to Mary, so that, with her help, we will be able to progress in love and make our lives songs of praise to the Father, through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

      [Translation by ZENIT]

      [At the end of the Angelus, the Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

      I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus. Today we celebrate the great solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

      In praising the Father who sent into the world the word who is truth and the Spirit who makes us holy, let us strengthen our commitment to bear witness to our faith, bringing Christ's "good news" to our families, our work places and all whom we meet.

      Upon each of you and your loved ones at home, I invoke God's blessings of peace and joy!




      Marianist Lay Communities
      Founded After French Revolution

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (ZENIT.org).- Here is the description of the Marianist Lay Communities which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

      * * *

      Official name: Marianist Lay Communities

      Acronym: MLC

      Established: 1993

      History: The MLC have emerged from the Marian congregations that were brought into being by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-¬1850) in Bordeaux, France, in 1800 to guide the lay faithful in seri¬ous personal spirituality, love for Our Lady, and practical apostolic commitment within society, de-Christianized by the French Revo¬lution.

      ln 1808, the Marian congregations were also joined by mem¬bers of the women's youth association founded in Agen by the ven¬erable Mother Adele de Batz de Trenquelléon. The experience rap¬idly spread beyond France's borders.

      A few years later, when a num¬ber of congregations declared their readiness to embrace total consecration to God under the guidance and protection of Mary, Father Chaminade founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1816) and the Society of Mary (1817), his two religious congrega¬tions.

      The Marianists family was born, made up of laity, male and female religious, priests, united in the single mission of spreading knowledge and love for Mary, and in particular educating the younger generations in the faith. ln 1993, the lay branch of the fam¬ily, whose communities scattered throughout the world met for the first time in Santiago, Chile, adopted their own international gov¬ernment structure.

      ln 1996, the World Council of the Marianists Fam¬ily was established, comprising the MLCs' International Team, the representative of the Alliance Mariale and the General Councils of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Marianists.

      On March 25, 2000, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Comunidades Laicas Marianistas as an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.

      Identity: The MLC are communities of lay Christians who place themselves at the service of the Church's mission in the world according to the charism of the founders.

      Their members strive to be strong in the faith and persevering in hope; to accept Mary as their Mother, model and teacher, for she accepted the presence of the Spirit in her life in order to give God to the world, and she invites us to put into practice the words of our Lord that we can respond to the needs of all people; live the faith in small com¬munities, following the example of the early Christians; to be mes¬sengers of the Gospel, watchful of the signs of the times, working to spread the Kingdom of God and to build up a world of peace and justice, with a preferential option for the poor.

      Organization: The MLC are structured into local, national, and regional groups. Every community at each level is headed by a person or by a team. All the national groups make up the regions, coordinated by regional representatives.

      The international coordination of the asso¬ciation is performed by the Assembly -- which meets every four years attended by the members of the International Team, officials from the national communities and their spiritual advisers -- and the Interna¬tional Team, which represents the association and is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the Assembly.

      Membership: The MLC are present in 28 countries around the world.

      Publications: The MLC produce national publications

      Web site: www.marianist.org


      Comunidades Laicas Marianistas
      Achával 538
      C1406 CWH
      Buenos Aires -- Argentina

      Tel. (54) 11-432-3111

      E-mail: cbeneitez@...

      © Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]


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