Vol. 10 No. 12
September 25, 2006
CBCP MonitorCBCP Monitor
Building Ecclesial Communion is everyBishop’s Duty
VATICAN CITY, September 21,2006—This morning in the ApostolicPalace at Castelgandolfo, in a tradi-tional encounter for this time of year,the Pope received a group of re-cently-appointed bishops who areparticipating in a meeting in Rome.“Following Christ’s example,”the Pope told them, “each of you, inthe daily nurture of your flock, mustbecome ‘all things to all men,’ pre-senting the truth of faith, celebrat-ing the sacraments of our sanctifica-tion and bearing witness to theLord’s charity. Welcome with anopen heart those who knock at yourdoor, advise them, console them andsupport them on the way of God.”“Demonstrate this care, in thefirst place, towards priests. Alwaysact towards them as fathers and el-der brothers who know how to lis-ten, accept, comfort and, when nec-essary, also correct.”Benedict XVI then went on toremind the bishops that, by virtue of their power to govern, they are called“to judge and discipline the life of the people of God entrusted to theirpastoral care, with laws, indicationsand suggestions, in accordance withwhat is laid down by the universaldiscipline of the Church. This rightand duty of bishops is absolutelyvital in order that the diocesan com-munity may be internally united andprogress in profound union of faith,of love and of discipline with theBishop of Rome and with the entireChurch. ... Building ecclesial com-munion,” he said, “must be yourdaily duty.”“Serenity in relationships, deli-cacy in dealings with others and sim-plicity of life are gifts that withoutdoubt enrich the human personalityof a bishop. ... The total giving of self, which the care of the Lord’sflock requires, needs the support of an intense spiritual life nourished byassiduous individual and communityprayer.”The Holy Father called on thebishops to ensure that their days becharacterized by “a constant contactwith God,” and explained how “liv-ing in intimate union with Christ willhelp you to strike that vital balancebetween inner meditation and theexertions required for the multipleoccupations of life, avoiding thedanger of excessive activism.”“Following Christ, the Pastorand Bishop of your souls,” he con-cluded, “you will be encouraged totend tirelessly towards sanctity,which is the fundamental aim of thelife of all Christians.”
sadors accredited to the Holy Seefrom countries with Muslim majori-ties, and about 15 representativesof Islamic groups active in Italy. Inan unusual break from commonpractice, the Vatican furnished anArabic translation of the Pope’sremarks. The Arabic television net-work Al Jazeera provided live cov-erage of the meeting.The Pope said that he wantedto express his “esteem and pro-found respect” for Muslims, andreminded the group that “from thevery beginning of my pontificate”he had sought to continue thepolicies of his predecessor, PopeJohn Paul II, in making commoncause with Islamic leaders. He citedhis remarks to Muslim leaders inCologne last August, when he saidthat cooperation between the twofaiths is “a vital necessity, onwhich in large measure our futuredepends.”Gently introducing a maintheme of his lecture inRegensburg, the Pontiff said thatthis cooperation is necessary inorder to counteract the growingpower of secularism and relativ-ism. Christians and Muslims, heobserved, can unite in manycauses, “especially those con-cerning the defense and promo-tion of the dignity of the humanperson and of the rights arising fromthat dignity.”In pursuing their dialogue, thePope continued, Christian and Islamicleaders should learn from “the lessonsof the past,” and recognize that it iscrucially important “to guard againstall forms of intolerance and to opposeall manifestations of violence.”The Pope concluded his remarksby sending his greetings to the Mus-lim world as the annual season of Ramadan begins. The Pope’s addressreceived warm applause from the dip-lomats who were present atCastelgandolfo. After finishing histalk, the Pontiff made a point of greeting each one of his guestsindividually. The diplomatspresent for the 30-minute audienceincluded envoys from Albania,Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Kuwait, Indo-nesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jor-dan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco,Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Syria,Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen.Alsoincluded were representatives of the Arab League and the IslamicCouncil of Italy.
Use media effectively, Vatican officialtells new bishopsAmid Criticism and Violence the First Balanced Views aboutthe Pope’s Speeach Appear
VATICAN, Sep. 25, 2006—The presi-dent of the Pontifical Council forSocial Communications has advisednewly appointed bishops that theyshould take care to develop goodrelations with the media.Archbishop John Foley spokeon September 23 to a seminar for newbishops, organized by the Congre-gation for Bishops. Offering his ad-vice, he said that bishops shouldstrive to develop a “climate of confi-dence” with the media, and learnsomething about the workings of newspapers, radio, television, andpress agencies in their dioceses.Noting “certain recent scan-dals” that had demanded publicstatements from diocesan leaders, theAmerican archbishop said that bish-ops should be prepared to make useof the mass media to respond to ur-gent inquiries and to spread theirown messages.It is desirable to use the mediawhenever possible to spread themessage of the Catholic Church,Archbishop Foley said. “Unfortu-nately, these opportunities are notseized” often enough, he said. Whilerecognizing that at times the mediamight act as adversaries, he re-marked that bishops might neverhave better opportunities to presenttheir messages to the public.He cautioned the new bishops,however, that they should be care-ful never to say anything that theywould not want to see repeated inthe headlines. He also told the bish-ops that if they are unsure about theappropriate answer to a particularquestion, they should not give ananswer that might later prove inac-curate; he urged them to recognizethe tactical use of responding to aquestion with a question of theirown.Archbishop Foley said that di-ocesan officials could do more workto ensure media coverage of eventsin the life of the Church. Ceremoniessuch as confirmations, he said, of-fered chances to explain the Church’srituals to the public, while the mediaorgans would be more likely to coverevents that involve local residents.
ROME, September 17, 2006– FormerIranian President MohammadKhatami said the full text of the Popespeech in Regensburg should beread before making any commentson its contents.“I hope that the reports in thisregard are misinterpreted as suchremarks [as reported in the press] areusually made by uninformed and fa-natic people but my impression of the pope was rather an educated andpatient man,” Khatami said after hisreturn to Tehran from a two-weekvisit to the United States.Khatami’s is the first balancedstatement to come out of the Mus-lim world with regard to the Pope’sremarks about statements made byManuel II Palaiologos, who said thatthe “new things” brought by Islamare only evil things.Today during the Angelus,Benedict XVI again insisted that theByzantine emperor’s words do notreflect his views.As made clear in yesterday’spress release by the Vatican Secre-tary of State Cardinal TarcisioBertone, the text of the Pope’sproclusion (inaugural address)shows that the Pontiff only wantedto express his “rejection of the reli-gious motivation for violence, fromwhatever side it may come”.So far reactions in the Muslimworld, which have ranged from out-rage and criticism to violence, havebeen based solely on media excerpts.There are not as yet any translationsof the Pope’s speech into Arabic orany Eastern languages.Like Iran’s Khatami, IndonesianPresident Susilo BambangYudhoyono has also been more bal-anced in his reaction. Speaking fromHavana (Cuba) where he is attendinga summit of non-aligned countries, hesaid that “Indonesian Muslimsshould have wisdom, patience, andself-restraint to address this sensitiveissue. . . . We need them so that har-mony among people is not at stake”.Susilo, who presides over thefate of the largest Muslim country inthe world, urged the Holy See to “bevery quick to respond this very sen-sitive issue by issuing some correc-tions and constructive gestures thatwould decrease tension” betweenMuslims and Christians.In the meantime protests andviolence continue in some parts of the Muslim world. Some 200 Iranianclerics and seminary students gath-ered on Sunday in Qom, 135kilometres south of the capitalTehran, to protest against what theycalled anti-Islamic remarks by PopeBenedict XVI. In protest against thepope’s remarks, the country’s clergyseminary centre said all seminariesthroughout the country would beclosed on Sunday.In the West Bank two churchessuffered damages when stones andMolotov cocktails were thrown atthem.
Cardinal Toppo: “Face Islamic Protests with Truth, Courageand Prayer”
RANCHI, India, September 16,2006—The president of the CatholicBishops’ Conference of India hastold
that the recent pro-tests against the speech of BenedictXVI in Regensburg are a great gift tothe Church, to be used at this his-toric moment in time to launch seri-ous and lasting inter-faith dialogue.The Christian community in In-dia must face Muslim protestsagainst the Pope’s address “withChristian courage and prayer be-cause truth needs no other defense”.This was the thrust of a statementgiven to
by CardinalTelesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi and president of the Catho-lic Bishops’ Conference of India.We publish the text of the state-ment in full: “These protests by ourMuslim brothers, which started yes-terday after Friday prayers, are mis-placed as the Pope has not com-mented on Islam; he only quoted aByzantine emperor and another greatPersian scholar. I have read the textof Benedict XVI, it is an eight-pagespeech and what has sparked all thisis just one quotation extrapolatedfrom the context.The crowds that have taken tothe streets of India are probably re-acting to articles in local newspapersabout the speech of the pope, wheresome of his phrases have beenquoted out of context.This is also symbolic of the situ-ation today: without even contextu-ally situating the text, or dwelling onits meaning, some people have takenthe quotation as a cue to take to thestreets in protests.This is the time for all Christiansto be patient and pray for those whodo not understand. The situationwhich comes at this point in time isalso a great gift for the church - forus to engage in serious and lastingdialogue with our brothers and sis-ters of different faiths. A true cultureof tolerance is possible only in a dia-logue of religious identities.The Holy Father was quotingfrom history and he was trying toshow us a way through faith and rea-son in today’s terrorist ridden soci-ety. These reactions are indicativeof what the Pope was trying to em-phasize—only reason and enlight-enment through faith bring aboutmutual respect and peace.I am not saddened by these pro-tests: we have to face them withChristian courage and prayer be-cause truth needs no defense.The teachings of any religionspreach justice, peace and brother-hood. These elements bring aboutunity in humankind, if applied and aqualitative change in people’s lives.Truth, beauty and unity residein the heart of man who seeks andprofesses authentic religion.Benedict XVI was making a veryclear emphasis, that violence is notcompatible with the nature of God.Violence and killing is contrary to thenature of the Divine. He was veryclear that God is love and love en-sures and brings forth life. God islife-giving. That is the fundamentalreason why such a respected andhighly-acclaimed theologian like thepope gave such a clear message inhis first encyclical -
Deus Caritas Est
Card. Vidal: “Terrorism must notstrike ASEAN summit”
CEBU CITY, September 22, 2006—The Archbishop of Cebu City, Car-dinal Ricardo Vidal is praying thatthe upcoming ASEAN meeting willbe a success and he has appealed to“all those who may want to strikeleaders of Asian nations: stay awayfrom the meeting, which is takingplace here to achieve good.”Speaking to
, the car-dinal said the upcoming meeting of the Association of Southeast AsianNations Summit, due to be held inCebu from 11 to 14 December, couldbe a “target for terrorists withscruples. We must pray nothing hap-pens.”The 12th ASEAN gatheringbrings together political and eco-nomic leaders of Brunei, Cambodia,Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malay-sia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam,East Timor and the Philippines. Top-ics on the agenda include povertyreduction andthe war on ter-rorism.CardinalVidal said:“For the pasttwo weeks, aspecial prayerfor the suc-cess of theASEAN Sum-mit has been said at the end of Massin Cebu churches. I urge police andlocal officials to ensure adequate se-curity measures for the delegatesand I ask my co-citizens to help sothat this summit may proceed with-out hitches.In the cardinal’s view, “the au-thorities should work to make theentire country secure so foreign del-egates will feel confident they aresafe while attending the summit.”
Pope Meets / from p1
Pope Benedict XVI (L) addresses a meeting on Monday, 25 September 2006 at hissummer residence in Castelgandolfo. The pontiff met Muslim ambassadors andItalian Islamic leaders on Monday in an unprecedented move to try to defuse angerover his use of a medieval text which says their religion was spread by violence."Christians and Muslims must learn to work together ... in order to guard against allforms of intolerance and to oppose all manifestations of violence," the 79-year-oldPope said at the meeting in a frescoed hall of the papal summer palace.
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