Holy See: May 2011 Archives

Today, Pope Benedict XVI appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization the following:

  • Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University;
  • Fr. Pierangelo Sequeri, vice rector and professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy and lecturer in Aesthetics of the Holy at the Academy of Fine Arts in  Brera, Milan;
  • Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., professor of dogmatic theology at Mundelein Seminary;
  • Sr. Mary Lou Wirtz, F.C.J.M., general superior of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and president of the Union of Superior Generals (UISG);
  • Dr. Chiara Amirante, founder and president of the New Horizons Association of the diocese of Anagni-Alatri, Italy;
  • Mr. Kiko Arguello, a co-initiator of the Neo-Catechumenal Way;
  • Prof. Lucetta Scaraffia, professor of contemporary history in the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at "La Sapienza" University.
  • The list of cardinals and bishops who will be advisors to Archbishops Rino Fisichella and José Octavio Ruiz Arenas can be seen here (they were announced some time ago).

    Assemblying this new pontifical council has been very slow. The address of the offices and websites have yet to be made known! Communications and members of the consultors should been, in common estimation, ought to have been done more quickly. The presence of two American sisters, one of whom was a professor of mine, is noteworthy. You can't get much better than Sister Sara Butler. Plus, I am elated that Fathers Julián Carrón,  Pascual Chavez Villanueva and Fernando Ocariz are on this list. Perhaps a few more North and South American laity could have been appointed. But that will come in time.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered a circular letter to the world's bishops asking for help in working for the common good of the faithful --protecting children from abusive priests. The CDF wants each of the bishops' conferences around the globe to develop the appropriate processes assist the diocesan bishops in helping victim, educating the ecclesial community, forming priests, and being clear agents of charity and justice.

Cardinal Levada's letter to bishops.

The Circular Letter can be read here.

The explanatory letter from the Press Office

The regular cycle of the Pope's work is addressing those groups that advise him on a variety of subjects like theology, law, science, politics, life issues, etc. Benedict's address to Professor Mary Ann Glendon, President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, talks about the theme of "Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: the Case of Religious Freedom." He reminds not only the head of this academy about the deep roots of Western culture being Christian, but it was Christianity that gave humanity the awareness of the various freedoms we know and love, that contribute to human flourishing and many time even take for granted. It was the Christian gospel that upheld and promoted the dignity of the human person, protected women and children, that organized labor freedom of worship, and other social systems. Most notably, the Pope reminds us, that the freedoms spoken of in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights have their roots in our belief and life in Christ. However, we can't become smug --too satisfied-- with what we've been given, even freedom. The Pope's talk is not long but here are some germaine points for us to consider:

Deeply inscribed in our human nature are a yearning for truth and meaning and an openness to the transcendent; we are prompted by our nature to pursue questions of the greatest importance to our existence. Many centuries ago, Tertullian coined the term libertas religionis (cf. Apologeticum, 24:6). He emphasized that God must be worshipped freely, and that it is in the nature of religion not to admit coercion, "nec religionis est cogere religionem" (Ad Scapulam, 2:2). Since man enjoys the capacity for a free personal choice in truth, and since God expects of man a free response to his call, the right to religious freedom should be viewed as innate to the fundamental dignity of every human person, in keeping with the innate openness of the human heart to God. In fact, authentic freedom of religion will permit the human person to attain fulfilment and will thus contribute to the common good of society.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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This page is a archive of entries in the Holy See category from May 2011.

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