Holy See: June 2011 Archives

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The Pope met with "The Most Distinguished Prof. Giovanni Maria Vian, Editor-in-Chief of L'Osservatore Romano" today observing the paper's 150th anniversary to what is called "A service to truth and to justice." Hearty congrats to Prof. Vian and to his staff for the insight, planning, and good journalism for the world-wide Catholic communion. The paper is often said the "pope's newspaper" and that it's the official newspaper of the pope. In reality L'Osservatore Romano is not that controlled by neither the Pope nor the Secretary of State, though the latter is the supervisor of the paper. Recall that the LOR was not founded by a pope or a member of the Roman Curia; it was a personal initative of the laity with support of the papal government of 1870. As Benedict recalls for us in his address to Vian and staff, the principle of justice based on Christ's promise that evil would not triumph is what oriented the work of LOR. The only official part of the paper is the list of papal appointments. It would be simple to dismiss the paper or to look at LOR as mere parrotting of papal ideology. On the contrary, LOR does excellent work with matters to faith, reason, culture, and politics and related interests Prof. Vian has taken the LOR to a new level. LOR is "a paper of ideas, an organ of formation, not only of information."

The papal address is posted here and the concluding paragraphs are noted below.

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"In our day -- frequently marked by the lack of reference points and the removal of God from the horizon of many societies, even of those with an ancient Christian tradition -- the Holy See's daily stands as a "paper of ideas", an organ of formation and not only of information. It must therefore be able to stick faithfully to the task it has carried out in this past century and a half, paying attention in addition to the Christian East, to the irreversible ecumenical commitment of the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the constant quest for friendship and collaboration with Judaism and with the other religions, to discussion and to cultural exchanges, to the voice of women and to bioethical topics that give rise to questions crucial to us all.

By pursuing its open policy towards new signatures, and an increasing number of contributors -- and highlighting the internet dimension and breadth of readership, present since the daily newspaper's very beginning,  after 150 years of a history of which it may well be proud, L'Osservatore Romano knows how to express the Holy See's cordial friendship for the humanity of our time, in defence of the human person created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by Christ. 

For all these reasons I wish to address my grateful thoughts to all those have worked on the newspaper of the Holy See from 1861 to this day: to the Director, to the editorial staff and all the personnel. To you, the Editor-in-Chief,  and to all who cooperate today in this exciting, demanding and praiseworthy service to truth and justice, as well as to the benefactors and supporters, I assure my constant spiritual closeness and warmly impart a special Apostolic Blessing.


Gerry O'Connell speaks to the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Scola - son of a socialist truck driver and a profoundly Catholic mother. He is also a leading intellectual in the Italian Bishops' Conference and one of the more creative and original thinkers in the College of Cardinals.


Q. What do you see as the main challenges facing the Catholic Church today? 

A. I think the principal challenge, which the Church shares with every other social subject in the field, is the interpretation of the post-modern. The question is; have we, or have we not entered the post-modern world? Certainly the collapse of the Berlin Wall has marked a rather radical mutation that can be seen in certain macroscopic phenomena.

Indeed, what is happening in the Middle East is like a second phase of what happened in 1989. There is obviously a strong desire for freedom on the part of peoples on the world stage, and that comes with an urgent demand for real participation. 

This has complicated even more that which I call the process of the mixing of civilizations and cultures; that is, a process of movement and displacement of peoples which will become even more radical in the coming decades. All this has made it made more urgent for us in Europe to gain a deeper knowledge of Islam. 

Then there is the question of the progress of techno-sciences, especially in bio-engineering, cloning, bio-convergence, informatics, biology, molecular physics, neuroscience and so on. All these phenomena are producing a different kind of man and so the challenge for the Church is the same as for all humanity: What kind of man does the man of the third millennium wish to be?

Benedict launches new news portal.jpgToday, Pope Benedict launched a new Vatican website with a new iPad. 

The Pope made tweet today --the first ever by a Supreme Pontiff-- when he launched the brand new news portal, News.va. This news portal collects all the communications into one place: the news will be updated in English at least 3 times a day.

And, what did the Pope say? His Holiness tweeted:

"Dear Friends, I just launched news.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI."

He tweeted in English.

Watch the Pope as he's presented with the iPad.
Angelo Scola detail.jpgLong predicted by the ever-present vaticanisti, Angelo Cardinal Scola, until now the Patriarch (archbishop) of Venice, is nominated to be the archbishop of Milan. Cardinal Scola replaces Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, 77, who has served Milan since 2002 and who celebrates 54 years of priesthood today, in fact.

Two former 20th century archbishops of Milan have been elected Pope: Achille Ratti and Giusseppi Montini; and one 20th century predecessor is a beatus of the same See: Ildelfonso Schuster, OSB. But we can also say that Pope Paul VI is a Servant of God. Of course, Scola becomes the successor to the great Saint Ambrose and Saint Charles Borromeo!

The Archdiocese of Milan has been in existence since the 1st century and is said to be the largest diocese in the world with more than 4.88 million faithful of 5.29 inhabitants (as of 2009) in 1625 square miles with more than 1100 parishes and nearly 3000 priests. There are 5 auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese; there are 9 suffragan Sees. Milan also just had three of her children beatified: Sister Enrichetta Alfieri (1891-1951), Fathers Serafino Morazzone (1747-1822) and Clemente Vismara (1897-1988) on the 26th.

Scola's biography is widely accomplished ... The new Ambrosian archbishop has been a priest for 41 years, a bishop for nearly 20 and a cardinal for almost 8. His titular Church in Rome --one of my favorites and the one where Pope Clement the XIV is buried-- is the Church of the Twelve Apostles.
Vincent Long Van Nguyen, OFM Conv.jpgThe Church in Melbourne, Australia saw the Holy Spirit consecrate a former boat person turned Conventual Franciscan priest turn auxiliary bishop on Thursday. The witness of his life is testimony of the hand of God leading. 

Vincent Long Van Nguyên is the first Vietnamese bishop in Australia and one of three in the English speaking world. The USA has Bishop Dominic Mai Luong of Orange County, California and Bishop Vincent Nguyên Manh Hieu of Toronto.

Father Vincent Long Van Nguyên OFM Conv, is now an Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne holding the title of Bishop of Thala. But his personal narrative is beautiful.

In 1981, Long was an 18-year-old refugee who arrived in Australia knowing no English, having no personal connections with anyone, knowing nothing of Australian culture. One can only say that 31 years ago Long was given the gift of a new life in moving -with tremendous difficulty--from oppression to freedom.

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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About this Archive

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

Holy See: May 2011 is the previous archive.

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