VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a message to participants in the national congress of the Italian Catholic Press Union (UCSI). The congress, held last week, commemorated the institution's fiftieth anniversary.
"Half a century after the foundation of the UCSI many things have changed", writes the Holy Father. This change has been "more visible in areas ranging from science to technology, from the economy to geopolitics; less perceptible but deeper, and more worrying, in the field of modern culture, in which respect for the dignity of the individual seems to have notably diminished, along with a sense of such values as justice, freedom and solidarity, which are so essential for the survival of a society".
The work of Catholic journalists, says the Pope, "anchored in a heritage of principles that have their roots in the Gospel, ... is even more arduous today. To your characteristic sense of responsibility and spirit of service, you must add an ever great professionalism, and a capacity for dialogue with the 'lay' world in the search for shared values".
After telling the journalists that "you will be listened to more readily when the testimony of your own lives is coherent", the Holy Father assures them that "no small number of your 'lay' colleagues expect from you the silent witness - not only in appearance but in substance - of a life inspired by the values of faith".
Benedict XVI writes of his awareness that they are committed to "an ever more demanding task, one in which spaces for freedom are often under threat, and economic and political interests often take precedence over the spirit of service and the criterion of the common good.
"I encourage you", he adds in conclusion, "not to make compromises in such important values but to have the courage of coherence, even at the cost of personal sacrifice. Serenity of conscience is a priceless quality".
see the entire article at the Boston College site:
An Instruction from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on ethical issues arising from biomedical research, provides guidance on how to respect human life and human procreation in our heavily scientific age.
Also see Vatican.va
"With the strength that comes from prayer, the family becomes a community of disciples and missionaries of Christ. ... Through the experience of filial obedience to God, faithfulness and generosity in welcoming children, care for the weakest and readiness to forgive, the family becomes a living Gospel which everyone may read". Benedict XVI January 2009
(Another day) "that day I met the chairwoman of the Anti-Defamation League’s New England regional board, Esta Gordon Epstein, and the new regional director, Derek Shulman. During our meeting, they gave me copy of a new book, “My Jewish Friend,” which the ADL is now using in various outreach and educational programs. "
America Magazine; December 8, 2008 Review of No One Sees God: the dark night of Atheists and Believers by Michael Novak
“God speaks quietly. But he gives us all kinds of signs. In retrospect, especially, we can see that he has given us a little nudge through a friend, through a book, or through what we see as a failure—even through accidents. Life is actually full of these silent indications. If I remain alert, then slowly…I begin to feel how God is guiding me.” Pope Benedict XVI
"The first feature of the good Pastor is to know their sheep (Jn 10:14). The Pauline family has an enormous opening onto the whole world, and in its whole apostolate...Its aspirations are those of the heart of Jesus. With Mary's eucharistic spirit we must implore everything from Jesus, the Divine Master, present in the Host."
Blessed James Alberione
- The Constitutions of the Missionaries of Charity define the poorest of the poor. Paulines can also use this definition for the Spiritual Works of Mercy - Mother Teresa told some of our sisters this:
- feeding the hungry: not only with food but also with the Word of God;
giving drink to the thirsty: not only for water, but for knowledge, peace, truth, justice, and love;
clothing the naked: not only with clothes, but also with human dignity;
giving shelter to the homeless: not only a shelter made of bricks but a heart that understands, that covers, that loves;
nursing the sick and dying: not only the body, but also the mind and spirit
"At the beginning of the new year", he said, "my first objective is precisely to invite all leaders and ordinary citizens not to be disheartened in the face of difficulties or failures, and to renew their commitments".
The Holy Father noted that "in the second part of 2008, an economic crisis of vast proportions arose. This crisis must be examined in detail as a serious symptom that requires intervention at its roots. It is not enough - as Jesus would say - to take a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Putting the poor in first place means decidedly moving toward the global solidarity that John Paul II pointed out as necessary, co-ordinating the potentialities of the market with those of civil society in constant respect of the law and tending always to the common good".
"Jesus Christ", the Pope concluded, "did not organize campaigns against poverty but proclaimed the Gospel for a complete ransom from moral and material misery to the poor. The Church, with its unceasing labors of evangelization and human promotion, does the same. We call on the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, to help all men and women walk together the Path of peace".
The Pauline perspective is one of creating a different economic space - the space marked out by the body of Christ. The economy of giving "I came that they may have life abundantly." For Paulines liberation must include liberation from consumerism and the subtle manipulatins media use to exert upon the very hearts and minds of people.