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Thursday, April 14, 2005


VATICAN CITY, APR 14, 2005 (VIS) - Today, at the end of the tenth General Congregation of Cardinals in the period of the vacant see, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following statement to journalists:

  "The tenth General Congregation began this morning at 9 in the New Synod Hall. There were 142 cardinals present.

  "After the invocation to the Holy Spirit, the cardinals listened to the first of the meditations concerning the problems of the Church and the enlightened choice of the new Pontiff (Apostolic Constitution, 'Universi Dominici gregis', no. 13d) given by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., preacher of the Papal Household.

  "At the end of the meditation the cardinals dedicated a period of time to silence and prayer.

  "As of today the following are part of the Particular Congregation: Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re for the Order of Bishops, Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga for the Order of Priests and Crescenzio Sepe for the Order of Deacons.

  "There was a drawing of lots for the assignments of the rooms the cardinals will occupy in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

  "Following several clarifications on the interpretation of the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis, the cardinals resumed an exchange of ideas on the situation of the Church and the world.

  "With the Regina Coeli prayer, today's General Congregation concluded."


VATICAN CITY, APR 14, 2005 (VIS) - Last evening in St Peter's Basilica, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, presided at the sixth "novendiali" (nine days of mourning) Mass for the repose of the soul of John Paul II.

  During the Eucharistic celebration, to which members of the Roman Curia were especially invited, Archbishop Sandri affirmed: "To us, above all, falls the task of bringing to fruition the legacy that this extraordinary Pope left to the Church and to the entire world in the course of his life and at the moment of his death."

  "In the Apostolic Letter 'Novo millennio ineunte,' which the Pope signed at the end of the Great Jubilee Year 2000, he traced the guidelines for the beginning of the third Christian millennium, indicating Vatican Council II as the 'sure compass' to guide the Church's journey in the new millenium. ... By calling the Year of the Rosary, he again wished to highlight the importance of devotion to the Virgin Mary. With the special Year of the Eucharist that we are now living, ... the Supreme Pontiff reiterated the centrality of the Eucharistic mystery in the Church."

  The substitute of the Secretariat of State emphasized the late pontiff's great love "for Christ, truly present in the Sacrament of the altar. This love becomes almost an invocation in the title of the Apostolic Letter 'Mane nobiscum Domine,' his last document for the Year of the Eucharist."

  "Those who were able to follow the Pope's daily activity most closely, witnessed his profound love for the Eucharist. Before taking important decisions, he would spend a long time before the Most Holy Sacrament, taking the dossiers to be studied with him into his private chapel, and setting aside a time for reflection and prayer before the Tabernacle. Each choice would thus always and exclusively arise from the search for God's will and for the true good of the Church."

  Archbishop Sandri referred to "a new element that emerged of the personality and the spirituality of the Pope, especially in the months marked by a progressive worsening of his health: the simplicity and poverty of his life. Those who had the opportunity to meet him on various occasions in the last weeks could not avoid feeling a sense of admiration for the modesty of the furnishings that surrounded him, as well as for his humility and simplicity, his sense of detachment and the complete willingness with which he abandoned himself in God's hands."

   "Here is the great example," the archbishop concluded, "and the precious teaching that the late pontiff leaves to each of us called to work in the Roman Curia, the heart of Catholicism. It is an example of simplicity and detachment, of faithful and disinterested service in the Lord's vineyard, of constant willingness and docile compliance with the will of God."
.../NOVENDIALI/SANDRI                            VIS 20050414 (490)

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