Columns
from issue no.06/07 - 2006


CHURCH

The Pope and sacred music


The Pope with Domenico Bartolucci

The Pope with Domenico Bartolucci

On 24 June last in the Sistine chapel the conductor Domenico Bartolucci, nominated in 1956 “perpetual” conductor director of the Pontifical Musical Chapel – he was succeeded on 29 May 1997 by the conductor director Giuseppe Liberto – gave a polyphonic concert in honor of Pope Benedict XVI. On the occasion, other than pieces from Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, works written by Monsignor Bertolucci himself were performed, among which an Oremus pro Pontifice written the day after the election of Pope Ratzinger. L’Osservatore Romano of 26-27 June reported the speech given on the occasion by the Pontiff, who as well as thanking the maestro for the «precious gift» of that concert, said: «All the pieces performed contribute to confirming the conviction that sacred polyphony, particularly that of the so-called “Roman school”, constitutes a patrimony to be preserved with care, to be kept alive and made known, for the benefit not only of connoisseurs and enthusiasts, but of the ecclesial community as a whole, for whom it constitutes an inestimable spiritual, artistic and cultural inheritance… Authentic updating of sacred music is impossible except in the wake of the great tradition of the past».




CHURCH

Martini and the question of Jesus


Carlo Maria Martini in Jerusalem

Carlo Maria Martini in Jerusalem

We report a passage from an article by Arrigo Levi published in La Stampa of 11 June: «The faith of Carlo Maria Martini is all the more credible the more it is infused with mystery. He knows that at every moment faith, religious or secular, faith in God or faith in man, is only a gift received, a gift of unknown origins, powerful but fragile. In that Florentine dialogue of ours he recalled “a mysterious phrase of Jesus, who asks himself: will the Son of Man, returning, find faith upon the Earth?” This, he said to me, “is not a rhetorical question, it is a real question, and Jesus asks it”. Will the faith resist the absurdity that human freedom will set in the world?» And in conclusion, the article reports Martini’s reflection about this question: «“I ask the question, I don’t dare respond. Here in Jerusalem, above all I pray the prayer of intercession: I don’t reflect on events, but I pray about them”».




CHURCH

Ruini and the baptism of children


The Baptistery of Saint John Lateran

The Baptistery of Saint John Lateran

«Baptism cannot be denied to the children of couples who don’t respect the precepts of the Church. The word of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who condemned the practice of “not admitting to baptism the children of families or of irregular couples who do not give any guarantee of offering to their children a Christian education”, defining it in no uncertain terms as “a pastorally destructive temptation but present however in a certain number of Roman clergy”». This is the nub of the speech by Cardinal Ruini at The World Meeting of Families held in Valencia, published in Corriere della Sera of 8 July.





Tarcisio Bertone

Tarcisio Bertone

Curia/1
The announcement of the nomination of the new Secretary of State

On 22 June the Vatican press Office, in an unusual procedure, made the following announcement: «The Holy Father has accepted, in accordance with canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, the resignation of His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, requesting him, however, to remain in office until 15 September 2006, with all the faculties belonging to that office. On that same given date – the 15 September next – the Holy Father will nominate Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa, as the new Secretary of State. On that occasion, His Holiness will receive in audience superiors and officials of the Secretariat of State, to publicly thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano for his long and generous service to the Holy See and to present the new Secretary of State to them».
On the same date the Pope then sent a letter in his own hand to the archdiocese of Genoa, to explain his choice. Here is the text of the letter, dated 22 June but made public the day after by the Vatican Press Office: «Dear Faithful of Genoa, peace and apostolic blessing! I write you on the occasion on which the nomination of your archbishop as the new Secretary of State has been announced. In these three years in which he has led the Church in Genoa, you have come to appreciate the gifts and qualities that make him a faithful pastor, particularly capable of combining pastoral attention and doctrinal knowledge. It is these very characteristics, together with mutual acquaintance and trust, matured over the years of common service in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that led me to choose him for the high and delicate task of service to the universal Church, at the Holy See. I know that I have asked a great sacrifice of Cardinal Bertone; I know that that of the faithful entrusted to his care in Genoa is no less. But I am certain that his affection and his prayer for your community will be brought ad Petri sedem. The history of your diocese testifies to a generous fidelity to the Vicar of Christ, to which I appeal also in virtue of the name I have chosen for this my Petrine ministry which is the name of the last Genovese Pope, so devoted to the Mother of Watchfulness to whom I entrust everyone in this moment of delicate passage, but rich in grace, because always “in everything God works for good with those who love Him”(Rm 8.28). Precisely in virtue of this your faithful and obedient generosity toward the Holy See, I will set about dealing as soon as possible with the nomination of the new successor to the Chair of Saint Sirus. I ask you to join me in prayer to the Spirit so that He may help us in this choice and for now I assure you of my remembrance and my apostolic blessing in prayer for all the elements of the Church in Genoa: for the pastors, the consecrated, families, the young, the sick».
Cardinal Sodano, from Isola d’Asti in Piedmont, who will be 79 years old on 23 November next, has led the Vatican Secretariat of State since 1 December 1990. Cardinal Bertone, a Salesian from Romano Canavese in Piedmont (province of Turin and diocese of Ivrea), will be 72 years old on 2 December next, and has been archbishop of Genoa since December 2002. He was formerly, for seven years, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith led by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.


Curia/2
Announcement of the nomination of the new governor of the State of Vatican City.

On 22 June the Vatican Press Office made the following announcement: «The Holy Father has accepted, according to canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, the resignation of His Eminence Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City and president of the Governorship of the same State, asking him however, to remain in office until 15 September 2006, with all the faculties inherent in that office. On that date – the 15 September next – the Holy Father will nominate His Excellency Monsignor Giovanni Lajolo, titular archbishop of Cesariana and Secretary of the Department for Relations with the States, of the Secretariat of State, as new president of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City and president of the Governorship of the same State».
Cardinal Szoka, an American of Polish origins will be 79 years old on 14 September next, and has led the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City since 1997. Archbishop Lajolo, from Novara in Piedmont, who was 71 years old on 3 January, has been Vatican “foreign minister” since October 2003, and was formerly apostolic nuncio to Germany for eight years.


Sacred College
The resignation of Cardinal Swiatek

On 14 June the resignation of Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, who will be 92 years old in October, as archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev in Belarus was accepted. The name of his successor was not announced, but the auxiliary Antoni Dziemianko was nominated apostolic administrator of the vacant See.


Middle East
Luzzatto: beware of opposing one kind of fundamentalism with another

«It is risking catastrophe; there could not have been a reply more advantageous to Hamas than what was given by arresting half of the government. Beware of opposing one kind of fundamentalism with another». Thus Amos Luzzatto, former president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, in an interview published in La Repubblica on 2 July referring to the crisis that exploded in the Middle East following the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.


Italy
Seccia nominated bishop of Teramo-Atri

On 24 June Michele Seccia was nominated bishop of Teramo-Atri. Originally from Barletta, ordained priest in 1977, 55 year-old Seccia has been bishop of San Severo in Puglia since 1997.


Diplomacy/1
New ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See

On 30 June the new ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See presented his letters of credentials to the Pope. He is 70 year-old Mario Juan Bosco Cayota Zappettini, formerly lecturer in History and Philosophy at the “Monsignor Mariano Soler” Faculty of Theology in Montevideo and president of the Christian Democrat Party.


Diplomacy/2
The first EU Head of Delegation to the Holy See

On 24 June the Pope received Ambassador Luis Miguel Leitao Ritto as the first Head of Delegation of the Commission of European Communities to the Holy See. Leitao Ritto, a 62 year-old Portuguese, has been in Rome since 2004 as Permanent Representative of the European Communities to FAO.


Ecumenic conferences
Nicolas Cabasilas and the Russian missions at the monastery of Bose

From the 14 to the 20 September the monastery of Bose (Magnano, province of Biella) will host the XIV International Ecumenic Convention on Orthodox spirituality, organized with the patronage of the Ecumenic Patriarch of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of Moscow. This year, the first session (14-16 September) will examine the figure of Nicolas Cabasilas (14th century), concentrating in particular on his fundamental Comment on the Divine Liturgy. The second session (18-20 September) will be devoted to the proclamation of the Gospel that came about thanks to the missions of the Russian Orthodox Church in the immense spaces of the North and of Siberia, as far as China and Japan, from the Middle Ages down to our days.
For information and enrollment:
Tel. +39 015 679 185
e-mail: convegni@monasterodibose.it


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