Archive of April 10, 2005

Cardinal Ruini calls Christians to prayer, not curiosity

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 (CNA) - During this time Christians must focus on prayer and not be caught up with curiosity about who will be the next Pope, said Camillo Cardinal Ruini.

“Let us not be needlessly and too humanly curious to know ahead of time who [the next Pope] will be,” said the vicar-general of Rome today during the second of nine memorial masses celebrated for the late Pope John Paul II.

According to the tradition of the Church, nine memorial masses, called “novendiali,” are celebrated after the funeral of a Pope. One mass is held each day; they are usually presided by different cardinals.

“Let us instead be open to welcoming in prayer, trust and love he who the Lord will give us [as the next Pope],” he said in his homily.

Christians are grateful to God for the 26 years of faithful service of John Paul II as leader of the universal Church, continued the cardinal, and they are also grateful to the Church of Krakow and to the Polish nation, where John Paul II was born, received his faith and acquired his admirable Christian and human qualities.

"The Church that John Paul II had always wanted, and today continues to ask us to be, is a Church that is not closed in on itself, a Chruch that is not timid or discouraged, but a Church that burns with the love of Christ for the salvation of all people,” Cardinal Ruini said.

The cardinal then reflected on the days following the death of Pope John Paul and the late pontiff’s April 8 funeral mass.

Those days “became for Rome and for the whole world, days of extraordinary unity, of openness to God and of reconciliation,” said the cardinal.

This unity was manifested, he said, because in his lifetime Pope John Paul worked for unity and demonsrated to the entire world with his life, “the integrity of his faith in Christ and the universality of the love of this same Christ, who offered himself for all people on the cross.”

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Cardinals unanimously decide to avoid media

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 (CNA) -
After celebrating Pope John Paul II’s funeral mass Friday, the cardinals have begun “a more intense period of silence and prayer” in preparation for the conclave, and they have “unanimously decided” to avoid media interviews.

The Vatican Press Office director, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, made the announcement to journalists April 9, at the end of the Sixth General Congregation of Cardinals during the vacant see period.

“Journalists are therefore courteously invited to abstain from asking the cardinals for interviews or any other comments,” he said. “This invitation should not be seen as an attitude of discourtesy or disinterest with regards to the media … but rather as a gesture of great responsibility.”

The 130 cardinals at the assembly took their oath. They discussed the “novendiali”—the nine days of mourning for the late Pope— and certain questions concerning their entry into the Domus Sanctae Marthae, said Navarro-Valls.

They also read chapters 1 and 2 of Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis.

The conclave is set to begin April 18 at 4:30 p.m.

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Two voting cardinals absent from conclave due to poor health

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 (CNA) - Two cardinals, eligible to vote for the next supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church, have communicated to the Vatican that they cannot attend the conclave for reasons of health.

Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop-emeritus of Manila, Philippines, and Adolfo Antonio Cardinal Suarez Rivera, archbishop-emeritus of Monterrey, Mexico, both under the age of 80, will not participate in the conclave that will elect the next Pope. Their absence brings the number of cardinal electors down to 115.

The conclave is set to start April 18. Press Office director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the announcement at a press conference April 9.

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New pontiff to decide on beatification process for Pope John Paul

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 (CNA) - The start of the beatification process for Pope John Paul II is entirely up to the new Pope, said Vatican Press Office director Joaquin Navarro-Valls at an April 9 press conference.

During the funeral mass for the late pontiff, April 8, pilgrims spontaneously called on the Vatican to immediately open the process of beatification for Pope John Paul II and to raise him to the altar of the saints quickly. Several pilgrims held banners that read “Subito Santo” (Saint immediately) and thousands chanted “Santo! Santo!” (Saint! Saint!)

Several commentators have noted that the people’s call for Pope John Paul II’s canonization hearkens back to the early days of the Church, when saints were made by popular acclamation. Today, while John Paul II simplified the process in declaring a person a saint, the process is still quite long and elaborate, and it is overseen by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Since the funeral, said Navarro-Valls, he has received countless questions about the beatification process for John Paul II. This, he told journalists, is up to the new pontiff.

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Vatican issues special stamps marking vacant see

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 (CNA) - Stamp collectors delight. The Vatican announced that a special series of stamps for the vacant see would be issued April 12.

The series, composed of three stamps, will bear the insignia of the Apostolic Camera and will be valid only and exclusively during the period of the vacant see.

The stamps will be sold by the post offices of Vatican City and the sales offices of the Office for Pilgrims and Tourists, located in St. Peter's Square

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Vatican thanks Italian officials for welcoming pilgrims after Pope’s death

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 (CNA) - Sincere gratitude was expressed by the Vatican to the Italian government and to the city of Rome for the “dedication and efficiency” with which they welcomed the more than two million pilgrims who came to the Italian capitol to bid farewell to Pope John Paul II.

Streams of pilgrims from around the world poured into Rome in the hours and days following the Pope’s death, April 2, in order to pay their last respects and attend the funeral at St. Peter’s Square. The April 8 funeral “was an exceptional event, and run in a truly exception manner,” said Press Office director Joaquin Navarro-Valls in a statement to journalists.

Pope John Paul II’s funeral was the most attended and watched event in history. Despite fears of terrorism, the funeral took place without incident. There were also no reports of crime or petty theft.

The Vatican also thanked Italian law enforcement officers and all of the people, including volunteers, who showed “tireless dedication” in organizing the funeral “that was both without precedent and unpredictable in all of its dimensions,” said Navarro-Valls. "Special applause goes to all the citizens of Rome for their collaboration and patience in accepting the inevitable discomfort of these days,” reads the statement. “Rome has once again given proof of its millennia-old civility and its attachment to the deceased Pontiff."

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