Vatican City, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI emerged onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica waving and smiling at a wildly cheering crowd of tens of thousands packed in St. Peter’s Square.
The square filled up quickly after news that a new Pope had been elected to succeed Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected today as the 265th Pope and successor of Peter. He took the name Benedict XVI.
The newly elected pontiff addressed the crowd in Italian: “My dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.
“I am consoled in knowing that the Lord knows how to work with insufficient means, and I entrust myself to your prayers,” Pope Benedict said after Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estivez introduced him with the traditional Latin phrase, “Habemus Papam” (We have a Pope).
“In the joy of the Risen Lord and with his constant help, we will work, and with Mary, his mother, who is by our side,” the 78-year-old pontiff continued as the crowd responded, chanting “Benedict! Benedict!”
Then, under sudden rain, the Pope gave his first Urbi et Orbi benediction in Latin.
The German-born pontiff was elected April 19 in the fourth round of votes on the second day of the conclave. White smoke drifted up from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at 5:56 p.m. (Rome time), indicating that a new Pope had been elected. The bells of St. Peter’s rang out with the news soon after.
Pope Benedict XVI will be installed at the Holy See this Sunday.
Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - Today, President George W. Bush read a short statement at White House's South Lawn greeting Pope Benedict XVI.
"Laura and I offer our congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI. He's a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He's a man who serves the Lord," said the President.
"We remember well his sermon at the Pope's funeral in Rome, how his words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions. We join with our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for continued strength and wisdom as His Holiness leads the Catholic Church," he concluded.
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - One of the acts programmed for the newly elected Pontiff, Benedict XVI, is the journey to his homeland, Germany, to meet the youth from all around the world gathered for World Youth Day 2005 in the city of Cologne.
The journey, scheduled for August 16-21, was beckoned by John Paul II. Shortly after he passed away, the organizers, through the WYD general secretary, Heiner Koch, confirmed that the preparation activities for this huge event were still on the way.
The journey to Cologne could be one of the first Papal trips out of Italy.
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - The Mass for the solemn inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI will take place on Sunday at St. Peter's, announced today the Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
"The conclave having ended, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has decided to eat this evening with all the other cardinals in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he will also spend the night," Navarro-Valls informed.
Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. -Rome time, - the Pope will preside the Eucharistic Celebration with the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel and will deliver the homily in Latin.
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - The 265th. Pontiff of the Church comes from Germany and he is Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Ratzinger was elected today as the new successor of Peter. Thousands from all around the world celebrated the announcement at St. Peter´s Square.
The Cardinal Protodeacon Jorge Medina Estévez introduced the new Pontiff with the much awaited "Habemus Papam", in midst of the joyful acclamation of a vast multitude that packed the vatican Square and the "Via da Conciliazzione". The crowd was waiting, under a sudden rain, the first blessing of the new Pope.
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - At 17:56 in Rome, white smoke rose from the chimney atop of the Sistine Chapel. The Catholic Church has a new Pope. Soon the name of the man chosen to succeed John Paul II will be revealed when we hear the words Habemus Papam pronounced from the balcony of St. Peter´s. Catholics are celebrating.
The tolling of the bells ten minutes after the smoke confirmed the affirmative signal. The new Pontiff was elected after the fourth ballot on the second day of the Conclave. Church bells around the world announced this great joy.
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - The Vatican has published a report citing that aid given by the late Pope John Paul II to poor and suffering in 2004 totaled $9,252,047.
The report, written by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," noted that the more-than 9 million dollars included aid to victims of both the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the internal conflict in Sudan.
It also noted funds allocated for projects of two foundations established by the Holy Father: the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel and the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation.
The Vatican today said that Cor Unum is the pontifical council charged with dispensing charity to the poor and needy, to victims of natural disasters and to projects approved by the two above-mentioned foundations.
According to the 1988 Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus," these funds are distributed in the name of the Holy Father "to stimulate the witness to evangelical charity." Money is donated to Cor Unum for papal charity through the "spontaneous generosity of dioceses, religious institutes, parishes, schools and individual faithful."
The report also cited that relief sent to victims of the December tsunami totaled $460,000. Pope John Paul II sent Archbishop Paul Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, to Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the two nations struck the hardest by the tsunami, shortly after the disaster--from January 29 to February 4, 2005.
The archbishop also visited Darfur, Sudan in July 2004 to express the pope’s closeness to the populations struck by the internal conflict in that country and to bring aid for the neediest citizens, topping 100,000 euro.
In June, he had visited the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, hit hard by devastating floods.
The report noted that aid for other calamities and urgent situations such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, wars and refugee situations totaled $992,530, and that, financial assistance to developing nations for non-urgent matters in areas like agriculture, education, health care, professional formation and home-building totaled $2,024,532.
The 2004 contribution to the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, established in 1984, amounted to $2,296,336 and was earmarked for 169 projects in 9 African countries, while his Populorum Progressio Foundation, founded in 1992, distributed aid totaling $1,881,000 last year.
It was distributed to 19 Latin American nations to be used for 231 projects for indigenous peoples, African-Americans and poor mestizo farmers.
The Cor Unum report stated that, "With regard to the two Foundations, it is important to underscore how Pope John Paul II, in establishing them, wished to give a permanent witness of his love for the populations of the Sahel (region of Africa) and of Latin America, calling on all local Churches, the faithful and men and women of good will to support this precious service aimed at the integral promotion of those peoples."
Denver, Colo., Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - Throughout Sunday night and into Monday, a group of students and religious gathered on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver to pray for the 115 cardinals who would soon convene to elect the 265th leader of the Catholic Church.
Susanna Nieto, a campus minister with the Auraria Campus Catholic Club, which serves three universities in the immediate area, said that, “The Vigil is being offered for the Election of the New Pope and to increase our love to the Church.”
A number of students and others flowed in and out of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church throughout the night where perpetual adoration was available and the group prayed for each cardinal by name every hour.
“During the night”, Nieto told CNA, “we’ve had people from the area who came to pray and during this morning we had students coming before and after class. We had people who stayed the whole night praying.”
“This is an Ecclesial experience”, she said, “that is going to be a very important part in the history of the world and in the life of each person and in a special way, the youth and young adults who just knew one Pope during their whole life.”
The Auraria Campus Catholic Club and the Christian Life Movement, an international religious community founded in Peru, sponsored the night, which led up to the cardinal’s Monday entrance into the conclave.
Today, following a second puff of black smoke this morning, signaling no decision having been reached, the world still watches and prays in anticipation of the Church’s new shepherd.
Denver, Colo., Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - The on-line auctioning company, eBay is under fire today from Catholics around the world who are outraged that the company allowed a Eucharistic host allegedly consecrated by Pope John Paul II to be sold on their site.
Although the $2,000 sale did not go through thanks to the intervention of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, faithful are still livid at the web site for allowing what they call a sacrilege and an insult.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said in a letter to Meg Whitman of eBay, that, “the sale of a consecrated communion host by anyone, under any circumstance, is a very serious sacrilege for Catholics and therefore an equally serious insult to the Catholic community.”
Although officials at eBay say that they see nothing wrong with the sale because it violated no laws, the archbishop noted that he understands “that eBay runs a complex and open business—but this sort of sale is extraordinarily offensive.”
The original sale, which included other pieces of memorabilia from the pope, was performed by an Sloan, Iowa man who wrote in capital letters on the site that, “I am not Catholic and do not believe I am going to hell for selling this collectable.”
To this, Archbishop Chaput noted that “whether the seller is Catholic or not is irrelevant. Catholics believe that the consecrated Communion host is literally the body and blood of Jesus Christ; it is the center of our worship life.”
The U.K. based Catholic Action Group is urging faithful to sign a petition to change eBay’s policy which allowed the Eucharist to be sold.
“We are disgusted”, they said, “with EBay’s Pontius Pilate response: ‘However, even though these auctions may be offensive to some, please remember that most of the time the law does not prohibit the items.’”
The group further noted that, “Even if you are NOT Catholic, this is an affront to Christ as well as to the faith of Catholic and Orthodox Christians.” They asked all “Christian friends to stand united with us in this.”
On Friday, Monsignor Robert J. Augustine of the Diocese of Sioux City, met with the seller, and was able to help stop the sale.
Msgr. Augustine, who disposed of the Eucharist in accordance with Church dictates said that, "I am most grateful that the seller agreed that it was in everyone's best interest to bring this issue to a positive conclusion.”
Khartoum, Sudan, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - The vicar-general of the Diocese of Khartoum, Fr. Peter Ayung, was released from prison yesterday. The priest had been arrested April 14 at his residence by two police officers and brought to the Khartoum police station. He was transferred to Wad Medani, about 150 km south of Khartoum.
The police contested the issue of a cheque for the purchase of a vehicle, but internal sources said the accusation was a pretext to intimidate Fr. Ayung. The vicar-general had been entrusted with the debacle over the confiscation of an eight ha farm belonging to the archdiocese after Cardinal Zubeir Wako left for the Vatican.
“It appears that the government is bent on selling the whole area along the Blue Nile to some Arab companies for investment. Our farm is not the only one affected, there are several others,” sources said.
Cannes, France, Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - Television executives are seeking to fuel viewers’ new appetite for religious-themed programming, reported Agence France-Presse. The trend was evident at the latest MIPTV audiovisual trade show that closed in Cannes Friday.
Shows such as “The Man Who Would Be the Pope,” a Hollywood-style TV miniseries based on the life of John Paul II, historical dramas about famous saints, and glimpses of life inside the Vatican were top picks at the trade show.
This interest is being fanned by the recent death of Pope John Paul II, the September 2001 attacks in the United States and President George Bush, TV executives say.
Austrian broadcaster ORF's 45-minute film “Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, My Vatican” was particularly appealing to buyers since Pope John Paul II gave the nod of approval to the film before his death and some say the German-born cardinal has a good chance of becoming the next Pope. It already aired on Italian TV yesterday on the first day of the conclave.
CBS News Productions' “Holy Secrets: Electing a Pope” was another hot pick and is now set to air in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Poland and Western European shortly.
Another popular program set for international broadcast was Hallmark Entertainment's “The Man Who Would Be the Pope.” Shot in Poland, this TV miniseries tells the story of Karol Wojtyla, the actor turned priest, and named Pope.
In an attempt to capitalize on recent current events, well-known German distributor Beta Film re-released its 1988 Italian-Canadian film “The Jeweller's Shop.” The film about the power of love and marriage, starring Burt Lancaster, Olivia Hussey and Ben Cross, was based on a play written by John Paul II.
Movies on the lives of the saints were also highly popular. “Joan of Arc: Child of War, Soldier of God” will be broadcast in Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and India as well as in Ireland, Hungary and France. According to the report, the film might also be shown in China, where broadcasters are looking for top-quality history-based programs.
Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - Six pro-life groups are urging thousands of women to join them on Capitol Hill April 27 to tell the U.S. government that women believe all human life is precious and deserves protection under the law.
REAL Women’s Voices is the name of the one-day event is intended to protest legal access to abortion and to lobby the United States Senate on critical issues such as the confirmation of President George Bush's judicial nominees and a ban on human cloning.
The speakers who have confirmed for the day include, Helen Alvare, attorney and Catholic University law professor; Rachel Campos-Duffy, talk show host and former star of MTV's the Real World: San Francisco; Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Kara Klein, a pro-life singer who wrote a tribute song to Terri Schiavo; and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Pro-Life Women, one of the organizers, is urging women to “be there in spirit” if they are unable to make it to Washington.
Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - The United States bishops’ Office for Child and Youth Protection has a new director. Teresa M. Kettelkamp, who served with the Illinois State Police for 29 years, is the new executive director, effective April 13.
Kettelkamp succeeds Kathleen L. McChesney, who directed the office from its founding in December 2002 until February 2005.
“Teresa Kettelkamp brings an extraordinary wealth of experience and complete commitment to the protection of children and young people," USSCB general secretary Msgr. William P. Fay said.
Kettelkamp pledged to work “tirelessly to continue to give victims a voice, to encourage them to come forward for healing, and to strengthen the protection mechanisms for children which were implemented by the Charter."
Kettelkamp was the first woman to attain the rank of colonel in the Illinois State Police. She retired in July 2003 to assist the Gavin Group, Inc., conduct audits of all Catholic dioceses and eparchies for compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. She also assisted the Gavin Group in the development of the first audit instrument and a draft audit manual.
In her nearly three decades of law enforcement, Kettelkamp was responsible for the Illinois State Police's Division of Forensic Services, managing the second-largest forensic system in the nation and the third-largest in the world.
She headed the Division of Internal Investigation, which investigates allegations of misconduct within the agency and the executive branch of government, and she supervised 28 specially trained agents who conducted statewide investigations involving missing and sexually exploited children.
Kettelkamp has received several awards, including the Illinois State Police Achievement Medal on four separate occasions, the YWCA Women of Excellence Award in 2001, and the "Breaking the Glass Ceiling" Award of the National Center for Women in Policing.
The mother of two resides in Springfield, Illinois, where she is a lector and eucharistic minister at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish.
Rockford, Ill., Apr 19, 2005 (CNA) - Bishop Thomas Doran believes it won't be too long before the 115 cardinals elect the new Pope.
The bishop of the Diocese of Rockford told WTVO that he thinks the next Pope could come from any country and that race is not an issue. An African or an Asian Pope could bolster the Catholic faith in their respective continents.
He also considered the possibility of having a Latin American Pope, given that almost half of the world’s Catholics reside in Mexico, Central America and South America.
“The faith has grown astoundingly [there], about 25 percent over the course of the last quarter century," Bishop Doran said. "So maybe it would be good to have a Latin American Pope."
He noted the media reports indicating Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the most-popular candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II, but he said: "There's an old Italian saying: 'The one who goes into the conclave as a Pope, comes out as a cardinal, so who knows."
Whoever the next Pope is, Doran says he will face the growing challenge of spreading the Catholic teachings to all cultures.