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Archive of May 29, 2012

Pope meets Costa Rican president, discusses defense of life

Vatican City, May 29, 2012 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI met with President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica at the Vatican, discussing a number of issues including the task of defending human life from the moment of conception. 

The May 28 discussion came as Costa Rica faces continued pressure from the Inter-American Human Rights Court to legalize in vitro fertilization.

The cordial talk between the two leaders on Monday focused on the excellent relationship between the Holy See and Costa Rica.

Both the Pope Benedict and President Chinchilla expressed their desire to strengthen relations through an accord that respects the identity of the country and the autonomy and collaboration that exists between civil and church officials.

The two also discussed the contributions made by the Church through its educational, social and charitable works in the country.

The audience took place one month after the courts in Costa Rica lifted an injunction against Radio Fides over its airing of spots defending human life and criticizing in vitro fertilization as a violation of human dignity.

At the conclusion of her meeting with the Pope, President Chinchilla met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

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Pope appoints Fargo bishop to lead Denver archdiocese

Vatican City, May 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) -

Filling a post vacant for over eight months, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D., as the new Archbishop of Denver.

Archbishop-designate Aquila was announced on May 29 as the Denver archdiocese's new leader by nuncio Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano, the Pope's representative to the U.S.

Archbishop-designate Aquila will succeed Archbishop CharlesJ. Chaput, who led Denver-area Catholics for 14 years and was installed as head of the Philadelphia archdiocese in September 2011.

The new archbishop of Denver was born in 1950, in Burbank, Calif., and was ordained to the priesthood in Denver in 1976. He went on to serve in parishes for 11 years. 

In 1987, he began graduate studies at San Anselmo University in Rome, earning a Sacramental Theology Licentiate in 1990.

He served as director for the Office of Liturgy and Master of Ceremonies in the Denver archdiocese from 1990 until 1995. He then served as the first Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver and chief executive officer of Our Lady of the New Advent Theological Institute. In 2000, he was named a monsignor by Pope John Paul II.

He was ordained as the Coadjutor Bishop of Fargo in August 2001 and succeeded Bishop James Sullivan as head of the diocese in March 2002.

After having served as Bishop of Fargo for 11 years, he will be installed as leader of the Denver archdiocese on July 18 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Since John Paul II's historic visit to Denver in 1993 for World Youth Day, the archdiocese has been the launch site for numerous evangelization-oriented ministries.

These include initiatives such as the college campus ministry program FOCUS, the Catholic graduate school the Augustine Institute, and the  women's educational organization ENDOW.

The Denver archdiocese is also home to one of the largest Catholic young adult communities in the country, and its St. John Vianney Seminary is known nationwide for its success in attracting vocations.

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Pope gives Buffalo diocese new bishop

Vatican City, May 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Bishop Richard J. Malone has been appointed as the new head of the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y.

“I am most grateful to our Holy Father for his trust in appointing me Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo,” he said in a May 29 statement.

Although he is saddened to leave the faithful of his current diocese in Portland, Maine, Bishop Malone said he looks forward “with enthusiasm” to taking up his responsibility in Buffalo.

Bishop Malone was installed as the 11th Bishop of Portland in March 2004. Prior to his assignment in Maine, he was ordained in 2000 as an auxiliary bishop for the Boston archdiocese.

The new appointment comes after Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of Buffalo submitted his letter of resignation on his 75th birthday this past June.

“Bishop Malone comes to Western New York with tremendous experience and a wonderful reputation for being a caring, pastoral bishop and a true shepherd to his people,” Bishop Kmiec said.

An active member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Malone recently completed a term as chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, which he continues to serve on.

He has also served two terms on the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and is a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services, where he is chair of the U.S. Operations Committee.

Bishop Malone studied at St. John Seminary in Jamaica Plain, Mass. and earned his doctorate in theology from Boston University. He received his licentiate in sacred theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass.

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Joy overcomes Denver's future archbishop

Denver, Colo., May 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) -

As Archbishop-designate Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D. assumes his role as Denver's new shepherd, the former Coloradan brings with him a love for the priesthood, a passion for pro-life advocacy and a heart for the youth.

“I never, ever dreamed that I would ever return here,” he told CNA. “And now in the Father's providential plan and in his love, I'm now the archbishop.”

“It's amazing,” he said, overcome with emotion.

Filling a position left vacant for over eight months, Archbishop-designate Aquila was announced on May 29 as the Denver archdiocese’s new leader by apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano in Washington, D.C.

The 61-year-old will succeed Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who led the Denver archdiocese for 14 years and was installed as head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in September 2011.

Denver's new archbishop said he was outdoors and gardening in Fargo when he received the news of his appointment from the nuncio.

“I heard my cell phone ring, and when I looked at the number I realized that it was from Washington, D.C.,” and he thought, “I'd better step aside for this conversation.”

He recalled Archbishop Vigano on the other line telling him almost immediately that the “Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed you to be Archbishop of Denver.”

“Do you accept?” the nuncio asked.

After pausing briefly, Archbishop-designate Aquila responded, “I very willingly accept.”

Although he said he is “very excited” for the new post, he also reflected on how “it's one of those moments where it's bittersweet.”

“I've been in Fargo for 11 years, it's become home and I've developed wonderful friendships with the priests and the laity there.”

Far from being a stranger in a new location, however, he will be returning to a placed that he called home for 25 years. Not only did the native Burbank, Californian study to become a priest in Denver, he served as the first rector of the local St. John Vianney Seminary.

He also “vividly” remembers Pope John Paul II's trip to Denver 1993 for World Youth Day, when he served on the committee that helped to put the visit together and assisted as master of ceremonies.

Since Blessed John Paul II's historic visit, the Denver archdiocese has been the launch site for numerous ministries under the banner of the New Evangelization – the late Pope's call for reaching formerly Christian societies with the Gospel.

These include initiatives such as the college campus ministry program FOCUS, the Catholic graduate school the Augustine Institute, and the women's educational organization ENDOW.

“It's been very exciting to see what's happened in terms of the New Evangelization,” the archbishop-designate noted. “I want to continue all of the work that has been done by both my predecessors.”

One area of ministry close to his heart is priestly formation, he said, observing that the Denver archdiocese is “blessed” to have such thriving seminaries.

“I plan on working closely with the priests of the diocese, and with the permanent deacons, and really focusing in on their spiritual life and to continue to build the fraternal relationship among the priests.”

“I am thoroughly convinced that the deeper the intimacy that priests have with the Father, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit -- in living in the communion of love -- the more will they return that love and serve their people better,” he said.

Another mission within the Church that's deeply important to him is pro-life advocacy – an area he is known for in the Fargo diocese.

For the new archbishop, any questions surrounding the issues of abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide all “get back to the basic dignity of the human person.”

“Every human being, each one of us, began at the moment of conception,” he underscored. “There is no human being that has not begun at the moment of conception.”

With that in mind, he said he's been unequivocally supportive of efforts such as the international 40 Days for Life campaign, a peaceful protest initiative that seeks to put an end to abortion.

“It's a great way to give witness to life, it's a great way to demonstrate prayer, it's peaceful,” he said. “And then there's always the tremendous joy when you know you've saved an unborn child.”

Also high on the priority list for Archbishop-designate Aquila is the local young adult Catholic community, which is among the largest in the U.S.

“I want them to know I love them,” he stated. “I look forward to working with them, to serving them, to bringing Christ to them.”

Archbishop-designate Aquila said he is also passionate about meeting and connecting with Northern Colorado's Latino population, who make up over 50 percent of the area's Catholics.

“I've always had a love” for the Hispanic community, he said.

“I want to certainly continue to support them, to enable them in their faith and their culture, in their family life to continue to strengthen that in Christ and also in their devotional practices.”

Those within the Catholic Latino population “face different challenges within the society in which we live,” he observed.

Among the challenges that he hopes tackle are helping Latino Catholics “continue to integrate into the United States and bring the tremendous gifts that they offer, especially in the area of family life and their faith.”

“I certainly need to brush up on my Spanish,” he said with a smile. 

Archbishop-designate Aquila will be installed as head of the archdiocese on July 18 at Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

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Knights of Columbus to hold global prayer for Pope

Rome, Italy, May 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) -

On the 35th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's episcopal ordination, the head of the Knights of Columbus has asked all 1.8 million members of the Catholic fraternal order to pray for the pontiff.

“At this important moment in the history of the Church and in the life of Pope Benedict XVI, it is
important that we commit ourselves in prayer and solidarity to our Holy Father in a special way," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said May 28.

He asked every Knight of Columbus to pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be before or after Mass this coming Sunday, June 3, for the Pope's intentions and "in honor of his 35 years as a bishop."

Pope Benedict was consecrated a bishop on May 28, 1977.

There are Knights of Columbus councils throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, the Philippines and Poland.

Members of the charitable fraternity donated 70 million hours and nearly $155 million to charitable causes in 2011. The 130-year-old organization has a long history of working with the Church from local parishes to the Vatican.

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Global event hails family as solution to modern crises

Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Over 3,000 participants at the sixth annual World Congress of Families in Madrid, Spain issued a declaration calling the family essential in solving present-day crises.

“We assert that the lasting solutions to human problems, including the current economic crisis, come from families and from small communities,” reads the statement titled, the Declaration of Madrid.

Ignacio Arsuaga, president of the civil rights organization Hazteoir.org, told CNA that the closing of the May 25-27 congress was “one of the most moving” of all the events.

During the closing ceremony, Fernando Benzo Saiz – Spain's undersecretary for the Ministry of Education – was interrupted by applause “three times” during his speech, in which he denounced modern attacks on the family, Arsuaga recalled.

Members of the international committee of the World Congress of Families also called this year's event in Madrid one of the best organized since the first was held in 1997.

The declaration, read aloud by Allan Carlson, president of the Howard Center, first underscores the “sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.”

“Each newly conceived person has the right to live, to grow, to be born and to share a home with his or her natural parents united in marriage,” it says, adding that “Abortion, euthanasia and all forms of manipulation of human beings in an embryonic or fetal state, therefore, are attacks against human life.”

The World Congress of Families' document also criticized population control efforts, arguing that “the world is abundant in resources.”

“The weakening of the traditional family and moral and political failings, not human 'overpopulation,' have cause poverty, hunger and the decline of the environment,” the statement asserts.

“The real demographic danger that the earth faces in this new century is the crisis of births and the aging of the population. Our societies need more people, not less.”

After affirming the rights of parents to educate their children without interference from the State, the declaration states that all human beings have the right to religious freedom, which must be respected by politicians.

The World Congress of Families was held in anticipation of the 7th World Meeting of Families, which will take place May 30-June 3 in the Milan. Pope Benedict XVI is slated to attend the event.

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