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Archive of January 24, 2013

Vatican official says US pro-life marches have global impact

Rome, Italy, Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - A top Vatican official on life issues called the protests sweeping across the U.S. this week against abortion a historic witness to the sanctity of human life.

“These marches for life that are taking place across the United States are very important, not only for the country, but for the whole world,” Bishop Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told CNA Jan. 23.

“These events which favor human life without limits, from conception until the end, have become a very important historical reference for all other Catholic countries worldwide,” he added.

“And if we talk about the Vatican as another face of the Church, then we can say the Church supports these marches in the whole world because the participants are the Church themselves.”

From coast to coast, pro-life marches and rallies in America continue to mark the week of Jan. 22 as the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized abortion throughout the nation.

According to the the 75-year-old bishop, the Vatican aims to help those that are on the front lines of the cultural battle to defend life. The Holy See “is well aware that these actions have become very visible in the world, especially in the United States,” he said.

The Pontifical Academy for Life will be holding its annual assembly next month, where all its members from abroad will meet in Rome. The annual meeting features guest speakers and this year's theme will be on “faith and human life.”

“Our talk will relate to this because it'll cover not only the defense of human life, but love for human life,” said Bishop de Paula, who has served the academy since 1994 and was appointed by Pope Benedict as its president in 2010.

“Life is worth living and there are a lot of people who need to be told that.”

Despite the devastation of 40 years of legalized abortion in the U.S., he noted, it has also helped raise awareness on the value of human life.

“Many women have reacted by rebelling...saying they don't accept this and they want to do what is possible to change with, of course, specific means,” he added. “I really believe that, like slavery, we will be able to eradicate abortion eventually.”

At the same time, he qualified, abortion legalization has had a profoundly negative impact on the social value of maternity.

“Abortion doesn't help women when they are in need of most support and then it becomes a fountain of interior suffering,” he added. “We've been created by God to be happy and what abortion does is simply the opposite.”

The Academy for Life has studied in-depth the trauma that abortion can cause in women, often many years after the procedure.

“The consequences include a very large umbrella with a minority of women who hardly notice they've had an abortion and others who develop serious disorders,” said the former director of the Bioethics Institute of the University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

“Women can have anxiety neurosis, depression and even more serious disorders, especially with personalities with a predisposition to a psychotic disorder,” he added.

Women who undergo abortions are themselves a victim, especially when doctors advise them to undergo an abortion, he said. “Sometimes women are just not able to defend themselves from certain situations.”

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Imprisoned Christian pastor banned from trial

Washington D.C., Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - An American citizen imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith has been barred from attending his own trial and faces serious danger, warned a legal team monitoring his case.

“Iran has continued its lies and disinformation campaign to deflect attention from its abuse of this U.S. citizen for his faith,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice.

In a series of Jan. 21-23 blog posts, Sekulow cautioned that the Iran is trying to punish 32-year-old pastor Saeed Abedini for his Christian beliefs.

The Iranian-born pastor has been charged with attempting to undermine national security by helping to create Christian house churches in the country. Although such churches are technically legal, the regime claims that the pastor has tried to turn young people in Iran away from the national religion of Islam.

According to Sekulow, the court’s evidence stemmed back to the year 2000, when Abedini converted from Islam to Christianity.

He explained that Iran had demanded that Abedini stop working with these churches. The pastor had agreed, striking a 2009 deal with the regime that allowed him to travel freely in the country if he would give up his work with underground churches. He then turned his focus towards non-religious orphanages.

However, Abedini was arrested last September while on a trip to work with these orphanages and visit his family. He is on trial before a notorious Iranian judge whose harsh sentences have elicited sanctions from the European Union.

Abedini’s lawyer was only allowed to see the court file one week before the Jan. 21 court date, Sekulow said.

On the first day of the trial, he explained, the attorney presented a strong defense of the pastor’s Christian activities, arguing that they did not threaten the national security of Iran, but were motivated by religion rather than a political agenda.

The trial continued the next day, Sekulow said, but both Abedini and his lawyer were barred from attending.

The American Center for Law and Justice – which is representing the pastor’s wife and children, who live in the U.S. – said it has confirmed that the court heard the testimony of a lay church leader, who was questioned about Abedini’s conversion and work in the country.

On Jan. 21, a semi-official Iranian news agency stated that Abedini would be released after posting $116,000 bail.

The report was initially circulated by the Associated Press but was promptly denied by Abedini’s wife, who said that while the family has presented bail, it has been rejected repeatedly by the regime, which is refusing to drop the charges against her husband.

“This is all a lie by the Iranian media,” she said in a statement provided to the American Center for Law and Justice. “This is a game to silence the international media.”

Sekulow warned that Iran’s actions make it clear that the government “has no intention whatsoever of releasing Pastor Saeed, allowing to him to return to the U.S., or even issuing a verdict any time soon.”  

He called Abedini’s treatment “a clear and continued blatant violation of human rights.”

It is unclear when the Iranian judge will give a verdict in the case and what sentence is the regime is pursuing against Abedini, however Sekulow said the pastor could face a lengthy prison sentence or even death. He called for a strong international voice on behalf of Abedini.

Several members of the U.S. House and Senate, along with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, have called for Abedini’s freedom

In addition, more than 200,000 Americans have signed a petition calling on the U.S. government to engage the Iranian regime, publically condemn the pastor’s imprisonment and call for his release.

“We know from past cases that strong international support is crucial, but the responsibility to support a U.S. citizen starts with our own government,” Sekulow explained.

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Catholics call end-of-life care central to pro-life mission

Denver, Colo., Jan 24, 2013 (CNA) - Catholic healthcare providers and legal professionals in the Denver region convened to share the importance of end-of-life care as a necessary part of a pro-life worldview.

Mark Skender of Divine Mercy Supportive Care, Inc. reminded the more than 60 people in attendance at the Colorado Catholic Medical Association’s Jan. 16 meeting that being pro-life means protecting life from conception to natural death.

Unfortunately, he noted, today there is “not a whole lot of natural death.”

Divine Mercy Supportive Care, Inc., a group of medical and legal professionals who aim to “deliver medical, supportive and spiritual end of life services consistent with the Catholic standard of care to anyone who desires it,” presented information to help Catholics achieve the best care possible as they approach the end of life in a way.

Although hospice care consists of “many caring and compassionate providers,” the group saw a great need to offer care for Catholics that is consistent with Church teaching while providing the “very best medical services.”

Skender highlighted the importance of hospice care while dispelling common myths about it, noting that it is not a kind of “death sentence” as many people may believe.

“What keeps people out is misconception that it's a death sentence, when in fact, if used properly it can be a way to prepare for death and solidify family relationships,” he said.

Deacon Alan Rastrelli, who serves as the organization’s medical director, noted that the average time in hospice care is only about two weeks even though it is designed for those who have six months or less to live. His role with the organization is to help patients sooner than that to prepare them better for death.

“The mindset of American culture is that if you can’t cure that, something is wrong,” he said.

However, as a patient ages and as disease continues to progress, a patient’s base level of health is deteriorated. Eventually, no matter how good the care that the patient receives is, he pointed out, they will die.

By helping arrange Catholic hospice or other forms of end of life care, Deacon Rastrelli said that people can be more comfortable with the knowledge that “eventually we will reach that point.”

Sean Murphy of the Twilight Brigade, a group of trained volunteers dedicated to visiting terminally ill patients in veteran’s hospitals and hospices, lifted the mood by reminding the crowd that simply “being born” is the “number one cause of death.”

Often times people will look at the extreme example of Terri Schiavo and say “I don’t want that to happen,” but are not aware of where to begin the process of how they wish to be cared for at the end of their life, Jim Evans, as estate planning attorney in the Denver region, said.

He discussed the importance of creating an advance planning directive, which is the outline of one’s preferences for medical treatment, especially towards the end of life.

To assist them in the process, his organization has compiled a list of options based on the National Catholic Biomedical Center’s standards of care that a patient can choose, as many people are unsure of what they are able to request.

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In letter to SSPX, Vatican archbishop appeals for unity

Vatican City, Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, one of the Roman officials involved in discussions with the Society of St. Pius X, wrote a letter to the society's priests, seeking “reconciliation and healing.”

“Some new considerations of a more spiritual and theological nature are needed...considerations that focus rather on our duty to preserve and cherish the divinely willed unity and peace of the Church,” wrote the Dominican prelate in an Advent letter to the priests of the traditionalist society.

The Society of St. Pius X was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970 to form priests, as a response to what he described as errors that had crept into the Church following the Second Vatican Council. Its relations with the Holy See became strained in 1988 when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops without the permission of Pope John Paul II.

The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, of which Archbishop Di Noia is the vice president, was set up shortly after the episcopal consecrations to be responsible for relations with the Society. For the last three years, it has undertaken doctrinal discussions with the Society.

The letter was a “personal appeal” from Archbishop Di Noia, and not an “official document” of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told La Croix Jan. 19.

Archbishop Di Noia wrote that thus far, relations between the Vatican and the Society have remained “open and hopeful.” At the same time, he said that “recent assertions” by members of the Society “cause concern” about the prospects for reconciliation.

He noted that “the terms of our disagreement concerning Vatican Council II have remained, in effect, unchanged,” and that the recently-concluded three years of doctrinal discussions between the bodies has failed to alter the situation.

The Holy See maintains that the documents of Vatican II must, and can, be interpreted “in the light of Tradition and the Magisterium.” The Society, on the other hand, insists that certain teachings of Vatican II are “erroneous” and cannot be interpreted “in line with the Tradition and the Magisterium.”

In light of this circumstance, Archbishop Di Noia said that “something new must be injected into our conversations,” so that discussions between Rome and Menzingen can be more than a “well-meaning but unending and fruitless exchange.”

While unity is a gift of the Spirit, the archbishop said that human acts may cooperate or not with the Spirit's promptings.

He pointed to St. Thomas' sets of four virtues which contribute to Church unity, and their opposite vices which tear it down. Pride, anger, impatience, and inordinate zeal are the vices which get in the way of unity.

“In the past forty years, has there at times been a lack of humility, mildness, patience, and charity in our mutual relations,” asked Archbishop Di Noia.

He asked the priests of the Society to cultivate those virtues, because interactions marked by their corresponding vices “will lead to nothing but bitterness.”

The archbishop went on to refer at length to St. Augustine, who placed great emphasis on the unity of the Church. He said the Church Father believed Church unity is necessary to remain in communion with God, and that therefore “we must preserve this unity with great determination, even if it involves suffering and patient endurance.”

Archbishop Di Noia then addressed the place of the Society in the Church, acknowledging that it has an “authentic charism.”

He reassured the Society's priests that they are not being asked to abandon the zeal of their founder, but to “renew the flame of his ardent zeal to form men in the priesthood of Jesus Christ.”

That charism, said the archbishop, must be “recaptured...the authentic charism of the Fraternity is to form priests for the service of the people of God.”

He exhorted the Society's members not to “focus” their preaching and formation on difficult to reconcile passages of the Magisterium, and to remember the example of St. Pius X.

That Pope, he noted, had a continual concern for sacred music, but wrote documents about it only as fitted his station, first as a bishop, then as Patriarch of Venice, and finally as the Roman Pontiff.

This example, Archbishop Di Noia suggested, illustrates proper proposals and influence, without disrespecting or acting against “legitimate local authorities.” He offered that theological difficulties should be handled more discreetly and always with respect for the responsible authority, never becoming “a sort of 'parallel magisterium' of theologians.”

“We must see each doctrine and article of faith as supporting the others, and learn to understand the inner connections between each element of our faith,” he reminded the priests to whom he wrote.

In his conclusion, Archbishop Di Noia acknowledged that “full ecclesial reconciliation” may not bring about “an immediate end” to “suspicion and bad feeling.”

Despite this, he said “we are seeking reconciliation and healing by God's grace under the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit...our souls need first to be healed, to be cleansed of the bitterness and resentment that comes from thirty years of suspicion and anguish on both sides.”

He pleaded that his readers pray that God heal any “desire for an autonomy that is in fact outside the traditional forms of governance of the Church.”

Archbishop Di Noia reminded them that “the only imaginable future for the Priestly Fraternity lies along the path of full communion with the Holy See, with the acceptance of an unqualified profession of the faith in its fullness, and thus with a properly ordered ecclesial, sacramental and pastoral life.”

The archbishop concluded his letter by appropriating Saint Paul's words, urging all “to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

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St. Francis de Sales, patron of Catholic writers, celebrated Jan. 24

Denver, Colo., Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Jan. 24 marks the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and Christian unity whose role as a priest and bishop helped bring thousands of Protestants back to the Catholic Church.

In the late 16th and early 17th century, St. Frances de Sales conducted spiritual direction both in person and in written correspondence. This inspired his famous work “Introduction to the Devout Life.”

During his ministry in Switzerland, he wrote and distributed religious tracts that made inroads among Protestants and helped between 40,000 and 70,000 return to the Catholic faith.

Because he is a patron saint of writers, his feast day traditionally marks the release of the Pope’s annual message for World Communications Day. Pope Benedict XVI’s 2013 message reflected on social networks and their potential to strengthen unity and harmony between people. He also warned that these enable a mindset that rewards popularity, rather than rewarding what has intrinsic value.

St. Francis de Sales was no stranger to unpopularity. As a priest he volunteered to lead a mission to return the Calvinist Switzerland back to the Catholic faith. He faced much hostility, including death threats and would-be assassins.

He was born in 1567 in the Savoy region in what is now part of France. He was a diplomat’s son, born into a household with great devotion to St. Francis of Assisi.

He studied rhetoric, the humanities and law in preparation for a political career. He had resolved to hold to religious celibacy and he held a deep devotion to the Virgin Mary, but he kept this strong spiritual life secret from the world.

This devotion clashed with the wishes of his father, who had arranged a marriage for him. The Catholic bishop of Geneva found Francis de Sales a position in the Swiss Church, leading to his ordination as a priest in 1593.

He was named Bishop of Geneva in 1602, after which he worked to restore Geneva’s churches and religious orders. He helped the future saint Jean Frances de Chantal, whom he had served as spiritual director, found a women’s religious order.

He died in 1622 in Lyons at a convent he had helped to found. Frances de Sales was canonized in 1665 and named a Doctor of the Church in 1877.

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Pope focuses on best way to use social media

Vatican City, Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI has asked people to use social networking sites "responsibly" and "with respect," given the growing number of people who are becoming internet dependent.

"These spaces, when engaged in a wise and balanced way, help to foster forms of dialogue and debate which, if conducted respectfully and with concern for privacy, responsibility and truthfulness, can reinforce the bonds of unity," the Pope said in his World Communications Day, released Jan. 24 at a Vatican press conference.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said that his office will hold a scientific meeting of psychologists, neurologists and educators because of serious concerns that have arisen about the negative effects that internet dependency has in the normal development of a child's brain.

The archbishop explained that new technology can be dangerous if it's used for reasons other than to improve human relations or to obtain knowledge.

He pointed to a danger of dependency and recalled that in Europe 73 percent of children use the internet without their parents' presence.

"You can't reduce yourself to just internet contacts," Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli told CNA after the media event.

"There are boys who just play with PlayStation and aren't capable of kicking a ball. And finding a balance is the responsibility of parents," he said.

The Pope's message for World Communications Day was released on the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists and writers.

During the press presentation, Archbishop Celli also underscored that "the Pope wants to make clear that social networking isn't a fad, but a reality which is here to stay."

"He is also trying to make Christians realize that we're called to proclaim God's word because humans are losing certain values," he said.

"He's inviting all people to work together to ensure social networks don't fall into the hands of those most vicious in their way of expressing themselves," explained Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The message was published nearly four months earlier than the actual World Communications Day, which is celebrated on May 12.

"The main point of the Pope's message is to make people aware of the importance of social networking," Msgr. Tighe stated.

"The Pope is saying that we have to work to ensure it's a positive culture, because that depends on what we do when we're present, and this can only be done by using it responsibly and with respect."

The communications council secretary noted that the Pope also has a particular message for Catholics not to close themselves off from those they don't agree with.

Msgr. Tighe warned of the danger of polarization that can result from people creating their own "I-news" and only visit websites they like.

"If the Church is to be inclusive, we have to be willing to engage with the ideas and opinions of other people, even of those who are against us," he said.

Msgr. Tighe explained that his office "wants to identify the best practices that enable Christians to be present in effective ways finding a language that will touch the minds and hearts of others," he said.

"Our presence will prosper if we can be seen as a benign influence where people can feel they can go to and be listened to," he added.

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Vatican council supports US bishops in pro-life stance

Vatican City, Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has written to several U.S. bishops to express his support for the pro-life events this week surrounding the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“Please accept my most sincere expression of solidarity and my promise of prayers as you prepare for the National Prayer Vigil and Masses for Life, and the Fortieth Annual March for Life,” wrote Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia on Jan. 23.

“I want to assure you of the full support that the Pontifical Council for the Family stands ready to provide to the goals that underlie the Vigil and the March, one of the Council's principal tasks indeed being the 'encouragement, support and coordination of activities in defense of life from the moment of conception,'” he said in his letter, sent to Cardinals Timothy Dolan and Sean O'Malley, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn.

Archbishop Paglia recounted how 25 years ago, “as a younger priest,” he was able to participate in the March for Life.

“That memory gives me great hope that the prayers and commitment of your brother bishops and of the clergy, religious and lay faithful in America will one day soon ensure that all human life is welcomed and nurtured with the love to which its very nature entitles it.”

From coast to coast, pro-life marches and rallies in America continue to mark the week of Jan. 22 as the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized abortion throughout the nation. San Francisco's Walk for Life West Coast on Jan. 26 will be attended by Archbishop Carlo Viganò, nuncio to the United States.

The March for Life in Washington, D.C. will occur Jan. 25 and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of participants.

Bishop Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told CNA Jan. 23 that “These marches for life that are taking place across the United States are very important, not only for the country, but for the whole world.”

“These events which favor human life without limits, from conception until the end, have become a very important historical reference for all other Catholic countries worldwide,” he added.

“And if we talk about the Vatican as another face of the Church, then we can say the Church supports these marches in the whole world because the participants are the Church themselves.”

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Strong college presence expected at March for Life

Washington D.C., Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Catholic colleges and universities will be well-represented at this year’s March for Life, according to announcements by pro-life campus groups across the country.

“When you see thousands of pro-life youth flooding stadiums, churches, and streets of Washington, D.C., it gives you hope,” said Grace Daigler, vice president of Franciscan University of  Steubenville’s Students for Life organization.

Located in Ohio, the university will be sending some 800 students to the 2013 March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 25.

“More than ever before it is important for Americans to see that those committed to life are not discouraged or demoralized in the fight for life,” said university president Father Terence Henry, TOR, in a statement.

Franciscan University will cancel its classes on the day of the march, along with Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., which will be sending its entire student body to participate in the event.

Charter buses will transport more than 400 people from Christendom’s campus to the nation’s capital. The college community has attended the march together every year since the school’s founding 35 years ago.

The March for Life – now in its 40th year – marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the country.

While the annual march is usually held on Jan. 22, marking the date of the 1973 ruling, it was moved this year to Jan. 25 due to the presidential inauguration on Jan. 21.

Several colleges have confirmed that they are sending record-breaking groups to attend what some have speculated may be the biggest March for Life in the nation’s history.

Nearly one in five students from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., will be attending the March for Life this year.

Seven buses carrying almost 400 students departed from the college on Jan. 23 for a 30-hour bus ride to Washington, D.C.

Abbot James Albers, OSB, from St. Benedict’s Abbey, said that the college’s attendance has grown exponentially from when he was a student in the early 1990s, when no more than a few dozen students would attend.

Benedictine student Michael Green, march coordinator for the school’s Respect Life group, explained that the national event is part of the pro-life organization’s “important mission.”  

“We don’t go just because it’s some fun trip with our friends,” he said. “We go to show the leaders of our country what we stand for; that is, the dignity of all people from conception to natural death.”

A group of about 60 students from the University of Notre Dame’s Right to Life club will lead the 2013 march, and the school is expecting one of its largest turnouts.

According to a statement released by the university, some 350 students, faculty and staff attended last year’s march. This year, more than 600 people from the school have registered to attend.

Jen Gallic, president of Notre Dame Right to Life, described the march as “a visible witness to the love and support for the most vulnerable.”

“It’s an amazing witness to the passion and sheer size of the pro-life movement, and it’s such an honor to be asked to lead all those dedicated to upholding the dignity of every life,” she said.

Representatives from Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., also told CNA that they are sending student groups to the march.

Located in Washington, D.C., The Catholic University of America is just miles away from the march route.

Students will be excused from class if they participate in the march, and more than 500 are expected to attend, an associate campus minister said.

In addition, the university will be hosting pilgrims overnight on Jan. 24. More than 1200 travelers from across the country will be able to stay at the school’s athletic facilities at no cost, making the trip affordable for many college students.

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Vatican TV's new director surprised at his appointment

Rome, Italy, Jan 24, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - The new head of the Vatican Television Center says he was surprised when he was asked to lead one the Church’s important outlets for communicating the Pope’s teachings.

"It was an unexpected appointment because they were looking for me a week ago but I was visiting Brazil for a formation course for a favella's children project in the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro," said Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, who will be replacing Father Federico Lombardi as director of the center.

Msgr. Viganò recounted for CNA on Jan. 23 how he received the call from the Vatican’s Secretary of States, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as he was going to meet a religious sister who works with children whose parents are in jail.

"I then began dialoguing with Fr. Lombardi about this complicated world because the Vatican TV isn't a television channel, it's a center for documentation," he recalled.

"I'm just taking the first steps, and I'm really grateful to Fr. Lombardi, who is accompanying me with affection and benevolence, and the whole team at the Vatican TV," he said.

But Fr. Lombardi, 70, will continue fulfilling his other duties as director of the Vatican's press office and head of Vatican Radio.

Vatican TV records all of the Pope's images, not just those that go public, but also private meetings with ambassadors and heads of state.

"It's a job that entails documenting all images on the one hand, but also choosing those that will be the fountain for studying the history of the Church," Msgr. Viganò said, adding that his new post will be a full-time job.

He gave the example of how videos taken during Vatican Council II allow people to have a better understanding of it.

"I think the Pope's images are a way of sharing the words of his teachings, proclaiming the Gospel, and (sharing his teaching with) local churches,"

"We want to find all ways through digital media so that these images can best reach those who need them the most," he added.

According to the Brazilian priest, it is very important to spread these messages in a pastoral way.

He also believes that the Vatican's radio, TV and newspaper outlets should integrate and improve the way they share information.

"We all work with passion for the Church and to spread the Gospel, but converging is better than competing," said Msgr. Viganò, who is also a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy.

He said that young people today cannot imagine life without internet and that ''territory'' today takes on a whole new meaning.

"There's no difference now between being online and offline, or even a contrast," he said after highlighting the importance of theology in communication.

"There must be competence with modern technology and the fact that Pope has started using Twitter is important," said Msgr. Viganò.

He noted that we're called to use technology, but in a Christian way.

"This can only be born, not out of will, not out of thinking, but out of the new life in the Spirit," he said.

"Only like this will one be a communication professional as a Christian that knows how to testify to the Gospel," Msgr. Viganò remarked.

"The Church's relevance will be born when we learn again the language of giving testimony," he added.

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