Friday, July 29, 2011

VATICAN NOTES PAPAL HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR IN 2011

(Zenit.org).- The Vatican published the beginnings of a "year in review," noting Benedict XVI's main activities for the first three months of 2011. A second installment, covering April to July, will be published tomorrow.

At the top of the list is the Jan. 14 authorization of the miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II. 

The following day, the first ordinariate for former Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church was established in England and Wales.

The bishops of the Philippines were a central part of the beginning of 2011, with the Pope receiving groups of them as they completed their five-yearly "ad limina" visits. The prelates of the Syro-Malankar Church also completed their five-yearly visit during this time.

On March 10, the Holy Father's book was presented in time for Lent: "Jesus of Nazareth, Volume II: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection."

The Vatican showed its interest in social media with the March 15 activation of a new Facebook page concerning John Paul II in view of his beatification. And the Vatican's forum for dialogue with non-believers was presented: The Courtyard of the Gentiles, which met March 24-25.

The Bishop of Rome did some traveling in his city, visiting the parish of St. Corbinian on March 20, and the "Fosse Ardeatine" on March 27, commemorating the 335 victims executed there in 1944 by German occupying forces in Rome, in reprisal for a bomb attack that had left 33 Germans dead.

The papal priority of ecumenical dialogue also was highlighted in the beginnings of 2011. On March 28, the Pope received in audience His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus, primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus.

Benedict XVI was also visited by various world leaders during the first three months of 2011: The president of Russia saw him Feb. 17, the president of Lebanon on Feb. 24, and the president of the European Parliament on Feb. 28. In March, he received in audience the presidents of Chile and of Iceland.

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