December 30, 2010.
The month of June started with the tragic news that the President of
the Turkish Episcopal Conference was assassinated. Catholic bishop
Monsignor Luigi Padovese's life came to a shocking end, when he was
stabbed by his chauffer in the Turkish city of Iskenderun. The police captured the assassin but they were not able to understand
if the murder was an anti-Christian hate crime.
Monsignor Padovese was supposed to accompany the Pope on his trip to
Cyprus, where Benedict the XVI presented a working document for the
Synod of Bishops of the Middle East.
When the Pope returned to Rome, he was greeted by about 15,000
priests from all over the world for the celebration of the close of
the Year of the Priest.
Congregation for the Clergy
ask the Holy Father that the Year of the Priest does not stop here.
In other words, that the quest for holiness, for each and every one
of us, does not end here.
Later, five priests from around the world asked the Pope for advice
on some of the biggest challenges of their lives.
The Pope urged priests working in parishes, not to have fear in
promoting the priesthood among young people and to remember that the
most important thing is to maintain a most solid relationship with
The day after, the Pope co-celebrated a mass with the highest number
of priests in history in St. Peter's Square. There, the Pope asked
God's forgiveness and offered prayers for the victims of sex abuse
committed by priests.
He said that such behavior cannot be tolerated,
and that the Church must do everything possible, so that it will not
promise that we will do everything possible so that such abuse is not
committed ever again
Right before June's end, he announced the formation of a new Vatican
Council dedicated to spreading the faith in the world's most remote
places, where the concept of God has been overshadowed.
Its name is the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization,
and Italian archbishop Rino Fisichella was appointed as its leader.
June also marked an amazing archeological discovery. Hidden in the
Catacombs of St. Thecla in Rome, down in a fourth century burial
chamber of a Roman noblewoman, the oldest existing paintings of
apostles Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew and John were found.
corners of the ceiling were decorated with medallions featuring the
Icons, that show us how these apostles were depicted from the IVth
century and beyond.