DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     October 1-3, 1999     vol. 10, no. 187


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      Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

      It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life.


Other Curial Agencies part two

        Having covered the nine Sacred Congregations, the three Tribunals, the eleven Pontifical Councils, and the temporal Offices in the Roman Curia, today we cover the second part of the other Curia Agencies: the Vatican Press Office and the Holy See's high-profile director Joaquin Navaro-Valls and the Vatican Information Service, which includes L'Osservatore Romano, plus the Central Statistics Office.

  • Vatican Press Office

       This office is headed by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director since 1984. He has been the spokesman for all papal dealings with the media. He oversees a staff of eighteen full time workers and nine part time employees. He holds around 70 press conferences a year and normally issues credentials to the press averaging about 2,000 issued each year. The Vatican Press Office also publishes around 500 issues of the Bulletin or Bollettino each day and often some days there are more than one depending on papal activities or annoucements. He also oversees the staff who handle the Holy See's official web site at www.vatican.va.

        Though the concept for this originated with Pope Leo XIII one hundred years ago to supply information to Italy's Catholic newspapers and its duties expanded under Pope Pius XII in 1939, the real necessity for this office stems from the need to communicate daily information to reporters during the Second Ecumenical Council. Thus Pope Paul VI established it on February 29, 1968 full time replacing the daily information services previously provided by staffers of L'Osservatore Romano. In 1986 Pope John Paul II issued new directives for this office.

  • Vatican Information Service (VIS)

       This office has become an electronic news agency for the Holy See. Headed by Dr. Miguel Castellvi as director, his responsibilities are to oversee the dissemination of brief news stories, usually four or five a day sent out by fax or e-mail to over 8,000 subscribers which includes all dioceses and nunciatures throughout the world. These stories are sent out in either English, Spanish, French or Italian. This Office was founded as a split from the Vatican Press Office and L'Osservatore Romano in 1990.

        L'Osservatore Romano still remains involved with both offices but is a separate entity and dates back to 1861 as the official publication for information from the Holy See. The weekly newspaper, published in Italian with issues available in English and other languages has branched out to the internet where highlights of the paper can be seen on-line through the Vatican web site.

  • Central Statistics Office

       This office was established in August 15, 1967 by Pope Paul VI and attached to the Secretariat of State under the supervision of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. The responsibilities of the Central Statistics Office are to compile, systematize and analyze information on the status and condition of the universal Church. This is the office which recently announced that there are now one billion Catholics in the world, nearly one third of the total population.

      Monday: The non-curial institutes: Commissions and Committees part one

October 1-3, 1999       volume 10, no. 187


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