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NEWS  22/2011




The President to the readers


Next year the Church will hold the 13th ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “New evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith ” from 7 to 28 October 2012. Lay people are expected to be prime movers in this synod. The 50th anniversary of the calling of the Second Vatican Council falls on 12 October, an event which launched the Church into “ the hour of the laity ”. This is really the appropriate time to reflect upon the Council teachings on the vocation and mission of the laity, as well as on subsequent developments, especially the Synod of Bishops in 1987 and the corresponding apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici, the magna charta of the Catholic laity. Then we could make an assessment of all that has happened. Above all, we can look to the future with confidence as we decipher the new social and cultural scenarios in which we in the Church today carry out our mission. We read in the Lineamenta for the next Synod that: “The new sectors which call us into dialogue require turning a critical eye towards our manner of life, our thinking, our values and our means of communication. At the same time, the occasion must also serve as a selfevaluation of Christianity today [...] The new evangelization calls us to engage in dialogue with these sectors, not remaining confined to our communities and our institutions, but accepting the challenge to take part in these phenomena so as to speak and bear witness in these sectors, from the inside. This is the form of Christian martyria in today’s world, engaging in dialogue even with the recent forms of a militant atheism or an extreme secularism...” (no. 7). This is the vast field of mission for the lay faithful today! It reminds us of a statement in Christifideles Laici: “A new state of affairs today both in the Church and in social, economic, political and cultural life, calls with a particular urgency for the action of the lay faithful. If lack of commitment is always unacceptable, the present time renders it even more so. It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle ” (no. 3).

Nowadays we often speak about the lay faithful, and the corresponding literature in theology, pastoral ministry and canon law continues to grow. However, I have the impression that we do not always perceive that which is truly essential. What do I mean by this? I shall answer briefly with the following three points:

1. To return to the essential is to re-establish a clear concept of Christian identity. In postmodern culture Christian identity is being harassed. Relativism and “weak thought ” generate fragile personalities that are fragmented and incoherent, and the new patterns of life plant traps and confusion among people, including the baptised. A typical identikit of an average Christian would seem to be the result of a confused amalgamation of choices made arbitrarily and for reasons of comfort. That is why Benedict XVI continues to emphasise that the identity of each of Christ’s disciples comes from Baptism: “‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ (Gal 2: 20). Hence, the essential identity of my life is changed through Baptism, and I continue to exist only in this changed state [...] This is the formula of Christian existence established in Baptism, the formula of the resurrection in time, the formula of the Christian ‘novelty’ called to transform the world ” (Address to the 4th Convention of the Italian Church, 19 October 2006). So, the decisive and fundamental event in a Christian’s identity is a personal encounter with Christ: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction ” (Deus Caritas Est, no. 1). That is why our lay people need to be provided with a comprehensive post-baptismal Christian initiation.

2. To return to the essential is to have a visible and incisive presence in society, to be “ the leavening of the gospel ”, “ salt ” and “ light ” in the world, and to be guided by the social doctrine of the Church. The important point in the vocation and mission of the laity is the quality of being lay: “The laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God ” (Lumen Gentium, no. 31). The lay faithful today are called to go against the tide with respect to the dominant culture that is trying to eliminate God from the public sphere. There is a real “Christianphobia ” around which is an expression of a dangerous secularist fundamentalism. It is time to go out from the sacristy and to leave behind empty and self-referential discourse, and so to become true witnesses and missionaries of the Gospel. It is not a problem for us Christians to find we are in the minority, but we do not want to be insignificant and “ insipid ” and to lose the “ flavour of the gospel ”.

3. Finally, perhaps the most important challenge is to return to the essential by placing God at the centre of our lives. The Pope is particularly insistent on this point: “Often we are anxiously preoccupied with the social, cultural and political consequences of the faith, taking it for granted that faith is present, which unfortunately is less and less realistic. Perhaps we have placed an excessive trust in ecclesial structures and programmes, in the distribution of powers and functions; but what will happen if salt loses its flavour? ” (Homily in Lisbon’s Terreiro do Paço, 11 May 2010). This is the meaning of the question the Pope asked in his recent interview book: “ Should we not start all over again from God? ” (Light of the World). Our real problem today is the question of God. To educate lay people in the faith is to help them discover that God is at the centre. It is not just any god, but the God who was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. Some days before the Pope was elected to the pontificate, he said: “We need people who have their gaze directed towards God, for it is there that they learn true humanity. We need people whose minds are illuminated by the light of God and whose hearts are opened by God, so that their minds can speak to the minds of others and their hearts can open the hearts of others. It is only through people touched by God that God can return to humankind ” (L’Europa di Benedetto nella crisi delle culture, Siena 2005, pp. 63-64).

Card. Stanisław Ryłko



Towards Madrid

The WYD 2011 preparatory meeting in El Escorial

In the prestigious setting of El Escorial near Madrid, the WYD 2011 preparatory meeting took place from 13 to 15 January 2011. There were representatives from 84 countries and 57 ecclesial movements and associations. These 234 delegates were invited by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Spanish organising committee. Everyone agreed that there was a climate of fellowship at the meeting, largely due to the perfect organisation put in place by the local committee with the help of about one hundred Spanish volunteers.

Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, opened the meeting. He said that we had come to a decisive stage in the preparations, spiritual and organisational, for WYD 2011 in Madrid. He thanked the delegates for their generous collaboration in working for the success of WYD. Likewise, he told the volunteers that it is important that the young people who will come from all over the world should see how welcoming they are and their spirit of sacrifice right throughout WYD. At times they may be doing some hidden tasks, but these are no less important. Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, president of the local organising committee, expressed his desire for there to be a lively, agile and dynamic meeting and for the delegates to communicate specific information regarding their needs and expectations.

On Friday 14 January at midday, there was high emotion when Cardinal Ryłko solemnly announced that the beatification of John Paul II would take place on 1 May. The assembly rose to their feet and applauded for several minutes for the Pope who started WYDs and who had great love for young people. He had called himself “ a friend to young people, and a demanding friend ”. In 1985, the year of the first WYD, he said: “ the whole Church, in union with the Successor of Peter, feels ever more committed to youth at a global level, and to their anxieties and cares, and their sincerity and hopes. The Church wants to respond to their expectations and to communicate the certainty that is Christ ” (Address to the Roman Curia, 20 december 1985). Cardinal Rouco, immediately afterwards, announced that Blessed John Paul II would be one of the WYD patrons. This news led to renewed applause.

During the meetings, the delegates representing countries and movements saw the directors of the various departments of the organisation take the stage to give them information. They provided details about the main events – days in the dioceses, opening Mass, meetings with the Pope, catechesis, youth festival, way of the cross, vigil and final Mass –, and about the practical details – accommodation, meals, transport, registrations, translations, visas, volunteers, etc. The delegates were able to ask all the questions they liked and they also gave suggestions. The organising committee listened to everything and showed themselves willing to adapt in order to meet the needs of everyone. For example, when there was a request for greater financial aid for the youth from poorer countries, there was real solidarity seen among the delegates. Some of them proposed specific solutions that are quite demanding.

The delegates were given the opportunity to visit the Cuatro Vientos airfield where the concluding Mass will be held. There was also an official reception at Madrid City Hall. The mayor, Alberto Ruiz Gal- lardón, said that he would do everything in his power for the participants to feel at home and for Madrid to be the most welcoming host city in the history of WYD.

Times together like mealtimes, celebrations and bus trips were opportunities for the delegates to get to know each other, exchange opinions, pray and experience the universality of the Church. It was like a miniature WYD.

Some of the participants that we would like to mention include a representative of Turkmenistan, a country with one hundred and fifty Catholics; delegates from Brazil who hope that the youth from Amazonia will have the same opportunity to come to Madrid as the youth coming from the big cities, thanks to a fundraising project; a young delegate from Norway who divides her time between the Oslo Opera where she is working and the coordination of a group of sixty pilgrims who are planning to come to Madrid. The South African representative, Barbara Koornbally, spoke of how the youth in her country are preparing for the event. A copy of the WYD cross is going around the country (the original has been in Spain since September 2009) to prepare the youth for the Madrid meeting in August. The enthusiastic delegates all spoke about their groups. WYD will surely be wonderful as it will be the fruit of the communion and generosity of so many people – organisers, national and diocesan delegates, leaders of movements and new communities, sponsors and twenty-two thousand young volunteers. We know that the Holy Spirit will not miss this appointment, but will, as always, lead the young people to Christ and allow them to experience the joy of being Christians and of belonging to the Church.



Activities in the Sections

Movements and new communities for the new evangelisation

On Saturday 25 June 2011 at the offices of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, we had one of our periodic meetings of senior staff and officials with representatives of ecclesial movements and international communities.

It was an opportunity to speak about the new evangelisation in view of the 13th ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme Nova evangelizatio ad christianam fidem tradendam (7-28 October 2012).

Taking as his starting point the recently published Lineamenta, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, opened the meeting with an in-depth reflection that presented the principle contents of the document.

After pointing out the importance for all sectors of the Church to prepare for the next Synod Assembly, he spoke of how ecclesial movements and new communities are historically involved as prime movers in the challenge of the new evangelisation. It is something very close to the heart of Blessed John Paul II and of Pope Benedict XVI who often mentions it.

The cardinal went on to say that in-depth reflection is necessary because nowadays there is a risk of allowing “ new evangelisation ” to become a kind of slogan that is often talked about but about which little is known and of which few people study the contents and underlying values.

The cardinal then quoted from numbers 15 and 29 of John Paul II’s apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte and from Benedict XVI’s homily at the Mass celebrated with the Swiss bishops on 7 November 2006, in order to show how the two popes have called all Catholics to be careful that being is given priority over doing: being Christians, being community and being Church.

New evangelisation should emanate from a renewed way of being Christians. The pedagogy of faith generated in the charism, gives life to the renewal of all baptised people. Ecclesial movements and new communities have an extraordinary ability to bring forth missionary enthusiasm and apostolic energy in so many Christians who did not realise that they had this aptitude.

New evangelisation can and should be an opportunity for renewal and rediscovery of the identity and beauty of one’s own charism. Cardinal Ryłko pointed out that a charism is given for the good of the Church and its mission, and this should bring us to renew our sense of awe and not fall into routine. We must not use these charismatic gifts for our own ends in the service of action. They must help people to be true Christians and to know that this is what they are.

Discussion then followed, and delegates from movements and communities gave their analysis and suggested concrete responses. In line with the ideas in the presentation, they said that the centre of the new evangelisation should be an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. The crucified Christ teaches us about Love and saves us from death and the slavery of sin. This is why it is necessary to avoid dogmatic relativism and to aim for the rediscovery of personal experience, and to communicate and offer it to everyone. Some delegates spoke of the need to live our own charisms with humility and a spirit of gratitude. We should receive them as gifts and use them, not in competition with each other, but in unity with the Holy Father and in compliance with ecclesiastical authority so that we work together in communion with others and with the Church in the new evangelisation.

Emphasis was also placed on the ability of movements and new communities to be instruments of unity within the Church and also in the service of ecumenism, dialogue with other faiths and with all of humanity.

We also spoke of the importance of listening to the word of God and of prayer as sources of renewal of our Christian essence. Mention was made of the example of the great Christians of past centuries and of so many martyrs, even today. Attention was placed on the importance of community living. It helps us to rediscover our identity as baptised people as we witness to a new style of life, a characteristic of the new evangelisation. We spoke of the importance of witnesses which is greater than that of teachers with regard to ecclesial maturity. This is the primary objective of all ecclesial movements and new communities, and it must encourage us to find the essentiality of life rooted in the Gospel and to witness to the true joy of living with Christ. The importance of parishes in the new evangelisation was spoken of during the discussions and the role of priests in welcoming the fruits that the Holy Spirit gives the Church. Some people spoke of the special relationship that links ecclesial movements and new communities to the Successor of Peter. This gives unity and confers authority on all baptised people who work associatively for the new evangelisation in the world and, perhaps foremost, within the Church itself.

Many spoke of the important witness of Mary the Mother of God, the soul, heart and silent breath in the life of the Church, the sure guide and star of the new evangelisation.

Some of the participants expressed the hope that ecclesial movements and new communities will be well represented at the next assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

With his concluding words, Cardinal Ryłko observed how it is necessary for each baptised person to work on his/her own ongoing conversion. This should be the real engine that moves Christian life and works of apostolate. He reminded us of the three laws of the new evangelisation that the then- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of at the Jubilee for catechists and religion teachers (10 December 2000). There is the law of expropriation which says that we are not the cause of the new evangelisation. It is the Holy Spirit, it is God whom we must ask with our prayers to open our hearts for an encounter with Christ. The mustard-seed law says that God’s way of administration favours the smallest, and it is from this that great things emerge. There are no easy successes. There is patient planting, and the results are in God’s hands. The law of the seed that falls into the ground and dies tells us that, in the life of the Church, ever since Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, all that is great has been obtained through martyrdom.

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity concluded by reminding all present that the Holy Father, ever attentive and interested in the movements and new communities, was celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of his priestly ordination.

The final part of the meeting was given to updating those present about World Youth Day which is to take place in Madrid from 16 to 21 August 2011, and about the organisation of a pan-African congress of Catholic laity on the theme “ Salt of the earth, light of the world ” which will take place in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 3 to 9 September 2012.


Safeguarding the humanum created male and female

We are about to publish the result of a consultation made in 2010 by the Women’s Section to a wide group of women who lend their collaboration to our dicastery. We invited them to give John Paul II’s Letter to Women another reading and to comment on it in light of today’s challenges. They were to evaluate, at the same time, the cultural and social consequences of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, the occasion on which the Holy Father wrote the letter. This publication will present a synthesis of the contributions we received and it will be available in print in four languages: English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Benedict XVI, in his address to the Roman Curia on 22 December 2008, emphasised the need to defend creation. He noted that one aspect of that defence today concerns the protection of humankind from self-destruction. We need real “ human ecology ” that respects the order of creation in which humanity exists as male and female. The Pope pointed out that the order of creation has a language, and to disregard it would bring about the destruction of humankind itself, diverted by a false idea of freedom and equality. In this regard he made explicit reference to the use of the term “ gender ” and its associated ideology being used to promote a culture that tries to emancipate humankind from creation and the Creator. The Pope invited the whole Church to strive to promote a correct vision of humankind.

The experts read the Letter to Women in the light of the evolution of the feminine question from 1995 until now, and their conclusions are fully in line with those of the Holy Father. They agree on the need to develop our rich Christian anthropology which they would offer to the men and women of our times as an antidote to the prevailing confusion. The strongest criticism was for the view held that human nature is an impediment to individual freedom, and for the mistaken idea that each one’s identity can be constructed on the basis of whims and impulse.

We need to create and organise courses in Christian anthropology for adults, youth and children. This instruction should nourish and support an experience of shared opinion that can withstand the programmes being imposed by the dominant culture and that are rapidly changing people’s way of thinking. The Church has the role of safeguarding the truth about humankind and it must use every way possible to make it known.

Our booklet is intended to be a small contribution to this task of education for the safeguarding of the humanum, created male and female.  


Church and Sport Section: future plans

With the recent publication in English and Italian of “ Sport, Education, Faith: a new Season for Catholic Sport Associations ”– the proceedings of a seminar held in November 2009 –, the Church and Sport Section has completed the first phase of research composed of a trilogy of seminars and publications. Our 2005 publication: “ The World of Sport Today: Field of Christian Mission ” offers a broad perspective on the wide world of sport and the opportunities and challenges with respect to the Church’s mission.

Taking into account the worldwide “ educational emergency ”, our 2008 publication: “ Sport: an Educational and Pastoral Challenge ” explored sport’s potential to be a means of fostering complementary human development, and it sought to solicit assistance, especially that of the clergy, in renewing the Church’s attention towards the formative aspects of sport.

Following along these same lines, our most recent seminar proceedings published in 2011: “ Sport, Education, Faith ” focused on the rich opportunities that the multitude of Catholic youth sport associations provide in assisting youth in their human and spiritual development. This is especially true when the Catholic laity who organise and animate these sporting activities are people of faith, inspired by Catholic principles.

These seminars have helped us to better realise sport’s significant relevance in the lives of so many people. While the Second Vatican Council sought to awaken in the Church a careful reading and discernment of the signs of the times and treated of sport in two of its conciliar documents, it was Blessed Pope John Paul II who noted that sport has grown today to the point of being considered “ almost a sign of the times capable of interpreting humanity’s new needs and new expectations ” (Sports Jubilee, 29 October 2000).

At the same time, we have come to see how vast and ambiguous the concept of “ sport ” is as it readily applies to a phenomenon that is both watched and played by millions on a daily basis; it is an activity that is at once a business and a pastime. Because sport suffers from this ambiguity and is prone to manipulation, many have expressed to us a need they see for a document by the Pontifical Council for the Laity that would offer a Christian perspective of sporting activity which helps to place it in a perspective that is at the service of the human person and not vice versa. There have also been requests for some practical guidelines and general ethical principles that could help ensure sport’s educational dimension and favor its role in the work of youth evangelisation. Thus, while the findings from these past three seminars can serve as a basis for such a document, we are now conducting further studies and research in different areas.

For these purposes, we have solicited the collaboration of two groups in a particular way. On one hand, a broad philosophical, anthropological and theological investigation of “ sport as a sign of the times ” is being undertaken by an ad hoc working group of scholars affiliated with the “ Church and Sport ” Research Group of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference. In fact, this collaboration dates back to a unique international seminar of Catholic sport theologians that was organised by the “Church and Sport ” Research Group of the German Catholic Bishops Conference and the “Church and Sport ” Section of this Pontifical Council that was held in Mainz in 2007. The proceedings of this seminar, which were originally published in German as: Sport und Christentum: Eine anthropologische, theologische und pastorale Herausforderung (Grünewald 2009) have recently been updated and translated into English as they will soon be published by Catholic University of America Press. Meanwhile, our “ Church and Sport Section is currently reflecting on a draft document that this group has produced and which is an excellent synthesis of the fruit of the scholarship from the Mainz seminar.

Furthermore, our “Church and Sport ” Section is also working in close collaboration with the “Office for Tourism, Free Time and Sport ” of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (C.E.I.) which has created a sort of “ think tank ” together with our Church and Sport section and the Foundation Giovanni Paolo II per lo sport. This network of Italian sport scholars and those engaged in this field of pastoral ministry have already begun to meet periodically to discuss the vital need for sporting activities to be open to the person’s spiritual dimension in order to truly flourish and to further explore certain educational and pastoral principles to be kept in mind when conducting sporting activities for the youth.

It is our hope that the results of these investigations will provide a more ample foundation for a future document about sport that offers a Christian perspective of this global phenomenon and some key ethical principles and practical guidelines that will help ensure sport’s educational dimension.

In the meanwhile, this Section also welcomes opportunities to assist the local Church, especially at the national level, in providing materials, resources, and some of the “ best practices ” that are being implemented around the world in this field of pastoral ministry. For this purpose, we certainly welcome the establishment of a type of liaison or office for sport related ministry within the national bishops’ conferences that could serve as a liaison with our office for ongoing dialogue and collaboration regarding future seminars and other initiatives at the international and regional levels.

Pope Benedict XVI, in the message he offered the participants of our last seminar, succinctly offers us some very clear goals to be pursued: “ In our time when an urgent need to educate the new generations is evident it is therefore necessary for the Church to continue to support sports for youth, making the most of their positive aspects… to avoid every trend that perverts the nature of sports …and to help people welcome the many valuable opportunities that sports can offer in the pastoral care of youth ” (November 3, 2009). Thus, it is our hope that our ongoing research and findings may give support to sport’s positive aspects, caution against possible deviations, and promote the opportunities that sport can offer for the pastoral care of youth. 


Juridical recognition and approval of statutes

The Pontifical Council for the Laity:

·                    by decree of 2 March 2011 approved the modifications made in the statutes of the International Coordination of Young Christian Workers (ICYCW).

·                    By decree of 23 March 2011 it suppressed the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP).

·                    By decree of 29 June 2011 it suppressed the association Communauté des Béatitudes since it will be newly recognised as an Ecclesial Family of Consecrated Life.

The Dicastery is presently studying the demands for canonical recognition submitted by the following groups: Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, Movimiento de la Palabra de Dios, Legio Mariae, Communauté du Chemin Neuf, Movimiento Athletae Christi, Movimento Apostolico, Jesus Youth, Movimiento de Retiros Parroquiales Juan XXIII, Via Pacis, International Community of the Divine Savior, Eis aí tua Mãe.


A new under-secretary

On 14 May 2011 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Prof. Guzmán Carriquiry as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. This appointment demonstrates the esteem in which the Pope holds our ex-under-secretary. Guzmán Carriquiry now works directly with the president of the Commission, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet. He has left the Pontifical Council for the Laity after decades of service that began on 1 December 1971.

He worked in the Consilium de laicis first, and then in the newly established Pontifical Council for the Laity. Then on 12 September 1991, John Paul II appointed him under-secretary, a position that was confirmed during that pontificate and reconfirmed by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 February 2009.

After working for the laity for many years, Prof. Carriquiry was entrusted with this important responsibility towards the Church in Latin America. His long experience and his passion for the Church will certainly help him to competently fill this role with a spirit of service towards the “ continent of hope ”. 

Msgr Miguel Delgado Galindo has taken over from Prof. Carriquiry as under-secretary. News of this appointment made by Pope Benedict XVI was made public on Saturday 18 June 2011. Msgr Miguel Delgado Galindo, until now bureau chief in the Pontifical Council for the Laity, was born on 22 May 1963 in Barcelona near the monumental basilica of the Sagrada Familia. From 1985 he has belonged to the prelature of Opus Dei. He graduated in law from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is particularly happy to say that he was one of the young participants at World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela in 1989. After working in his profession as a lawyer for some time and having worked in the public administration of Catalonia, in 1991 he transferred to Rome to continue ecclesiastical studies in theology and canon law at the Holy Cross Pontifical University. In 1996 he obtained his doctorate in canon law. That same year he received priestly ordination in the Roman basilica of Sant’Eugenio a Valle Giulia. He returned to Spain to work in ministry. In 1999 he was recalled to Rome to work in the Pontifical Council for the Laity. After a few years he became bureau chief in charge of the section for associations and movements. He has written monographs and articles for canon law journals.

The senior staff and colleagues of the dicastery are certain that Msgr Delgado will bring to his new task all the experience of these years of service in the dicastery. Much of it comes from his many meetings and conversations with numerous associations, movements and new communities that he has come to know very well.


Angelo and Enzo take retirement

In March 2011, two of our colleagues who have been working in this dicastery since 1973 retired from active service. They are Angelo Sala, our librarian, and Vincenzo Ussia, our protocol officer. We shall miss the kindness and generosity they showed to their colleagues, old and new. They take with them a large part of the history of the dicastery. They were among the first staff taken on in the newly founded Consilium de laicis which then became the Pontifical Council for the Laity. We wish to convey to them our gratitude and best wishes that the Lord may bless them in this new stage of their lives.


The Pontifical Council for the Laity’s new website

Since 30 April 2011 the Pontifical Council for the Laity has a new website: This has been planned for some time. It is intended to give news of the work and activities of this dicastery of the Holy See in the service of the lay faithful, in a more complete and more immediate way. Many of our members and consultors, past and present, have been waiting for this web space, as have close collaborators of the dicastery.

The Pontifical Council for the Laity has been on the internet for some time on the Holy See website ( In 2007 it was decided to reorganise the material and data in order to have a clearer and more organic presentation of information on this dicastery of the Roman Curia. At the same time we had the website to promote the various events of the dicastery (congresses, seminars, plenary assemblies, etc.) and to make known the activities of the Youth and Women’s Sections.

The website is now the official website of the dicastery, an open window to all its activities. As much as possible, these are presented in our four official languages – English, French, Italian and Spanish – and with a graphical presentation rich in images.

In addition to a detailed description of its structure (a profile of the institution, senior staff, section heads, secretariat, members and consultors), there is now a substantial number of pages about what is happening in the Sections. There is the Section for lay associations, ecclesial movements and new communities; for youth ministry, with particular attention to World Youth Day; for the vocation and mission of women in the Church and in the world; for the relations of the Church with the world of sport. Some pages of the website contain articles on themes concerning the lay faithful and their engagement with the world. These contributions come from the senior staff, section heads and also from close collaborators. There is also news about the recognition and approval of statutes of new associations, about new programmes in the dicastery, and about the latest publications. Events like seminars, continental congresses of lay Catholics, youth forums and plenary assemblies of members and consultors, all have ample space on with photos, videos and texts of lectures. In this way visitors to the website can “ take part ” in these activities.

The website was developed by the Vatican Internet Service, and it was the first created by that office with the new web content management system, a modern technology that allows text and images to be added in a new and agile way so that it can be updated immediately.

Many people have been enthusiastic about the website, and email messages of appreciation continued to arrive for a few days after it was launched.

Bishops’ Conferences have also sent communications of appreciation. These include those of Canada, the Philippines and the Catholic Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt.

We had almost eight thousand visitors to the website in the month of May and over ninety thousand pages were visited. The highest number of hits came from Italy, but this was closely followed by Spain and Argentina, and then by the United States, France, Brazil, Mexico and Germany. The most consulted documents were those in the Women’s Section.

Finally, we feel we must mention the fact that the date chosen for the launch of the website was 30 April, the day before the beatification of John Paul II. There was a motive for this: it was a tribute to the pontiff who had given such huge encouragement to the lay apostolate and to the new season of associations of the faithful. He is the pope who thought of starting World Youth Day, and he always gave attention to the “ feminine genius ” and to all areas in which the laity are called to witness to Christ.


Ad limina visits

Between the end of 2010 and the first part of 2011, the Pontifical Council for the Laity had the opportunity to meet all three groups of bishops from the Philippines Bishops’ Conference, divided in this way to facilitate their ad limina apostolorum visit. Aside from Timor Leste, the Philippines is the only country in Asia that has a majority Catholic population. The Church in the Philippines is subdivided into 86 ecclesiastical circumscriptions. Weekly church attendance is between 10% and 20%, and lay participation in pastoral ministry is very active. Popular piety is very much alive. It is seen mostly in patron saint festivals, devotions like novenas and processions, and in the high numbers of confraternities.

Some of the bishops and a large group of lay faithful took part in the Congress of Catholic Laity in Asia that our dicastery organised recently in Seoul on the theme “ Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia today ”. On that occasion it was clearly seen that the Church in the Philippines is very important in Asia. It has, and will continue to have, an important role in evangelisation. The bishops are aware of this role and try not to be completely absorbed by local problems.

On 18 February this year, the Holy Father, when speaking to the second group of bishops, pointed out the important role of the Church in difficult social situations like those in the Philippines: “While the Philippines continues to face many challenges in the area of economic development, we must recognize that these obstacles to a life of happiness and fulfilment are not the only stumbling blocks that must be addressed by the Church. Filipino culture is also confronted with the more subtle questions inherent to the secularism, materialism, and consumerism of our times. When self-sufficiency and freedom are severed from their dependence upon and completion in God, the human person creates for himself a false destiny and loses sight of the eternal joy for which he has been made. The path to rediscovering humanity’s true destiny can only be found in the re-establishment of the priority of God in the heart and mind of every person. Above all, to keep God at the center of the life of the faithful, your preaching and that of your clergy must be personal in its focus so that each Catholic will grasp in his or her innermost depths the life-transforming fact that God exists, that he loves us, and that in Christ he answers the deepest questions of our lives. Your great task in evangelization is therefore to propose a personal relationship with Christ as key to complete fulfilment ”. The Church in the Philippines is making great efforts in this regard. For the past fifteen years the bishops have been giving much encouragement to the participation of the laity. They have a considerable number of commissions and councils to support and coordinate pastoral ministry both at national and diocesan levels. A very large number of the faithful take part. Without their contribution it would be impossible to manage with even ordinary pastoral ministry. In particular, there is one very active body for the coordination of the Laity (LAIKO) which is supported by the bishops’ conference. Many lay people carry out a ministry: of the Eucharist, religious instruction, biblical apostolate and various liturgical tasks.

The Pope insists that the religious instruction of the lay faithful should be the first concern of bishops: “ The deep personal piety of your people needs to be nourished and supported by a profound understanding of and appreciation for the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals ” (3 March 2011). An effective response to the need for instruction is given by the base communities (BECs). Much pastoral energy goes into the project of organising the faithful into small territorial communities, subdivisions of parishes in the cities and the countryside. The animators of these communities are lay people who work together with the priest. In the communities there is religious instruction, liturgies (or paraliturgies) conducted by a lay delegate, and there is distribution of communion by an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. Communities also show solidarity with the poor. With regard to lay movements and their contribution to religious instruction and Christian life, Benedict XVI emphasised in his address that “ the Church in the Philippines is fortunate to have a number of lay organizations which continue to draw people to the Lord. In order to confront the questions of our times, the laity need to hear the Gospel message in its fullness, to understand its implications for their personal lives and for society in general, and thus be constantly converted to the Lord. I therefore urge you to take special care in shepherding such groups, so that the primacy of God may remain in the forefront ”. Movements and new communities are plentiful, both international and local organisations. These include a great number of charismatic movements of different kinds. The international movement that supports families, Couples for Christ; is originally from the Philippines. Other groups present are the Cursillos, Focolarini, Knights of Columbus, Legio Mariae, Neocatechumenal Way. There are also “ third orders ” like the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites and others.

The Pope wishes to emphasise that the primacy of God “ is of particular importance when it comes to the evangelization of youth. I am happy to note that, in your country, the faith plays a very important role in the lives of many young people, a fact that is due in large part to the patient work of the local Church to reach out to the youth at all levels. I encourage you to continue to remind young people that the glamour of this world will not satisfy their natural desire for happiness. Only true friendship with God will break the bonds of loneliness from which our fragile humanity suffers and will establish a true and lasting communion with others, a spiritual bond that will readily prompt within us the wish to serve the needs of those we love in Christ ”. Asian Youth Day in 2009 was held in the diocese of Imus.

It was generally agreed that the participation of the laity in public life can be regarded as positive, although problems exist. There are many Catholics involved in politics, and a high number of these have been educated in Catholic schools. A reproductive health bill has been proposed which includes State financing for the distribution of contraceptives and the introduction of sex education as an obligatory subject in schools. It is based on unacceptable principles, and some Catholics were among those who proposed it. However, there are Catholic politicians who speak out in opposition to any efforts to introduce laws that go against life and the family. A large number of parishes have a Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting that aims to provide information that will help discernment during elections. The bishops foster initiatives to make the principles of the social doctrine of the Church more widely known.


The Maronite Patriarch visits the Pontifical Council for the Laity

On 15 April last, the Pontifical Council for the Laity had the honour of a visit by the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, His Beatitude Béchara Boutros El Raï, O.M.M.. He was accompanied by fifteen bishops and several priests, as well as prominent Lebanese experts on politics, economics and journalism. Although this was the first visit by the Patriarch of the Maronites to our dicastery, there has been close collaboration for some time between the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Churches of the Middle East, in particular the Church in Lebanon. The first Congress of the laity in the Middle East was organised together with our dicastery and held in Beirut in June 1997. Following this, in spite of the political difficulties that gripped the country, the Lebanese Church continued to support the instruction and engagement of the laity with a large number of very good initiatives. The Synod of Bishops held in the Vatican in October 2010 was very useful for the whole of the Middle East. Meanwhile, national congresses of the Catholic laity were held around the region.

The visit by the Patriarch signals a new stage on the path of pastoral growth of a Church that must face up to the huge difficulties each day brings, between political instability and relations that are not always easy with other religious groups. The key role of the Maronite Church for the whole of the Middle East was mentioned by the Holy Father when he received the Patriarch the day before the visit to our dicastery. The Pope referred to the Synod of 2010 and emphasised “ the urgent need to propose the Gospel anew to people who are barely familiar with it or who have drifted away from the Church ” especially because “ this region of the world, which the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Christ himself blessed by their presence and their preaching, aspires to the enduring peace that the word of Truth can establish when it is welcomed and lived out ”.

Drawing on the words spoken by Benedict XVI, a productive conversation took place between the patriarch and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. We recalled the special relationship that links our dicastery with the Council for the Apostolate of the Laity in Lebanon led by Most Rev. Georges Bou-Jaoudé, C.M. who was present at the meeting, and with the Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity in the Middle East connected to the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs. We spoke of issues on which we are collaborating: accompaniment of 43 associations and movements present in Lebanon; youth ministry and participation in World Youth Day where Lebanese bishops have often been bishop-catechists, including the present Patriarch; women’s ministry; the engagement of the laity in the Church and the world, at professional, cultural and political levels; religious education at different levels and sports pastoral ministry. We spoke too of the current situation of the Arab world where there are great social tensions. Finally we spoke about the project being drawn up jointly by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs to call another Congress for the Laity of the Middle East in Lebanon, probably in the second half of 2012.


The latest publications

Laity Today collection 

• Testimoni di Cristo nella comunità politica, Proceedings of the 24th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Rome, 20-22 May 2010.

• Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia Today, Congress of Asian Catholic Laity, Seoul, South Korea, 31 August to 5 September 2010.

• Sport, Education, Faith: Towards a New Season for Catholic Sports Associations, International Seminar, Vatican, 6-7 November 2009.


Contacts with associations and movements

During the first semester of the year, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, met with leaders and representatives of the following movements, associations and new communities: The Institute for World Evangelisation - ICPE Mission; Pope John XXIII Community Association; The Teresian Association; The Neocatechumenal Way; International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS); Emmanuel Community; Azione Cattolica Italiana; Sant’Egidio Community; Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships; Christian Life Movement; Couples for Christ; World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO); Christian Life Community; Sodalitium Christianae Vitae; International Catholic Conference of Guiding (ICCG); International Coordination of Young Christian Workers (CIJOC-ICYCW); Madonna House Apostolate; Emmanuel School of Mission; Chemin Neuf Community; Prayer and Life Workshops (TOV); Opera di Nazaret; Evangelization 2033; Rinnovamento nello Spirito Santo; Shalom Catholic Community; Claire Amitié; Focolare Movement; Missionary Community of Villaregia; Encounters of Married Couples (Dialogues); Renewal Ministries; Fraternity of Communion and Liberation.

• On 5 January Cardinal Ryłko spoke during the annual retreat of the Focolare members on the topic: “ Spiritual retreats: a time to rediscover the important things ”. He presided at the Mass that followed.

• On 6 February he attended the thanksgiving celebrations in Rome for the pontifical recognition of the Nuovi Orizzonti Community and presided at the Mass.

• On 14 February he visited the headquarters of the Nuovi Orizzonti Community in Piglio in Frosinone.

• On 18 March he presided at the Mass during the Third International Colloquium on Baptism in the Spirit organised by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) in Rome from 17 to 20 March. On 24 March in Rome he presided at the memorial Mass for Bishop Joseph Grech of Sandhurst Australia who was the ICCRS Episcopal Adviser and who passed away in December 2010. Th cardinal attended the dedication of the ICCRS office meeting room to Bishop Grech.

• He spoke at the opening session of the 14th national assembly of Azione Cattolica Italiana, held in Rome from 6 to 8 May.

• He presided at the concluding Mass at Kairòs 2011, an international meeting for peace among nations organised in Bari by the Comunità di Gesù from 13 to 15 May.

• On 21 May, on the occasion of the centenary of the foundation of the Teresian Association, he presided at the panel discussion held in Rome on the theme: “One hundred years of life: from memory to commitment ”, and he celebrated the thanksgiving Mass.


The secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Bishop Josef Clemens, received the visit of the leaders of the Fazenda da Esperança; Orione Lay Movement; International Union of European Guides and Scouts - European scouting Federation (UIGSE-FSE); International Military Apostolate (AMI); Sant’Egidio Community in Germany; La Dieci di Bassano del Grappa association; Obra de Maria Community from Brazil; The Beatitudes Community; International Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movements (FIMARC); Rinnovamento Carismatico Cattolico Servi di Cristo Vivo association; Obra Social Nossa Senhora da Glória - Fazenda da Esperança; Shalom Catholic Community; Cuore di Gesù Community in Rome; the Catholic Integrated Community (KIG); Alleanza Dives in Misericordia association; Comunità Regina Pacis from Verona; Schönstatt Women’s Apostolic Union (Schönstatt-Frauenbund); the World Organisation of Former Pupils and Teachers of Catholic Education (OMAEC); Comunità Abramo from Vicenza, a member community of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.

• On 22 January in Rome, he spoke at a training course for new leaders for Africa and Latin America of the Sant’Egidio Community. The topic of the talk was “Benedict XVI and ecclesial movements ”.

• On 17 February he presided at the Mass at the national convention of diocesan and parochial assistants of Azione Cattolica Italiana which took place at Domus Mariae in Rome.

• On 29 April he attended the inauguration and blessing of the new headquarters of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships in Palazzo San Calisto, the Vatican.

• On 29 May he presided at Mass in Würzburg, Germany, at the annual gathering of the Sant’Egidio Community. He met with Rabbi Jakov Ebert of the Yiddish community in Würzburg and visited the Jewish Cultural Centre Shalom Europa.

• From 10 to 12 June he took part in a retreat pilgrimage in the Holy Land which was promoted by the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships and organised by the Brazilian community Obra de Maria from Recife and Canção Nova from Cachoeira Paulista. He addressed the pilgrims on the theme: “ The theological-homiletical thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on Pentecost and on the Holy Spirit ”. He presided at the concluding concelebrated Mass of the solemnity of Pentecost.


The undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Prof. Guzmán Carriquiry, received the visit of leaders and representatives of the International Confederation of the Society of St Vincent de Paul; Palavra Viva Catholic Community; Via Pacis association; Italia Solidale association; Eduardo Regal, the new president of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae; Maryknoll Mission Association; Centri di Spiritualità Santa Maria; Shalom Catholic Community.

• On 24 February Prof. Carriquiry gave a talk on the topic “The laity and the universal call to holiness ” during a training course organised by the International Forum of Catholic Action (IFCA) in collaboration with the Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical Gregorian University.

• On 25 February he took part in a seminar organised by the International Young Catholic Students (IYCS).


The bureau chief of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Msgr Miguel Delgado Galindo, received the visit of the leaders of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical Social Assistants (CICIAMS). He also met with Rev. Henry Donneaud, OP, pontifical commissioner for the Beatitudes Community.

• From 19 to 21 January Msgr Delgado took part in a gathering of priests of the Foyers de Charité, that was held in Châteauneuf de Galaure in France.


Rev. Eric Jacquinet, head of the Youth Section, received the visit of the leaders and representatives of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS); the International Catholic Conference of Guiding (ICCG); the Jeunesse Lumière school of evangelisation; the Claire Amitié association.


Rev. Kevin Lixey LC of the Church and Sport Section, received the visit of a group of members of the Sion Catholic Community for Evangelism who were in Rome on pilgrimage.


Ana Cristina Villa Betancourt, of the Women’s Section, received the visit of a group of young women from the Emmanuel School of Mission and informed them about the activities of the Women’s Section; the international team of the International Catholic Conference of Guiding (ICCG); the leaders of the women’s branch of Catholic Action in France; members of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO).

• On 22 June in Rome, she gave a talk on women in the Church at the world gathering of ICCG chaplains.


Dr Stefano De Pasquale Ceratti received the visit of the leaders of the Opera dell’amore and the La Via dell’Amore movement; the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movements.


Other engagements

During the first part of the year 2011, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, received the visit of Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona (Spain); Most Rev. Peter Rusnák, eparch of Bratislava and president of the bishops’ commission for lay apostolic movements in the Slovak Bishops’ Conference; Most Rev. Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, archbishop of Belo Horizonte (Brazil); Most Rev. Mauro Parmeggiani, bishop of Tivoli; Most Rev. Robert Jean Louis Le Gall, archbishop of Toulouse (France); Most Rev. Manuel Ureña Pastor, archbishop of Zaragoza (Spain); Most Rev. Javier Augusto Del Río Alba, archbishop of Arequipa (Peru); Most Rev. Pierre-André Dumas, bishop of Anse-à- Veau et Miragoâne (Haiti); Frère Alois Löser, prior of the Taizé Community; senator of the Republic of Italy, Marcello Pera; Tanios Chahwan, member of the dicastery; Dr Marguerite A. Peeters, director of the Institute for Intercultural Dialogue Dynamics in Brussels (Belgium); representatives of the Priests for Life association (United States); the Délégation Catholique pour la Coopération, a voluntary organisation for international solidarity of the French Bishops’ Conference; the marian movement La Libanaise - Femme du 31 mai and the John Paul II Centre for social and cultural services in Lebanon.

• From 25 to 27 February Cardinal Ryłko was in Warsaw to take part in the youth ministry forum arranged by the Polish Bishops’ Conference in view of the 26th World Youth Day in Madrid. He gave a talk at the event on the topic “ John Paul II: young people’s friend ”, and he presided at the Mass.

• On 3 March he presided at the Mass in Sant’Agnese in Agone in Rome to celebrate ten years of Eucharistic adoration in this church animated by the youth of the city.

• On 6 April he attended a seminar on “Youth apostolate in Spain in the 20th century ” that was organised by the San Damaso Theology Faculty in view of the 26th WYD. He gave a lecture on the topic “ the significance and relevance of World Youth Day ”.

• He attended the 15th convention on “ The lay faithful: present situation and the future ” held on 7 and 8 April in Rome by the Canon Law Faculty of the Pontifical Holy Cross University. He introduced the first day’s session with a talk on “The lay faithful today: an urgent need to return to the essentials ”.

• On 13 April in the Holy See Press Office, he spoke at the press conference presenting YouCat, the catechism of the Catholic Church for young people that has been prepared for the 26th World Youth Day in Madrid.

• On 15 April he presided at the Mass at the San Lorenzo International Youth Centre in Rome. After Mass he spoke with the young people about John Paul II and how he related with young people.

• On the 30 and 31 May he took part in the first plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation held in Rome.

• From 18 to 21 June he was in Poland to take part in the 6th Forum of lay associations and ecclesial movements held by the diocese of Tarnow.

• On 28 June he took part in the press conference at the Holy See Press Office presenting the Madrid 2011 World Youth Day.


The secretary of the dicastery, Bishop Josef Clemens, received the visit of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising in Germany; Most Rev. Carlo Mazza, bishop of Fidenza and member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Most Rev. Joel Baylon, bishop of Legazpi in the Philippines; Most Rev. Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, archbishop of Belo Horizonte in Brazil; Frère Alois Löser, prior of the Taizé Community; Wilfred Lemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace. Rev. Kevin Lixez LC of the Church and Sport Section was present; Rev. Stefan-Bernhard Eirich, the new rector of the Central Committee of German Catholics (Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken - ZdK); the leaders of the Priestly Union of Austria, Switzerland and Germany; Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister for Education and Research; Hubert Brenninkmeijer and Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn, founders of the International Academy for Marital Spirituality based in Brussels in Belgium; Rev. James Phalan, the director of Family Rosary International; Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, German Federal Minister of the Interior; The Hon. Marie-Luise Dött, MdB, president of the Catholic Entrepreneur’s Union (Bund Katholischer Unternehmer e. V.); Prof. Josef Sayer, director general of Misereor; Mary Healey-Sedutto, director of Pan-American Health Care Network; Antonia Willemsen, German president of Kirche in Not (Aid to the Church in Need), together with Countess Johanna von Westphalen and Frei Hans Stapel.

• On 25 February, at the dicastery offices, he gave a talk on the apostolate of the laity to a group from the Evangelical Academy of Loccum in Germany who were accompanied by their director Stephan Schaede.

• On 4 March at the dicastery offices, he gave a talk on the function, structure and history of the Pontifical Council for the Laity to students of the Canon Law and Dogmatic Theology Faculty of Freiburg University in Germany. They were in Rome attending a seminar on “The universal Church and the local Church ”.

• On 12 March he gave a talk on “World Youth Day and its pastoral projection for Latin America ” at the Pontifical Holy Cross University in Rome. This was during a gathering under the auspices of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America for Latin American priests and religious studying in Rome.

• On 20 March he took part in the Mass presided by the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the dedication of the new Roman parish of San Corbiniano all’Infernetto.

• On 11 April, at the Catholic Academy of Berlin, he gave a talk on the topic “The Belveder Torso and the lay apostolate ” on the occasion of the conferring of the DJK-Ethik-Preises des Sports on Prof. Norbert Müller, of Mainz University, a member of the dicastery.

• On 13 April he took part in the presentation of the YouCat catechism for youth, promoted by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Rome, in the presence of Cardinal Paolo Sardi, patron of the Order, and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, who oversaw the preparation of the new catechism.

• On 14 May 2011 he took part in the plenary assembly of the Central Committee of German Catholics (Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken - ZdK) in Erfurt in Germany and gave a talk on: “World Youth Day in Madrid. Work in hand at the Pontifical Council for the Laity ”.

• On 28 May he gave a talk on the role and powers of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in the Roman Curia to the participants at a seminar of the Assia Industrialists’ Union in Germany.

• On 30 June he took part in a ceremony in the Clementina Room in the Apostolic Palace in which the Ratzinger Prize, instituted by the Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, was conferred by Pope Benedict XVI on three theology scholars.


The undersecretary of the dicastery, Prof. Guzmán Carriquiry, received the visit of Victor Soldevila, secretary of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

• On 7 April he took part in the conference “The lay faithful: present situation and the future ” organised by the Canon Law Faculty of the Pontifical Holy Cross University. He gave a talk on “ The Catholic laity from the Second Vatican Council until today: positive results, difficulties and failures ”.

• On 12 April he took part in a gathering organised by the Schönstatt Fathers of the Roman parish of Santi Francesco e Caterina Patroni d’Italia, and he gave testimony about John Paul II whose beatification was a few weeks later.


Msgr Miguel Delgado Galindo, bureau chief of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Ana Cristina Villa Betancourt, received the visit of a group of students from the Pontifical Gregorian University who were accompanied by Prof. Donna Orsuto.

• On 5 April Msgr Delgado Galindo gave a talk at the Institut Catholique de Paris on the statutes of lay associations.

• On 28 April he represented the president of the dicastery at the Third Regional Convention on “ The laity in the Church and in the society of Puglia today ”, held in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia).


Rev. Eric Jacquinet, head of the Youth Section, received the visit of Most Rev. Dominique Lebrun, Bishop of Saint-Etienne in France accompanied by seminarians from the diocese; Most Rev. Marc Aillet, Bishop of Bayonne in France, and a group of seminarians from the diocese; Rev. José Manuel Ballesteros Alvarez, procurator of the Identes Missionaries; Rev. Francesco Pierpaoli, director of the Giovanni Paolo II youth centre in Loreto; Rev. Antoine Birot of the diocese of Toulon in France, founder of the Maison de l’Amour Trinitaire; Rev. Fabrice du Haÿs, parish priest of Saint Martin d’Achères in France, with a group of altar servers; a group of students from the Ecole de la foi de Coutances in France; Rev. Samuel Vigot from Lyon in France together with a group of parishioners; Rev. Francio Manoukian from Toulon in France together with a group of married couples.

• On 19 January Rev. Jacquinet gave a talk entitled “The contribution of shrines to the evangelisation of youth ” during the course of the annual congress of the Association des recteurs de sanctuaires which was held in Sainte-Anne d’Auray in France from 17 to 18 January on the theme “Our shrines and young people ”.

• On 21 January he spoke at a meeting held by the Canossian Daughters of Charity for youth ministry leaders.

• He took part in the 11th gathering of presidents of South-East European bishops’ conferences held in Nicosia in Cyprus from 3 to 6 March 2011. He gave a talk on “Youth ministry today ”.


Rev. Kevin Lixey LC, head of the Church and Sport Section, received the visit of Most Rev. Carlo Mazza, bishop of Fidenza and member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Mgr Mario Lusek, head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference Office for pastoral ministry in tourism, leisure and sport; delegates of the International Federation of Sport Climbing from different parts of the world who were in Rome for the annual general assembly.

• On 10 January, Fr Lixey represented the Pontifical Council for the Laity at the meeting of the pastoral commission of the Fédération Internationale Catholique d’Education Physique et sportive (FICEP) which was held in Brescia from 9 to 11 January.

• On 3 March he gave a short presentation on John Paul II as a sporting pope at the press conference presenting the fifth Clericus Cup tournament in which seminarians and priests studying at the Roman pontifical universities take part. It was held from 26 March to 28 May 2011.

• On 10 March he took part in the first in the series of monthly meetings on “A sport for people open to the absolute ”, held at the San Lorenzo International Youth Centre in Rome and organised by the Italian Bishops’ Conference Office for pastoral ministry in tourism, leisure and sport together with the John Paul II Foundation for Sport and the Church and Sport Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

• On 4 April, at Vatican Radio, he took part in the presentation of the book Lo sport in Vaticano, published by the Vatican Publishing House.

• On 28 April he was in Nancy in France for the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fédération Internationale Catholique d’Education Physique et sportive (FICEP). He gave the words of greeting to the participants at the start of the general assembly.

• On 9 June he introduced the sessions of a seminar on “Education challenges sport. New places for education in the parishes ”. It took place in Rome in the conference hall of the Vatican Museums, and was organised by the Italian Bishops’ Conference Office for pastoral ministry in tourism, leisure and sport and the Church and Sport Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.


Ana Cristina Villa Betancourt, head of the Women’s Section, received the visit of Laura Tortorella, didactic director of the Mulieris Dignitatem Institute for the uni-duality man-woman; Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel; Kevin Kacvinsky of Witness to Hope Ministries; Christine Anne Mugridge of Sacred Arts Communications; Dale O’Leary and Dina Nerozzi, scholars and writers, and Adele Ercolano and Giovanna Abbiati of the Higher Institute for Women’s Studies at the Pontificio Regina Apostolorum Athenaeum in Rome.

• From 8 to 12 February Ms Villa Betancourt took part in the first International Congress on gender ideology which was held at the University of Navarra in Pamplona in Spain.

• On 28 June she attended a reception at the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See on the occasion of a visit to Rome by Melanne Verveer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

• Ms Villa Betancourt attended several meetings at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to collaborate in the organisation of a European meeting of women’s organisations and in the drafting of the forthcoming message for the world day of peace. She also attended several meetings organised by the Mulieris Dignitatem Institute for the uni-duality man-woman and by the Diocesan Union of Major Superiors where she was moderator at a panel discussion and gave a talk on religious life.


Cardinal Ryłko’s appointments included visits from several ambassadors to the Holy See: Thomas Hong-soon Han, Korean ambassador; Hidekazu Yamaguchi, Japanese ambassador; BogdanT taru-Cazaban, Romanian ambassador; Larry Yuyuan Wang, Republic of China (Taiwan) ambassador; Alfons M. Kloss, the new Austrian ambassador.


Bishop Clemens received the visit of Walter Jürgen Schmid, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See, and Alfons M. Kloss, Austrian ambassador to the Holy See.