(A Link for visiting the website of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy)
The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (Pontificia Ecclesiastica Academia) is one of the Roman Colleges of the Roman Catholic Church. The academy is dedicated to training priests to serve in the diplomatic corps and the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. The diplomatic service of the Holy See can be traced back to the First Council of Nicaea when Pope Sylvester I sent legates to represent him during the discussions of the council. The present Academy was created as the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles by the abbot Pietro Garagni under Pope Clement XI in April 1701. The Academy marked its 300th anniversary in April 2001 with a visit by Pope John Paul II and a special lecture by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
From EWTN: "The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy celebrated its 300th anniversary with various events from 25 April 2001 to 17 May 2002. The book, Pontificia Academia Ecclesiastica: Terzo Centenario (1701-2001), edited by the institution's President, Archbishop Justo Mullor García, and printed in 2003 by the Vatican Press, contains a description of the major events and a collection of the speeches given on important occasions."
Located inside Palazzo Severoli, Piazza della Minerva, central Rome, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy trains Catholic priests sent by their bishop from different parts of the world to study ecclesiastical and international diplomacy, particularly in order that the alumni may later be selected to serve in the Diplomatic posts of the Holy See—ultimately as a papal nuncio, or ambassador. Many leaders of the church have been alumni of the academy, including Popes Clement XIII, Leo XII, Leo XIII, Benedict XV, and Paul VI.
According to Archbishop Celestinio Migliore, a former Professor of the Ecclesiastical Diplomacy course, "The academic curriculum consists of two years of specialized studies: ecclesiastical diplomacy, international law, monographs on international organizations and on techniques of negotiations; the history of ecclesiastical diplomacy, diplomatic styles, courses on great modern cultural and theological strains; and economic and social questions.
At the same time, they take courses in information technology and languages. Each student, at the end of the curriculum, has to possess a working knowledge of at least two languages in addition to his mother tongue. The major languages studied are: English, French, Spanish, and German, and increasingly, Arabic and the languages of Eastern Europe and Asia.
The current President of the academy is Archbishop Beniamino Stella, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 13 October 2007.
Previous Presidents of the Academy to date are listed below from the first to the most current:
YouTube Video of Pope Benedict XVI's June 2011 Visit
to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
[2010 MEETING OF THE HOLY FATHER WITH THE PRIESTLY CANDIDATES STUDYING ECCLESIASTICAL DIPLOMACY AT THE PONTIFICAL ECCLESIASTICAL ACADEMY IN ROME; ITALIAN FOLLOWED BY ENGLISH TRANSLATION]
DISCORSO DEL SANTO PADRE BENEDETTO XVI
ALLA COMUNITÀ DELLA PONTIFICIA ACCADEMIA ECCLESIASTICA
Sala del Concistoro
Lunedì, 14 giugno 2010
Venerato Fratello nell’Episcopato,
Vi accolgo sempre con gioia per il nostro consueto incontro, che mi offre l’occasione di salutarvi e di incoraggiarvi e di proporvi qualche riflessione sul senso del lavoro nelle Rappresentanze Pontificie. Saluto il Presidente, Mons. Beniamino Stella, che con dedizione e senso ecclesiale segue la vostra formazione, e lo ringrazio per le parole che mi ha rivolto a nome di tutti. Un grato pensiero ai suoi Collaboratori e alle Suore Francescane Missionarie di Gesù Bambino.
Vorrei soffermarmi brevemente sul concetto di rappresentanza. Non di rado esso è considerato in modo parziale nella comprensione contemporanea: si tende, infatti, ad associarlo a qualcosa di meramente esteriore, formale, poco personale.
Il servizio di rappresentanza a cui voi vi state preparando è invece qualcosa di molto più profondo perché è partecipazione alla sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum, che caratterizza il Ministero del Romano Pontefice. E’ perciò realtà eminentemente personale, destinata ad incidere profondamente in colui che è chiamato a svolgere tale particolare compito. Proprio in questa prospettiva ecclesiale, l’esercizio della rappresentanza implica l’esigenza di accogliere e di alimentare con speciale attenzione nella propria vita sacerdotale alcune dimensioni, che vorrei indicare, seppure sommariamente, affinché siano motivo di riflessione nel vostro cammino formativo.
Anzitutto, coltivare una piena adesione interiore alla persona del Papa, al suo Magistero e al Ministero universale; adesione piena, cioè, a chi ha ricevuto il compito di confermare i fratelli nella fede (cfr Lc 22,32) ed “è il perpetuo e visibile principio e fondamento dell’unità sia dei Vescovi sia della moltitudine dei fedeli” (Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Cost. Lumen gentium, 23). In secondo luogo, assumere, come stile di vita e come priorità quotidiana, un’attenta cura – una vera “passione” – per la comunione ecclesiale. Ancora, rappresentare il Romano Pontefice significa avere la capacità di essere un solido “ponte”, un sicuro canale di comunicazione tra le Chiese particolari e la Sede Apostolica: da un lato, ponendo a disposizione del Papa e dei suoi collaboratori una visione obiettiva, corretta e approfondita della realtà ecclesiale e sociale in cui si vive, dall’altro, impegnandosi a trasmettere le norme, le indicazioni, gli orientamenti che emanano dalla Santa Sede, non in maniera burocratica, ma con profondo amore alla Chiesa e con l’aiuto della fiducia personale pazientemente costruita, rispettando e valorizzando, allo stesso tempo, gli sforzi dei Vescovi e il cammino delle Chiese particolari presso le quali si è inviati.
Come si può intuire, il servizio che vi preparate a svolgere esige una dedizione piena e una disponibilità generosa a sacrificare, se necessario, intuizioni personali, progetti propri e altre possibilità di esercizio del ministero sacerdotale. In un’ottica di fede e di risposta concreta alla chiamata di Dio - da nutrire sempre in un intenso rapporto con il Signore - ciò non svilisce l’originalità di ciascuno, ma, al contrario, risulta estremamente arricchente: lo sforzo di mettersi in sintonia con la prospettiva universale e con il servizio all’unità del gregge di Dio, peculiari del Ministero petrino, è infatti in grado di valorizzare, in maniera singolare, doti e talenti di ciascuno, secondo quella logica che san Paolo ha bene espresso ai cristiani di Corinto (cfr 1Cor 12,1-31). In tal modo il Rappresentante Pontificio – unitamente a chi collabora con lui - diventa veramente segno della presenza e della carità del Papa. E se ciò è un beneficio per la vita di tutte le Chiese particolari, lo è specialmente in quelle situazioni particolarmente delicate o difficili in cui, per svariate ragioni, la comunità cristiana si trova a vivere. Si tratta, a ben vedere, di un autentico servizio sacerdotale, caratterizzato da un’analogia non remota con la rappresentanza di Cristo, tipica del sacerdote che, come tale, ha un’intrinseca dimensione sacrificale.
Proprio da qui deriva lo stile peculiare anche del servizio di rappresentanza che sarete chiamati ad esercitare presso le Autorità statali o presso le Organizzazioni internazionali. Anche in questi ambiti, infatti, la figura e il modo di presenza del Nunzio, del Delegato Apostolico, dell’Osservatore Permanente, viene determinata non solo dall’ambiente in cui si opera, ma, prima ancora e principalmente, da colui che si è chiamati a rappresentare. Ciò pone il Rappresentante Pontificio in una posizione particolare rispetto ad altri Ambasciatori o Inviati. Egli, infatti, sarà sempre profondamente identificato, in un senso soprannaturale, con colui che rappresenta. Il farsi portavoce del Vicario di Cristo potrà essere impegnativo, talora estremamente esigente, ma non sarà mai mortificante o spersonalizzante. Diventa, invece, un modo originale di realizzare la propria vocazione sacerdotale.
Cari Alunni, augurandovi che la vostra Casa possa essere, come amava dire il mio Predecessore Paolo VI, una “superiore scuola di carità”, vi accompagni la mia preghiera, mentre vi affido all’intercessione della beata Vergine Maria, Mater Ecclesiae, e di Sant’Antonio Abate, Patrono dell’Accademia. A tutti voi e ai vostri cari, ben volentieri imparto la mia Benedizione.
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
COMMUNITY the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
Monday, June 14, 2010
Venerable Brother Bishops,
I welcome you with joy for our regular meeting, which gives me the opportunity to greet and encourage you and offer some reflections on the meaning of work in the Pontifical Representations. I greet the President, Archbishop Beniamino Stella, whose dedication and sense of the Church’s ecclesial work follows your training, and thank him for his words to me on behalf of all. I also extend sentiments of gratitude to his collaborators and the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Child Jesus.
I will touch briefly on the concept of representation. Not infrequently it is considered a biased understanding contemporaries tend, indeed, to associate it with something merely external, formal, not personal.
The representation service to which you are preparing is instead something far more profound because it is participation in sollicitudo ecclesiarum omnium, which characterizes the Ministry of the Roman Pontiff. It so eminently is personal and is intended to affect profoundly the one who is called to perform that particular task. Precisely in this ecclesial perspective, the exercise of representation implies the need to welcome and food with special attention to some dimensions in his priestly life, I would indicate, albeit briefly, that are cause for reflection on your educational journey.
First, develop a full membership to the inner person of the Pope and his Magisterial Universal Ministry full membership, that is, who has been given the task of confirming his brethren in faith (cf. Lk 22:32) and "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of unity of the Bishops and of the faithful "(Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 23). Secondly, assume, as a lifestyle and priorities as daily attention and care - a true "passion" - for ecclesial communion. Still, represent the Roman Pontiff is to have the ability to be a solid bridge, a secure communication channel between the Churches and the Apostolic See: first, placing at the disposal of the Pope and his team an objective view, correct and depth of social and ecclesial situation in which you live, on the other hand, passing the rules, directions, guidelines emanating from the Holy See, not so bureaucratic, but with deep love for the Church and with the help of personal trust patiently constructed, respecting and celebrating at the same time, the efforts of the bishops and the path of the particular Churches in which it was submitted.
As you can see, the service requires that you prepare to play a full dedication and a generous willingness to sacrifice, if necessary, personal insights, their own projects and other opportunities for the priestly ministry. From the perspective of faith and concrete response to God's call - to feed into a more intense relationship with the Lord - this is not degrading the uniqueness of each, but on the contrary, it is very rewarding: the effort to get in tune with the prospect of universal service and the unity of God's flock, peculiar to the Petrine ministry, is able to exploit, in a unique way, skills and talents of each, according to that logic that St. Paul has well expressed the Christians of Corinth (cf. 1 Cor 12.1 to 31). Thus the Papal Representative - together to collaborate with him - is truly a sign of the Pope's presence and love And if this is a benefit for the lives of all the particular Churches, especially in those situations it is particularly sensitive or where, for various reasons, the Christian community is experiencing difficulty. This is, strictly speaking, a true priestly service, characterized by an analogy with the remote does not represent Christ, the typical priest who, as such, has an intrinsic dimension of sacrifice.
Heed also the peculiar style of the service representative that you will be called upon to perform with the state authorities or international organizations. In these areas, in fact, the figure and the mode of presence of the Nuncio of the Apostolic Delegate, Permanent Observer, is determined not only by the environment in which they work, but even before that, principally, by the person who has supposed to represent. This places the papal representative in a special position compared with other Ambassadors or Envoys. In fact, he will always be deeply identified in a supernatural sense, with the one whom he represents. To convey a representation of the Vicar of Christ can be challenging, sometimes extremely demanding, but never demeaning or impersonal. This service becomes, instead, an original way to create its own priestly vocation.
Dear Students, wishing that your house may be, as he liked to say my predecessor Paul VI, a "higher school of charity", my prayers go with you, as I entrust to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mater Ecclesiae, (Mother of the Church) and St. Anthony the Abbot, patron of the Academy. To all of you and your loved ones, gladly impart my Blessing. [Posted June 21, 2010].
Annual Visit of the Holy Father to the PEA in May 2009
The following is the text of Pope Benedict XVI's address to the priestly
diplomats-in-training in May 2009.
Dear Brother Priests,
It is a renewed joy for me to greet you all who have come this year too, to show the Successor of Peter your affection and faithfulness. I greet Archbishop Beniamino Stella, President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, and thank him for the words he has courteously addressed to me, as well as for the service he carries out with great dedication. I greet his collaborators, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Child Jesus and all of you who in these years of your youth are preparing to serve the Church and her universal Pastor, in a unique ministry, which is, precisely, that carried out in the Papal Representations.
Indeed service in the Apostolic Nunciatures may be considered, to a certain extent, a specific priestly vocation, a pastoral ministry that involves a special integration in the world and in its often quite complex social and political problems. It is therefore important that you learn to decipher them, knowing that the "code", so to speak, for the analysis and understanding of these dynamics can only be the Gospel and the perennial Magisterium of the Church. You must learn to interpret human and social realties carefully, on the basis of a certain personal perception, which every servant of the Holy See must possess, and putting to good use the specific experience you will acquire during these years. In addition, that capacity for dialogue with modernity which is required of you, as well as contact with people and the institutions that they represent, demand a robust inner structure and spiritual solidity that can safeguard and indeed highlight better and better your Christian and priestly identity. Only in this way will you be able to avoid suffering the negative effects of the modern mindset and not let yourselves be attracted or contaminated by the pressure of earthly logic.
Since it is the Lord himself who asks you to carry out this mission in the Church, through the summons of your Bishop who points you out and makes you available to the Holy See, it is to the Lord himself that you must always and above all refer. In moments of darkness and inner difficulty, turn your gaze to Christ who lovingly fixed his eyes on you one day and called you to be with him and to work, at his school, for his Kingdom. Always remember that it is essential and fundamental, for the priestly ministry in whatever way it is exercised, to keep a personal tie with Jesus. He wants us to be his "friends", friends who seek intimacy with him, who follow his teachings and strive to make him known to and loved by all. The Lord wants us, that is, all "his own", to be holy, not concerned to build ourselves a humanly interesting or comfortable career, seeking neither public applause nor success, but rather entirely dedicated to the good of souls, ready to carry out our duty to the very end, in the knowledge that we are "useless servants", glad to be able to offer our poor contribution to spreading the Gospel.
Dear priests, may you be, in the first place, men of intense prayer, who cultivate a communion of love and life with the Lord. Without this sound spiritual basis, how could you persevere in your ministry? Those who work in this way in the Lord's vineyard know that what they do with dedication, sacrifice and love is never wasted. And if at times we are given to taste the cup of loneliness, misunderstanding and suffering, if service seems at times a burden to us and the cross is sometimes heavy to carry, may the certainty that God knows how to make all things fruitful sustain and comfort us. We know that the dimension of the Cross, vividly symbolized in the parable of the ear of wheat which, having fallen to the ground dies to bear fruit an image that Jesus used shortly before his Passion is an essential part of every person's life and every apostolic mission. In every situation we must offer the joyful witness of our adherence to the Gospel, accepting the Apostle Paul's invitation to boast only of the Cross of Christ, with the sole ambition of completing in ourselves what is lacking in the Passion of the Lord, for the sake of his Body, that is the Church (cf. Col 1: 24).
The Year for Priests, that will begin next 19 June, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart and a Day of Priestly Sanctification, is a particularly valuable opportunity for renewing and reinforcing your generous response to the Lord's call, for intensifying your relationship with him. May you make the very most of this opportunity to be priests according to Christ's Heart, like St John Mary Vianney, the Holy Curé d'Ars, the 150th anniversary of whose death we are preparing to celebrate. I entrust these wishes and hopes to his intercession and to that of St Anthony Abbot, Patron of the Academy. May Mary, Mother of the Church watch maternally over you and protect you. As for me, while I thank you for today's visit, I assure you of my special remembrance in prayer and cordially impart the Apostolic Blessing to each one of you, to the reverend Sisters, to the personnel of the House and to all your loved ones.