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Friday, June 30, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 30, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Arulappan Amalraj, former rector of the Good Shepherd Seminary of Coimbatore, India, as bishop of Ootacamund (area 7,312, population 1,465,000, Catholics 85,116, priests 116, religious 584), India. The bishop-elect was born in Nilgiris, India in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1980.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 30, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Woon Walter, ambassador of Singapore, on his farewell visit.

 - Grygorii Fokovych Khoruzhyi, ambassador of Ukraine, on his farewell visit.

 - Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, apostolic nuncio to Indonesia, accompanied by members of his family.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 30, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has decreed that from September 18 - when the Vatican Secret Archives and other archives of the Holy See resume activities after the summer vacation - all documents relative to the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (February 6, 1922 - February 10, 1939) be made available to researchers.

  According to a communique made public today, signed by Frs. Marcel Chappin S.J. and Sergio Pagano B., respectively keeper of the Historical Archives of the Secretariat of State and prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, "this opening, which had already been desired by John Paul II, ... makes available to historical research, within the limits of the regulations, all documentary sources up to February 1939 conserved in the various series of archives of the Holy See, and principally in the Vatican Secret Archives and in the Archives of the Second Section of the Secretariat of State (formerly the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs)."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 30, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Mario Juan Bosco Cayota Zappettini, the new ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See.

  "Over its history," said the Pope in his address to the diplomat, "Uruguay has gradually adopted the Christian ideals of justice and peace. In the bosom of the country, different concepts of man and his destiny coexist peacefully and in mutual respect, without this diminishing the sincere and real appreciation for the religious dimension and, in particular, for the mission of the Church."

  "The most exalted values, rooted in the hearts of individuals and in the social fabric, are like the soul of peoples, rendering them strong in adversity, generous in loyal collaboration, and hopeful in building a better future ... in which everyone without exception has the opportunity to achieve their full dignity as human beings.

  "For this reason," the Holy Father added, "we look with concern at certain tendencies that seek to limit the inviolable value of human life itself, ... or to disassociate it from its natural environment, which is that of human love in marriage and the family. The Church clearly promotes a generous and hope-giving 'culture of life,' and not only for strictly religious reasons."

  "Supporting the family, helping it to carry out its indispensable duties, also means gaining in social cohesion and, above all, respecting the rights of the family, which cannot be relinquished in the face of other forms of union that seek to usurp them."

  The Pope then turned to consider the "huge problem of poverty and marginalization," which represents "an urgent challenge for leaders and those in charge of public institutions." He also referred to "new possibilities and new risks" arising from globalization, which must be faced "with the broadest possible agreement among nations."

  Globalization, he said, "is an opportunity to create a network of understanding and solidarity among peoples, without reducing everything to merely commercial or pragmatic exchanges." In this network there should be room "for the human problems of each place and, in particular, of emigrants forced to leave their own land in search of better living conditions; something which at times has grave consequences on the individual, family and social spheres."

  The Church, which considers charity to be "an essential dimension of her being and her mission, selflessly demonstrates her ... concern for the needy of all conditions and origins. In this task, she collaborates with various entities and public institutions so that no one seeking support may be lacking a friendly hand to help them overcome their difficulties.

  "To this end," the Pope concluded, "she offers personal and material resources, but above all human closeness which seeks to alleviate the deepest poverty, solitude and abandonment, in the knowledge that 'a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in Whom we believe and by Whom we are driven to love'."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 30, 2006 (VIS) - Given below is a list of 27 metropolitan archbishops received in audience today by Benedict XVI, accompanied by members of their families. Yesterday, in the course of a Eucharistic celebration held in the Vatican Basilica, they received the pallium:

1. Cardinal Jorge Liberato UROSA SAVINO, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.

2. Cardinal Crescenzio SEPE, archbishop of Naples, Italy.

3. Archbishop Louis CHAMNIERN SANTISUKNIRAN of Thare and Nonseng, Thailand.

4. Archbishop Jose Belisario DA SILVA, O.F.M., of Sao Luis do Maranhao, Brazil.

5. Archbishop Jabulani NXUMALO, O.M.I., of Bloemfontein, South Africa.

6. Archbishop Jorge Enrique JIMENEZ CARVAJAL, C.I.M., of Cartagena, Colombia.

7. Archbishop Tommaso VALENTINETTI of Pescara-Penne, Italy.

8. Archbishop Fabriciano SIGAMPA of Resistencia, Argentina.

9. Archbishop Odon Marie Arsene RAZANAKOLONA of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

10. Archbishop George Hugh NIEDERAUER of San Francisco, United States.

11. Archbishop Jose Luis MOLLAGHAN of Rosario, Argentina.

12. Archbishop Cornelius Fontem ESUA of Bamenda, Cameroon.

13. Archbishop Daniel N. DiNARDO of Galveston-Houston, United States.

14. Archbishop Antonio Javellana LEDESMA, S.J., of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.
15. Archbishop Jose Serofia PALMA of Palo, Philippines.

16. Archbishop Sylvain LAVOIE, O.M.I., of Keewatin-Le Pas, Canada.

17. Archbishop Joviano DE LIMA JUNIOR, S.S.S., of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.

18. Archbishop Luigi CONTI of Fermo, Italy.

19. Archbishop Franc KRAMBERGER of Maribor Slovenia.

20. Archbishop Ignazio SANNA of Oristano, Italy.

21. Archbishop Francois-Xavier MAROY RUSENGO of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo).
22. Archbishop Jean-Pierre KUTWA of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

23. Archbishop Andrea MUGIONE of Benevento, Italy.

24. Archbishop Orlando BRANDES of Londrina, Brazil.

25. Archbishop Georges PONTIER of Marseille, France.

26. Archbishop Donald William WUERL of Washington, United States.

27. Archbishop Wojciech ZIEMBA of Warmia, Poland.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 29, 2006 (VIS) - Following today's Angelus, the Pope received in audience a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led by Ioannis (Zizioulas), metropolitan of Pergamo. The delegation has come to Rome for the occasion of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

  The Pope expressed his satisfaction for the fact that the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics will hold its plenary in Belgrade in September, presided by metropolitan Ioannis.

  "Dialogue thus resumes its path and enters a new phase," said the Holy Father in English. "Spontaneously we find ourselves wanting to pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten and inflame our hearts, strengthening our common will to respond, insofar as it depends on us, to the Lord's ardent prayer: 'Ut unum sint;' in this way, may the disciples of Christ, united in faith, together proclaim His Gospel to the whole world, so that, believing in Him, all will be saved."

  The Holy Father also recalled that he had received an invitation from the Turkish authorities, the Patriarchate and the local Catholic community in Turkey to make an apostolic pilgrimage to that country in November for the Feat of St. Andrew, and expressed the hope that he would be able to undertake the visit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 29, 2006 (VIS) - Following today's Mass, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study in order to pray the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

  "Today," said the Pope, "we solemnly honor Sts. Peter and Paul, 'Apostles of Christ, pillars and foundation of the City of God.' ... Their martyrdom is considered as the actual moment of the birth of the Church of Rome. ... Their blood mixed together in a single act of witness to Christ. ... For this reason, the Bishop of Rome, successor of the Apostle Peter, has a special ministry to carry out, serving the doctrinal and pastoral unity of the People of God, scattered all over the world.

  "In this context," the Holy Father added, "we can better grasp the significance of the rite we renewed this morning during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica: the imposition of the pallium upon certain metropolitan archbishops, an ancient liturgical sign expressing the special communion of these pastors with Peter's Successor. ... And there is another reason that makes our joy even greater today, the presence in Rome, for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, of a special delegation sent by Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople;" a gesture that expresses "the fraternal bond that exists between our Churches."

  After praying the Angelus, the Pope remarked upon the situation in the Middle East. "I am following events in the Holy Land with concern," he said, "and I pray that all those who have been abducted may soon be returned to their loved ones. I appeal to Israeli and Palestinian leaders that, with the generous help of the international community, they may seek responsibly for that negotiated end to the conflict, which alone can ensure the peace to which their people aspire."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 29, 2006 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica today, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic concelebration with 27 metropolitan archbishops from 17 countries, upon whom in the course of the ceremony he imposed the pallium. Today also marks the 55th anniversary of Benedict XVI's own priestly ordination.

  In keeping with tradition, the Mass was attended by a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led this year by Ioannis (Zizioulas), metropolitan of Pergamo and president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, and including Kallistos (Timothy Ware), bishop of Diokleia and assistant to the archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, and the archimandrite Dionysius Papavasileiou.

  In his homily, the Pope recalled how Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God and how, on this basis, his special task was conferred upon him "through three images: the rock that becomes the foundation stone or cornerstone, the keys, and the image of binding and loosening."

  Benedict XVI then highlighted the fact that Jesus, having made His promise to Peter, starts out towards Jerusalem and the Cross. "The Church - and in her Christ - also suffers today," he said. "In her, Christ is once again scorned and beaten; once again an attempt is made to push Him out of the world. Once again, the little ship of the Church is shaken by the winds of ideologies ... and she seems condemned to sink under the waters. And yet, it is precisely in the suffering Church that Christ is triumphant. Despite everything, faith in Him always reacquires new strength."

  The Lord "remains in His ship, in the little vessel of the Church," the Pope added. "In the same way, Peter's ministry reveals, on the one had, the weakness of man's faculties, but at the same time the strength of God. It is precisely in the weakness of men that the Lord shows His strength."

  Peter's task, the Holy Father continued, was also "never to let this faith become mute, but ever to reinvigorate it, even before the cross and all the contradictions of the world."

  After mentioning Peter's three denials, Benedict XVI said: "through this fall, Peter - and with him the Church in all times - must learn that one's own strength is not enough to build and guide the Church of the Lord. No one can manage it alone. However capable and able Peter many seem, at the first moment of trial he failed."

  "For all those who have responsibility in the Church; for all those who suffer the confusion of these times; for the great and the small: Lord, protect us always and anew and thus raise us up when we fall and take us into Your good hands."

  The Lord also entrusted Peter, Pope Benedict said, with the task of "presiding over universal communion, and of maintaining it present in the world in the form of unity, a unity that is also visible."

  After greeting the metropolitan archbishops appointed in the course of the last year, who received the pallium during today's ceremony, the Pope also addressed some words to the delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate: "I thank Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod for this sign of fraternity, which expresses the desire and commitment to progress more rapidly along the road to the full unity invoked by Christ for all His disciples. We share the burning desire once expressed by Patriarch Atenagora and by Pope Paul VI: to drink together from the same chalice and to eat together the same bread, which is the Lord Himself. On this occasion, we again implore that this gift be granted us soon."
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - As previously announced, there will be no edition of VIS tomorrow, June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Friday, June 30.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Dominique Lebrun of the clergy of the diocese of Saint-Denis, France, archpriest of the cathedral and dean of Saint-Denis, as bishop of Saint-Etienne (area 3,000, population 575,540, Catholics 442,000, priests 187, permanent deacons 22, religious 284), France. The bishop-elect was born in Rouen, France in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1984. He succeeds Bishop Pierre Joatton, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Jacques Blaquart of the clergy of the diocese of Angouleme, France, vicar general, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bordeaux (area 10,000, population 1,288,311, Catholics 1,000,000, priests 288, permanent deacons 16, religious 594), France. The bishop-elect was born in Roumazieres, France in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Msgr. Barry Jones, administrator of the cathedral of the diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, as coadjutor of the same diocese (area 51,780, population 503,631, Catholics 62,715, priests 73, religious 155). The bishop-elect was born in North Canterbury, New Zealand in 1941 and ordained a priest in 1966.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - This evening, the Holy Father is due to receive in audience Archbishop Robert Sarah, emeritus of Conakry, Guinea, and secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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IN ORDER TO MARK THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ERECTION of the ecclesiastical province of Lithuania and the creation of the archdiocese of Kaunas, the Pope has written a message to Metropolitan Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius S.J. The ecclesiastical province "suffered under the blows of harsh Soviet persecution," writes the Holy Father, but, "thanks to the never failing help of God, the years of trial saw the blossoming of a real garden of witnesses and martyrs of the faith. After the fall of the communist dictatorship, the Lithuanian people regained their liberty and entered more deeply into the family of nations, bringing with them their own heritage of values."

THE OFFICE OF LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF today announced that at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 2, Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, metropolitan archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela will take possession of the tile of St. Mary ai Monti, Via della Madonna dei Monti 41, Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - For the occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families, due to be held in Valencia, Spain from July 1 to 9, Benedict XVI will concede Plenary Indulgence to those faithful who participate in any of the associated celebrations and in the closing ceremony, according to a decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary made public yesterday afternoon.

  The Holy Father will attend the closing ceremony of the meeting and hopes, the decree states, "that the many people from all over the world who come together in Valencia may participate enthusiastically and dutifully in the various initiatives and liturgical celebrations taking place there in favor of the family, and that, having returned to their own homes fortified by the grace of God, they may dedicate themselves generously to moulding their own families and those of their neighbors to the holy rules of the Gospel."

  Moreover, the decree continues, the Pope asks the Most Holy Trinity "that great benefit may be forthcoming to the Church; especially through profound reflection on the theme of the family, seat of life and of love, domestic church in which parents transmit to children the priceless gift of faith."

  "The Supreme Pontiff," the decree adds, "grants Plenary Indulgence to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin), if they participate in any of the solemn functions held in Valencia during the Fifth World Meeting of Families, and in the solemn closing ceremony.

  "All other faithful who are unable to participate in that event, may obtain the same gift of Plenary Indulgence, under the same conditions, over the days the meeting is held and on its closing day if, united in spirit and thought with the faithful present in Valencia, they recite in the family the 'Our Father,' the 'Creed,' and other devout prayers calling on Divine Mercy to concede the above-mentioned aims."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - The Apostle James the Less was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis at today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 40,000 people.

  The Pope recalled how James the Less "played a preeminent role within the Church in Jerusalem. ... In the apostolic council held there ... he affirmed, together with others, that pagans could be welcomed into the Church without first undergoing circumcision."

  "St. Paul," the Pope went on, "names him even before Peter as a 'pillar' of the Church," and "the Jewish-Christians considered him to be their principal point of reference." Together with Peter, he helped "to integrate the original Jewish dimension of Christianity with the need not to impose all the precepts of Mosaic Law upon pagan converts."

  "In this way, two significant and complementary results were achieved, both of them still valid: on the one hand, the indissoluble relationship linking Christianity and Judaism was recognized, ... on the other, Christians of pagan origin were allowed to maintain their own sociological identity. ... Thus began a process of reciprocal esteem and respect which, despite unfortunate later misunderstandings, sought by its nature to safeguard the characteristic elements distinguishing each of the two sides."

  The New Testament Letter attributed to this Apostle "places much emphasis on the need not to reduce one's own faith to a mere abstract or verbal declaration, but to express it solidly in works of charity. ... He calls us to constancy in trials, ... and to faithful prayer to God for the gift of wisdom, thanks to which we come to understand that the true values of life are not to be found in transitory riches, but rather in knowing how to share our own wealth with the poor and needy."

  Following his catechesis, Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims in various languages. Among the groups present were participants in a meeting promoted by the "Family of St. Luigi Orione," for the "Feast of the Pope" the theme of which is: "Many Hearts around the Pope, Evangelizer of Life." The Pope thanked them for this initiative and invited them "to continue bearing witness to the Gospel of life through all your institutions and activities, seeking especially to serve the weak and the needy."
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 27, 2006 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration at midday today:

  "I have no comments to make on news that has appeared in various organs of the press concerning ongoing contacts between a Holy See delegation and the Chinese authorities."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 27, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, the "Lineamenta" (or draft guidelines) for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops were presented in the Holy See Press Office. Participating in the press conference were Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.

  Cardinal Arinze began by pointing out that, in order to better understand the "Lineamenta," it would be helpful "to reflect briefly on signs of good news about Church life in Africa," to study the problems and challenges in the areas of reconciliation, justice and peace in African societies, and to consider "what the Catholic Church in Africa has done, or can do, to help."

  "There are great differences in the situation of the Church in each of the 53 countries on the African continent," he said. "Growth is a fact. Experts tell us that Africa is the continent with the highest annual percentage growth for Christianity in the world. Many more Africans get baptized each year. In some African countries seminaries and sisters' novitiates have more candidates than they can conveniently accommodate. ... Several beatification causes are being promoted, one of the latest being that of President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania."

  "But the Church in Africa is not closed in on herself. She shares the joys and hopes, problems and challenges of the wider society in Africa. The painful situation of violence and even war in Somalia, the tragedy of Darfur and the not yet totally resolved situation in the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to some extent in the Great Lakes region, are causes of concern."

  He continued: "The challenge of building up a nation in harmony and peaceful development out of peoples from many ethnic groups put together as a country by colonial masters remains present, as in Nigeria. Moreover, poverty, disease and especially HIV/AIDS, are real threats and have wiped out large numbers or crippled them."

  The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments also noted some positive signs: "a smooth passage from apartheid to democracy in the Republic of South Africa, the opposition party winning elections without tears in Senegal, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia, and significant steps towards greater democratization in several countries."

  "The Catholic Church," Cardinal Arinze concluded, "without any pretence at having a political or economic mission, knows that she has to contribute first by preaching the Gospel to call to a conversion of hearts, respect for the rights of other people, repentance and reconciliation, forgiveness and harmony. ... The dioceses in Africa take practical steps to show Christian solidarity to the poor and the needy. Most bishops' conferences have justice and peace commissions. ... Refugees and displaced persons, find the Church as one of the few institutions that care for them and that can put a smile on their faces."

  For his part, Archbishop Eterovic affirmed that for this Second African Synod (the first was held in 1994) Benedict XVI, "accepting the advice of the African episcopate," has approved the theme: "The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. 'You are the salt of the earth. ... You are the Light of the World'."

  Going on to refer to the "Lineamenta," the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops explained that the document is made up of an introduction and five chapters.

  The first chapter, entitled "Africa at the Dawn of the 21st Century," gives a brief description of the social, economic, political, cultural and religious situation of the continent, and examines the role of religions, especially the question of relations between Christianity and Islam.

  "Jesus Christ, the Word and Bread of Life, our Reconciler, our Justice and our Peace," is the title of the second chapter which highlights how, in the face of today's serious problems, "Jesus Christ also presents Himself as the Savior of African men and women."

  Chapter three: "The Church, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace in Africa," explains how in a continent ravaged by wars "the Church is called to play a prophetic role of reconciliation."

  "The Witness of a Church Reflecting the Light of Christ on the World," is the title of chapter four of the document, which focuses on the urgent need to educate lay Catholics who, "guided by Christian principles of service, and concerning themselves with the promotion of the common good," may "change the political and social situation in various countries."

  The fifth chapter, "Spiritual Resources for the Promotion of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace in Africa," calls on all members of the Church to announce the Gospel, "both with words and with the example of their lives. The source of this spirituality is to be found in liturgical life, especially in the celebration of Mass, adoration of the Eucharist and other forms of prayer of the Church."

  Archbishop Eterovic then pointed out that the document containing the "Lineamenta" ends with a questionnaire containing 32 queries and aiming "to facilitate reflection and debate," and lead to "concrete proposals which will then be examined during the synodal assembly." The two synods of the Eastern Catholic Churches (the Patriarchate of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt, and the Council of the Ethiopian Church) as well as the 32 episcopal conferences of the African continent must send in their replies no later than November 2008.

  On this basis, the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops, with the help of the Special Council for Africa, will then prepare the "Instrumentum laboris" or working document for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. "The Holy Father," the archbishop concluded, "will then officially announce the date of its celebration."

Monday, June 26, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

 - Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

 - Archbishop Francois Bacque, apostolic nuncio to the Netherlands.

 - Abdulhafed Gaddur, Libyan ambassador, accompanied by his wife, on a farewell visit.

  On Saturday, June 24, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

 - Luis Miguel Leitao Ritto, head of the European Commission delegation to the Holy See.

 - His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary.

 - Bishop Michele Castoro of Oria, Italy, accompanied by members of his family.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration concerning the audience granted today by Benedict XVI to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Republic of the Philippines, in the company of her family and an entourage:

  "In the course of the cordial meeting," the text reads, "the president explained to the Holy Father the new law banning the death penalty, which was signed last Saturday, Feast of St. John the Baptist.

  "Mrs. Macapagal Arroyo also showed the Pope a plan for reforming the Constitution, which aims at a more harmonious development of the country, reserving greater attention to the poorer sectors of the population.

  "During the meeting, reference was also made to the favorable prospects for dialogue with the Muslim inhabitants of the country and to the hope for national pacification.

  "Finally the president noted how Christian values, in which the majority of Filipinos identify themselves, also find expression and support in the legislation of the State."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2006 (VIS) - Today, during an audience with Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorized the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:


- Venerable Servant of God Paolo Giuseppe Nardini, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family (1821-1862).

 - Venerable Servant of God Maria del Monte Carmelo of the Baby Jesus Gonzalez Ramos Garcia Prieto, nee Maria Carmela, Spanish, foundress of the Congregation of the Third Order Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (1834-1899).

 - Venerable Servant of God Servant of God Maria Maddalena Della Passione, nee Costanza Starace, Italian, foundress of the Congregation of the Compassionist Sisters, Servants of Mary (1845-1921).

 - Venerable Servant of God Eufrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Eluvathingal, nee Rosa, Indian, religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (1877-1952).

 - Venerable Servant of God Maria Rosa, nee Bruna Pellesi, Italian, professed sister of the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Christ (1917-1972).


 - Servants of God Bonaventura Garcia Paredes, Spanish, professed priest of the Order of Friars Preachers (1866-1936), Miguel Leibar Garay, Spanish, professed priest of the Society of Mary (1885-1936), and 40 companions killed in 1936.

 - Servants of God Simon Reynes Solivellas (1901-1936), Spanish, and five companions of the Congregation of Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mercy, and Prudenza Canyelles i Ginesta, Spanish, laywoman, all killed in 1936.

 - Servants of God Celestino Jose Alonso Villar (1862-1936), Spanish, and nine companions of the Order of Friars Preachers, killed in 1936.

 - Servants of God Angelo Maria Prat Hostench (1896-1936) and 16 companions of the Order of Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, killed in 1936.

 - Servants of God Enrique Saiz Aparicio (1889-1936), Spanish, and 62 companions of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, killed in 1936 and 1937.

 - Servants of God Mariano de San Jose Altolaguirre y Altolaguirre, ne Santiago (1857-1936), Spanish, and nine companions of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, killed in 1936 and 1937.

 - Servant of Francesco Spoto, Italian, professed priest of the Congregation of Missionary Servants of the Poor (1924-1964).


 - Servant of God Marco Morelli, Italian, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony (1834-1912).

- Servant of God Francesco Pianzola, Italian, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Queen of Peace (1881-1943).

- Servant of God Antonio Rosmini, Italian, priest and founder of the Institute of Charity and of the Sisters of Providence (1797-1855).

- Servant of God Louise Marguerite Claret de la Touche, nee Maria Luisa, French, foundress of the Institute of Sisters of Bethanie and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1868-1915).

- Servant of God Isabel Lete Landa, nee Regina, Spanish, professed religious of the Congregation of Mercedarian Sisters of Charity (1913-1941).

- Servant of God Wanda Justine Nepomucena Malczewska, Polish, laywoman (1822-1896).

- Servant of God Jerome Jaegen, German, layman (1841-1919).
CSS/DECREES/SARAIVA                            VIS 20060626 (540)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 25, 2006 (VIS) - The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Feast of St. John the Baptist provided the theme for Benedict XVI's reflections prior to praying the Angelus this morning with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  The Pope recalled how the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which fell on Friday, unites "popular devotion and profound theology." It "has its roots in the mystery of the Incarnation: it was through the Heart of Jesus that God's Love for humanity was sublimely expressed."

  For this reason, devotion to the Sacred Heart "maintains all its validity, and particularly attracts those souls who thirst for God's mercy, who find there the everlasting source from which to draw the water of life capable of irrigating the deserts of the soul and bringing hope to flower."

  The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart also coincides with the Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. "I take this opportunity to invite everyone," the Pope said, "to pray for priests, that they may be valuable witnesses of Christ's love."

  The Holy Father then went on to refer to the June 24 Feast of St. John the Baptist, pointing out that he "is the only saint whose birth is commemorated, because it marked the beginning of the fulfillment of the divine promises. ... His feast reminds us that our own life is ... always 'relative' to Christ, and that it is fulfilled by accepting Him, Word, Light and Bridegroom, of Whom we are voices, lamps and friends."

  "Allowing the 'I' of Christ to take the place of our own 'I' was the exemplary aspiration of the Apostles Peter and Paul, whom the Church venerates" on June 29.

  Following the Angelus prayer, the Pope mentioned a recent accident on a motorway building site between the Italian cities of Catania and Siracusa, which claimed the life of one workman and injured many others. "I raise a special prayer to the Lord," he said, "and, in expressing my spiritual closeness to the injured and their relatives, I trust that ever greater attention to safety conditions in the workplace may prevent the repetition of such dramatic events."

  Finally, Benedict XVI recalled that in Italy the Sunday prior to the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul marks the Day of the Pope's Charity . "I express my heartfelt thanks to the Italian ecclesial community for the prayers and support it gives to my ministry as Peter's Successor, called to serve all the People of God."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Gorlitz, Germany, presented by Bishop Rudolf Muller, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Jose Ignacio Munilla Aguirre, pastor of the parish of "El Salvador" in San Sebastian, Spain, as bishop of Palencia (area 8,028, population 173,990, Catholics 165,290, priests 310, religious 668), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Zumarraga, Spain in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1986.

 - Appointed Bishop Michele Seccia of San Severo, Italy, as bishop of Teramo-Atri (area 1,480, population 248,000, Catholics 240,000, priests 190, permanent deacons 11, religious 249), Italy.
RE:NER/.../MULLER:MUNILLA:SECCIA                    VIS 20060626 (120)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2006 (VIS) - This evening, the Pope attended a concert of sacred music in the Sistine Chapel, presented in his honor by the Domenico Bartolucci Foundation, directed by Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci.

  At the end of the concert, Benedict XVI thanked Msgr. Bartolucci - who directed the Sistine Chapel Choir from 1956 to 1997 - for the concert, which included the composition "Oremus Pro Pontefice" written, the Pope recalled, by Msgr. Bartolucci "immediately after my election to the See of Peter."

  "All the pieces we have heard," the Holy Father continued, "and especially their arrangement - with the sixteenth and twentieth centuries running in parallel - go to confirm the conviction that sacred polyphony, and especially that of the so-called 'Roman School,' is a legacy to be carefully preserved, kept alive and propagated, for the benefit not only of scholars and enthusiasts, but of all the ecclesial community for which it constitutes a priceless spiritual, artistic and cultural heritage."

  Pope Benedict then highlighted how the aim of the Bartolucci Foundation is "to preserve and defend the classical and contemporary tradition of this famous polyphonic school, which has always been characterized by its focus on the pure voice, without instrumental accompaniment."

  He continued: "A true 'aggiornamento' of sacred music cannot be achieved except by following the great traditions of the past, of Gregorian chants and sacred polyphony. For this reason, in the musical field as in that of other forms of art, the ecclesial community has always promoted and sustained those who seek new forms of expression without rejecting the past, the history of the human spirit, which is also the history of its dialogue with God."

  Msgr. Bartolucci, the Pope said, "has always sought to appreciate sacred music, also as a vehicle of evangelization. Through innumerable concerts in Italy and abroad, with the universal language of art, the Sistine Chapel Choir," led by him, "cooperated in the mission of the Popes, which is that of spreading the Christian message throughout the world. the Sistine Chapel Choir still continues that mission under the careful direction of its current maestro, Giuseppe Liberto."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2006 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Tuesday, August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Pope will celebrate Mass at 8 a.m. in the parish church of St. Thomas in Castelgandolfo.

  The following two rites of beatification, approved by the Holy Father, were also announced for Sunday, September 17, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

 - At 11 a.m. in the square of St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary, beatification of Servant of God Sara Salkahazi.

- At 4 p.m. in the Cathedral of Brescia, Italy, beatification of Servant of God Mose Tovini.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2006 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls today announced that Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to Germany from September 9 to 14, where he will visit Munich, Altotting and Regensburg.
OP/TRIP GERMANY/NAVARRO-VALLS                    VIS 20060626 (50)

Friday, June 23, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 23, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a letter to the faithful of the archdiocese of Genoa, Italy, concerning the appointment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of that city, as secretary of State.

  During the three years Cardinal Bertone has led the diocese, the Holy Father tells the faithful in his letter, "you have learned to appreciate those gifts and qualities that make him a faithful pastor, especially capable of combining pastoral care and doctrinal wisdom.

  "It is precisely these characteristics, together with the mutual understanding and trust we developed over our years of shared service at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that have induced me to choose him for this exalted and delicate task in the service of the Universal Church at the Holy See.

  "I know that I have asked a great sacrifice of Cardinal Bertone; and I know that the sacrifice of the faithful entrusted to his care in Genoa is no less, but I am certain that his affection and his prayers for your community will be brought 'ad Petri sedem.' The history of your diocese demonstrates your generous fidelity to the Vicar of Christ, to which I appeal also by virtue of the name I chose for my own Petrine ministry: the name of the last Genovese Pope, so devoted to the 'Madonna della Guardia.' To her I entrust you all in this moment of change, delicate but full of grace, because 'in everything God works for good with those who love Him.'

  "For the sake of your faithful and obedient generosity towards the Holy See, I will undertake as soon as possible to appoint a new successor to the 'See of St. Syrus.'

  "I ask you to join me in praying to the Spirit to help us in this discernment and, from this moment, I assure you of my recollection and apostolic blessing in prayer for all elements of the Church in Genoa: pastors, consecrated people, families, young people, and the sick."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 23, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received prelates from the episcopal conferences of the Baltic States - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  At the beginning of his address to them, the Pope referred to the subject of the family, pointing our how "alongside exemplary family groups there are, unfortunately, those marked by the fragility of conjugal ties, by the scourge of abortion and the demographic crisis, by the scant care with which they transmit authentic values to children, by job insecurity, by social mobility weakening ties between the generations and by a growing sense of disorientation among young people.

  "Modernity," he added, "when not rooted in real values is destined to be dominated by the tyranny of instability and confusion. For this reason, each ecclesial community ... is called to be a point of reference and to maintain a dialogue with the surrounding society."

  The Holy Father encouraged the bishops never to tire "of being courageous defenders of life and the family," and to continue in "the human and religious formation of engaged couples and of young families. This is a most worthy undertaking which, I trust, is also appreciated and supported by the institutions of civil society."

  After calling on the prelates to live in communion with one another and with Peter's Successor, the Pope encouraged them to give spiritual "and if necessary material" support to priests. He also urged them to turn their attention to priests' "constant formation, thanks also to courses of aggiornamento that help them to acquire a more profound understanding of the teachings of Vatican Council II and to evaluate the wealth contained in liturgical texts and in Church documents, translated into your respective languages."

  In order to face the difficulties young people encounter in answering the call of Christ - the consequence, said Benedict XVI, of a "secularized mentality" - careful "youth and vocational pastoral care must be promoted. ... As for seminaries, ensure the presence of formators gifted with real humanity and profound piety, open to dialogue and collaboration; professors faithful to the teaching of the Magisterium and credible witnesses of the Gospel."

  "While the wounds communism inflicted on your people are not yet completely healed, secularism is exercising a growing influence, exalting the illusion of consumerism and rendering human beings the measure of themselves. All this makes your pastoral work even more difficult. But, without losing faith, continue tirelessly in announcing the Gospel of Christ, the word of salvation for mankind of all times and cultures."

  The Pope concluded his address by highlighting how the Gospel "does not hinder man's freedom and true social progress; on the contrary, it helps human beings to full self-realization and renovates society through the sweet and demanding law of love."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 23, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Fra' Andrew Bertie, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

 - Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.

 - Bishop Philippe Jourdan, apostolic administrator of Estonia, on his "ad limina" visit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 23, 2006 (VIS) - In a communique published today, the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace on Saturday, July 1, an Ordinary Public Consistory will be held for the canonization of four Blesseds:

  The Blesseds are: Rafael Guizar Valencia, bishop; Filippo Smaldone, priest, founder of the Institute of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart; Rosa Venerini, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the "Maestre Pie Venerini;" Teodora Guerin, nee Anne-Therese, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary "ad Nemus" (Saint Mary of the Woods).
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Thursday, June 22, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Five prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Lithuania, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Juozas Tuanitis.

    - Bishop Juozas Matulaitis of Kaisiadorys.

    - Bishop Jonas Kauneckas of Panevezys.

    - Bishop Rimantas Norvila of Vilkaviskis.

 - Helmut Turk, ambassador of Austria, accompanied by his wife, on a farewell visit.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Camillo Ruini, his vicar general for the diocese of Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was the final document of the twelfth plenary session of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, which was held in the Vatican from May 15 to 17 on the theme: "Migration and Itinerancy from and towards Islamic majority Countries."

  The text has been published in various languages, extracts from the English-language version are given below:

  "The phenomenon of human mobility," the text begins, "raises a number of problems, religious and spiritual, besides social, economic and political ones. When discussing 'migration and itinerancy from and towards Islamic majority countries,' the complexity, timeliness and importance of the topic are evident."

  With reference to "Muslim migrants in countries of Christian majority," the document affirms that "Catholics, in particular, are called to practice solidarity with Muslim immigrants, to be open to sharing with them and to know more about their culture and religion. At the same time they are to bear witness to their own Christian values, also in view of a new evangelization which of course respects freedom of conscience and religion."

  "In any case, while it is necessary to welcome Muslim immigrants with respect for their religious freedom, it is likewise indispensable for them to respect the cultural and religious identity of the host societies.

  "It was also deemed vital to distinguish between what the receiving societies can and cannot tolerate in Islamic culture, what can be respected or shared with regard to followers of other religions, and to have the possibility of giving indications in this regard also to policymakers, towards a proper formulation of civil legislation, with due respect for each one's competence."

  "Given the reaffirmed importance of the principle of reciprocity, confirmed by the Holy Father in his talk to the participants in the plenary session, it is thus necessary to move towards a distinction between the civil and the religious spheres also in Islamic countries. In any case, it is fundamental, in this context, to distinguish between the West and Christianity, because often Christian values no longer inspire the attitude, position or actions (also with regard to public opinion) in the so-called western world."

  Going on to consider the situation in some Islamic-majority countries, the text notes how "Christians and immigrant workers, in general, who are poor and without real contractual power, have great difficulty in having their human rights recognized. The latter, moreover, have very little possibility of having their cause respected before justice, because they can easily be punished or deported.

  "The Church is therefore called to help Christian migrants in those countries, as well as in the whole world, in a context of due respect for legality and an interest in the formulation of just legislations concerning human mobility and the legal protection of all those involved."

  Addressing the topic of the "solicitude of the Church in the various sectors of human mobility," the document stresses the need "to create bonds of friendship, in an atmosphere of respect for cultural and religious differences, also with people who think of going back to their place of origin, like migrants, or with foreign (international) students who will be the future leaders of their countries;" and the need to make a renewed commitment "to involve women in decision making, especially in issues affecting them, as well as in the work of convincing parents to provide girls with an education equivalent to that given to boys, which should obviously include ethical formation."

  The section on "schools and education" underlines how "it is important to assure education to the new generations, also because the school has a fundamental role to play in overcoming the conflict of ignorance and prejudices, and to have a correct and objective knowledge of the other's religion, with special attention to the freedom of conscience and religion."

  It is also "indispensable to work for a verification of textbooks, also regarding the presentation of history in relation to religions, which shapes one's own identity, and transmits an image of the other's religious identity."

  "Muslim parents and religious leaders must be helped to understand the righteous intentions of the western educational systems and the concrete consequences of their refusal of the education imparted in the schools of these systems within which their children live."

  The last section of the document is dedicated to "States and religious freedom:"

  "Since, very often, it is the State that gives 'form' to Islam in certain countries of Islamic majority, organizes its worship, interprets its spirit, transmits its heritage, thus giving the whole of society a globally Islamic character, the non-Muslims very often feel that they are second-class citizens. For Christian immigrants therefore the difficulty is even greater. It is therefore necessary to work hard everywhere so that what prevails would be a culture of 'living together' between host and immigrant populations, in a spirit of mutual civic understanding and respect for everyone's human rights. It is also necessary to search ways for reconciliation and of purifying memories. We must also become advocates in defense of religious freedom - our constant imperative - and of common good, and procure respect for minorities, which is an unquestionable sign of true civilization."

  Finally, consideration was given to "some causes of tension and conflict, ... with the hope that these situations would be resolved justly and quickly, also to prevent war, violence and terrorism.

  "It is in any case necessary," the text concludes, "to avoid the abusive use of religion to inculcate hatred for believers of other religions or for ideological and political reasons. It is therefore hoped that Muslim and Christian intellectuals, in the name of a common humanism and of their respective beliefs, would pose to themselves the dramatic questions linked to the use of violence, often still perpetrated in the name of their religion."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father, in accordance with Canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, requesting him, nonetheless, to remain in office until September 15, 2006, with all the faculties inherent to that role.

  On the same date - September 15 - the Holy Father will appoint Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of Genova, Italy, as the new secretary of State.

  On that occasion, His Holiness will receive in audience the superiors and officials of the Secretariat of State in order to render public thanks to Cardinal Angelo Sodano for his long and generous service to the Holy See, and to present them to the new secretary of State.

  The Pope, in accordance with Canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, requesting him, nonetheless, to remain in office until September 15, 2006, with all the faculties inherent to that role.

  On the same date - September 15 - the Holy Father will appoint Archbishop Giovanni Ljolo, secretary of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State, as the new president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.


VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2006 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, Benedict XVI will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration in the Vatican Basilica, with a number of metropolitan archbishops, upon whom he will impose the pallium, according to a note made public today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. The pallium is a band of white wool embroidered with six black crosses, symbolizing the authority of metropolitan archbishops.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received 100 participants in the annual Meeting of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), thanking them for the service they have been carrying out since 1968, "supporting the pastoral, educational and charitable activities and meeting the urgent needs" of those Churches.

  Referring to the community of Eastern Catholic Churches in the Holy Land, the Pope recalled how "the serious difficulties it is going though because of profound insecurity, lack of work, innumerable restrictions and consequent growing poverty, are a cause of pain for us all.

  "It is a situation," he added, "that makes the educational, professional and family future of young generations extremely uncertain, unfortunately tempting them to leave forever the beloved land of their birth. This also happens in other areas of the Middle East, such as Iraq and Iran, which also benefit providentially from your generous kindness."

  In order to face these serious problems, Pope Benedict went on, "our prime and fundamental duty is that of persistent and faithful prayer to the Lord, Who never abandons his children in times of trial. This should be associated with activities of fraternal solicitude, in order to find new and at times unexpected ways to meet the needs of those people."

  "I invite pastors, faithful, and everyone in positions of responsibility in the civil community, to favor mutual respect between cultures and religions, and to create as soon as possible the conditions for serene and peaceful coexistence throughout the Middle East."
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed as members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: Theodor Wolfgang Hansch, professor of physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany and director of the "Max-Planck-Institut fur Quantenoptik," Garching, Germany, and Edward Witten, professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, U.S.A.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, delivered a statement before the first session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

  "The new Human Rights Council represents an important step in the struggle to place human beings at the center of all political activity, both national and international," said Archbishop Lajolo.

  After describing the situation of human rights in the world as "worrying," the Holy See secretary for Relations with States pointed out how in many countries those rights suffer "grave violations," and that there are governments which continue to believe that, "in the final instance, power determines the content of human rights and, consequently, they feel justified in using aberrant practices."

  "All States, members of the council, must assume their individual and collective responsibility in the defense and promotion of these rights," he added.

  Going on to refer to the most fundamental human right, the right to life, Archbishop Lajolo said that "never must a government, a group or an individual take upon themselves the right to decide on the life of a human being as if he were not a person, reducing him to the condition of an object that serves other aims, however grand or noble such aims may be."

  "A corollary of this concerns the right to freedom of belief and to religious freedom, because humans have an interior and transcendent dimension which is an integral part of their very being. To deny this dimension to is to make a serious attack against human dignity."

  "Religious freedom must be harmoniously inserted into the context of all human freedoms," said the secretary for Relations with States. "It cannot become merely arbitrary."

  "The response of the Human Rights Council to the challenges of freedom in many countries of the world, beginning with the council's own member States," Archbishop Lajolo concluded, "is a test of the credibility of the United Nations and of the entire international judicial system."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Apostle James the Greater was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 25,000 people.

  James the Greater, said the Pope, "was one of the three disciples privileged to be present at the most significant moments in the life of Jesus," such as the Lord's Transfiguration on Mount Tabor and His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. James "enjoyed a position of great authority within the early Church of Jerusalem over which, together with Peter, he had pastoral responsibility."

  "Son of thunder," the name that Jesus gave to James, perhaps refers "to his impetuous zeal," said the Holy Father, a characteristic the Apostle showed, among other occasions, when he wished to bid fire come down from heaven to consume a village of the Samaritans that had refused to receive the Lord. His reaction, Pope Benedict explained, "clearly showed his love for Jesus, but probably also expressed the traditional enmity between Jews and Samaritans. But Jesus had no love for violence," and reproved His disciple.

  Two important experiences in James' life were the Transfiguration and agony of Jesus. "In one case, James, with the other two Apostles, experienced glory and ecstasy, in the other, he found himself facing suffering and humiliation. The second experience was for him the occasion to correct his interpretation ... of the first. ... The Messiah , awaited by the Jewish people as a victor was, in fact, not only surrounded by honor and glory, but also by torment and weakness.

  "James was thus able to mature his faith gradually," Benedict XVI added, "discovering little by little the true messianic identity of the Master." After the Pentecost, tradition relates his evangelization of Spain, and the transfer of his body to Santiago de Compostela, which since then has been a goal of pilgrimage.

  "From James we can, then, learn many things," the Pope emphasized: "readiness to welcome the Lord's call even when He asks us to leave the 'ship' of our human certainties; enthusiasm to follow Him along the roads He indicates, over and beyond our illusory presumption; willingness to bear witness to Him with courage, even, if necessary, unto the supreme sacrifice of life."

  James "who wished to sit with his brother alongside the Master in His Kingdom, was the first of the Apostles to share in His martyrdom" when, in the middle of the first century, King Herod Agrippa 'laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church,' killing 'James the brother of John with the sword'."

  Following the general audience, Benedict XVI moved to the Paul VI Hall where, in a brief ceremony, he was granted honorary citizenship of the German town of Regensburg.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 20, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, auxiliary of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, as bishop of Szeged-Csanad (area 10,851, population 875,157, Catholics 358,107, priests 114, permanent deacons 4, religious 93), Hungary. He succeeds Bishop Endre Gyulay, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Andras Veres, auxiliary of Eger, Hungary, as bishop of Szombathely (area 4,660, population 378,000, Catholics 296,000, priests 144, religious 67), Hungary. He succeeds Bishop Istvan Konkoly, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 20, 2006 (VIS) - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in collaboration with the Ghana Bishops' Conference, has organized a congress to promote the liturgy in Africa and Madagascar. The event is due to be held in Kumasi, Ghana from July 4 to 9.

  According to a communique released by the congregation, the congress aims "to evaluate, promote and relaunch liturgical life," in the African continent. Among those invited to participate in the congress, the communique proceeds, are: superiors of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, members and consultors of African origin belonging to that dicastery, the presidents of SECAM (Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) and of the liturgical commission of CERAO (Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa), and the apostolic nuncio to Ghana, as well as bishops, priests and religious.

  The congress will be opened by Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The meeting will then consider four themes: the history of liturgical life in Africa, liturgical formation, the translation of liturgical books into various African languages, and inculturation in the liturgy.

  John Ayeykum Kufuor, president of Ghana, will visit the congress center, and the participants will also be received by His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, king of the Ashanti people.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 20, 2006 (VIS) - The Fourth European Symposium of University Professors will be held in Rome from June 22 to 25 on the theme: "The Firm and the Building of a New Humanism." The event has been promoted by the Office for Pastoral Care in Universities of the Vicariate of Rome, and organized by the Sacred Heart Catholic University.

  The inaugural ceremony will be held in the Town Hall of Rome where, following a presentation of the symposium by Cesare Mirabelli, president of the committee of university professors, the work of the meeting will be introduced by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, who will speak on the subject of "the firm and Christian humanism."

  This will be followed by the keynote speech, to be delivered by David Teece from the University of California, Berkeley, on the "economic and social evolution of the relationship firm-man", with additional contributions from Alberto Cova of the Sacred Heart Catholic University on the "historic evolution of the relationship firm-man," and from Peter Koslowski of the Free University of Amsterdam on the "cultural evolution of the relationship firm-man."

  From Friday June 23 to Sunday June 25, the international congress will continue its work in the convention center of Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University. More than 250 university professors are due to participate, from 25 countries in Europe and elsewhere, including: Albania, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania and Moldavia. Two working groups will be formed to consider the theme of "the firm in Europe today, problems and prospects," in which businessmen and academics will come together to share their views.
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Monday, June 19, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Mark Benedict Coleridge, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, as archbishop of Canberra (area 88,000, population 560,000, Catholics 159,000, priests 120, religious 218), Australia. The archbishop-elect was born in Melbourne in 1948, he was ordained a priest in 1974 and consecrated a bishop in 2002. He succeeds Archbishop Francis Patrick Carroll, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday, June 17, it was made public that the Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Carlos Enrique Garcia Camader, auxiliary of Lima, Peru, as bishop of Lurin (area 185, population 2,753,000, Catholics 2,340,000, priests 67, permanent deacons 3, religious 259), Peru. He succeeds Bishop Jose Ramon Gurruchaga Ezama S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Eight prelates from the Episcopal Conferences of Latvia and of Lithuania, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Janis Pujats, archbishop of Riga, Latvia.

    - Bishop Antons Justs of Jelgava, Latvia.

    - Bishop Vilhelms Lapelis O.P., of Liepaja, Latvia.

    - Bishop Janis Bulis of Rezekne-Aglona, Latvia.

    - Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius S.J., of Kaunas, Lithuania, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Jonas Ivanauskas.

    - Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis of Siauliai, Lithuania.

    - Bishop Jonas Boruta S.J., of Telsiai, Lithuania.

 - Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

  On Sunday, June 18, he received in audience Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.

  On Saturday, June 17, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2006 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, will take possession of the title of St. John the Baptist of the Florentines in Via Acciaoli 2, Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 18, 2006 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Pope recalled that Tuesday, June 20, marks World Refugee Day, an initiative promoted by the United Nations.

  World Refugee Day, said the Holy Father, "seeks to draw the attention of the international community to the plight of so many people who are forced, because of grave forms of violence, to flee their own lands."

  "These our brothers and sisters seek refuge in other countries, animated by the hope of returning to their own homeland or, at least, of finding hospitality in the places where they have sought shelter."

  After giving assurances of his "recollection in prayer" and "the constant solicitude of the Holy See," Benedict XVI asked that "the rights of these people always be respected," and encouraged ecclesial communities "to respond to their needs."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 18, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI recalled that today, "in Italy and in other countries, marks the Solemnity of Corpus Christi."

  Corpus Christi, the Pope explained, "is the solemn public feast of the Eucharist, Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, ... which on this day is shown to everyone, amid the fervor of faith and devotion of the ecclesial community.

  "The Eucharist," he added, "constitutes the 'treasure' of the Church, the precious heritage that her Lord left her. ... But this treasure, which is intended for the baptized, does not limit its field of action to the environment of the Church. The Eucharist is the Lord Jesus Who gives Himself 'for the life of the world.' In all times and places, He wishes to encounter men and women and bring them the life of God."

  "The Eucharist also has a cosmic significance," the Pope went on. "Indeed, the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ constitutes the beginning of the divinization of creation itself. For this reason, the Feast of Corpus Christi is particularly characterized by the tradition of carrying the Most Holy Sacrament in procession: a gesture rich in significance.

  "In carrying the Eucharist through the streets and squares," the Holy Father concluded, "we want to immerse the bread of heaven in our daily lives. ... On this feast day, Christians as a community proclaim that the Eucharist represents everything for them, it is their very life, the source of love that conquers death."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2006 (VIS) - Late this morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists:

  "This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jan Eliasson, president of the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations and foreign minister of Sweden.

  "The central theme of the discussions was the process of globalization, of which some of the shortcomings - particularly due to the scant recognition of the religious dimension - were highlighted. Without the contribution of religious values, even human rights could lose consistency.

  "Particular emphasis was laid upon the need to overcome contrasts and build bridges so that all aspects of globalization can come together for the common good and the peaceful coexistence of all peoples.

  "Attention was also given to the contribution that the meeting between religions can make towards peace and solidarity among all inhabitants of the planet."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today in the Hall of Blessings, the Pope received members of the Association of Sts. Peter and Paul, to whom he expressed his gratitude for their many years of service to Peter's Successor.

  After stressing its "dedicated voluntary service to the Holy See," Benedict XVI recalled how the association is divided into three sections, liturgical charitable and cultural, "reflecting the three complementary aspects of the life and activity of ecclesial communities."

  The Holy Father called on members of the association to ensure that "an intense life of prayer and assiduous participation in the liturgy continue to be your primary commitment, both as individuals and as an association. ... Only if we allow ourselves to be constantly formed by listening to the Word of God, and assiduously nourish ourselves on the Body and Blood of Christ, can we transmit to others the love of God, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit."

  "You seek," he went on, "to be witnesses of this love for the poor in the 'Dono di Maria' shelter," which is near the Vatican and run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "and in the pediatric dispensary of 'Santa Marta'," within the Vatican, "as well as through social initiatives promoted in your own parishes. May charity animate all your activities."

  The Pope concluded his address to the group by referring to the need "for adequate cultural formation in order to be able to mature in the faith. Evangelization today requires a responsible knowledge of modern cultural needs and a constant immersion in sound Catholic doctrine."
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Friday, June 16, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 16, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Oscar Arias Sanchez, president of the Republic of Costa Rica, accompanied by an entourage.

 - Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

 - Archbishop Robert Sarah, emeritus of Conakry, Guinea, and secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

 - Fr. Alvaro Corcuera Martinez del Rio, superior general of the Legionaries of Christ.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2006 (VIS) - At 7 p.m. today, Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass on the square in front of Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran, then presided at the Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

  In his homily, the Pope affirmed that the consecrated Host is the "food of the poor," and the "fruit of the earth and of the labor of mankind." And yet, he added, "bread is not simply our own product, something made by us; it is a fruit of the earth and, hence, a gift. ... It requires the synergy of the forces of the earth and of the gifts of the heavens: sun and rain."

  "At a time in which we hear of desertification, and there is ever more talk of the danger of men and beasts dying of thirst in those regions without water, at such a time, we gain a renewed awareness of the greatness of the gift of water, and of how incapable we are of producing it alone. Then, looking closer, this little piece of white Host, this bread of the poor, appears as a synthesis of creation."

  "When, in adoration, we contemplate the consecrated Host, the mark of creation is speaking to us. Then we discover the greatness of this gift, but we also discover the Passion, the Cross of Jesus and His resurrection."

  The Holy Father went on: "In the feast of Corpus Christi we contemplate above all the sign of the bread. This also reminds us of the pilgrimage of Israel during the 40 years in the wilderness. The Host is our manna with which the Lord nourishes us; it truly is the bread of heaven, by which He gives Himself. In the procession, we follow this sign, and thus we follow Him."

  Benedict XVI then raised an appeal to the Lord: "Guide us along the roads of our history! Always show the Church and her pastors the right path! Look at suffering humanity, anxiously wandering among so many uncertainties; look at the physical and mental hunger afflicting them! Give men bread for the body and the soul! Give them work! Give them light! Give them Yourself! Purify and sanctify us all!

  "Bring us to understand" the Pope concluded, "that only by participating in Your Passion, by saying 'yes' to the cross, to sacrifice, to the purification you impose upon us, can our lives mature and reach their true fulfillment. Gather us from all the corners of the earth. Unite Your Church, unite lacerated humanity. Give us Your salvation!"

  Following Mass, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic procession that passed along Rome's Via Merulana to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Along the way, thousands of faithful prayed and sang, accompanying the Blessed Sacrament. An open vehicle transported the Sacrament in a mostrance, before which the Holy Father knelt in prayer.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 14, 2006 (VIS) - As previously advised, tomorrow, Solemnity of Corpus Christi and a holiday in the Vatican, there will be no VIS bulletin. Service will resume on Friday, June 16.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 14, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev, Belarus, presented by Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, upon having reached the age limit, and appointed Bishop Antoni Dziemianko, auxiliary of Minsk-Mohilev, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of the same ecclesiastical circumscription.
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