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Monday, July 31, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2006 (VIS) - As previously advised, VIS will be closed during the entire month of August. Service will resume on Friday, September 1.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of August is: "That orphans may not lack the care necessary for their human and Christian formation."

  His mission intention is: "That the Christian faithful may be aware of their own missionary vocation in every environment and circumstance."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo and prayed the Angelus with them.

  The Pope recalled that, apart from a brief apostolic trip to Germany in September, he will stay at Castelgandolfo until the end of the summer. He then went on to express his thanks to the pilgrims who "with the warmth of their presence help to underline, even in the family atmosphere of my summer residence, the universal ecclesial horizon of this our [regular] appointment with the Marian prayer.

  "At these moments," the Holy Father added, "I cannot fail to think of the ever more serious and tragic situation of the Middle East: hundreds of dead, many injured, a vast mass of homeless and displaced people, cities and infrastructures destroyed, while hatred and thirst for revenge seem to be growing in the hearts of many.

  "These facts clearly demonstrate that it is not possible to re-establish justice, create a new order and build real peace when there is recourse to ... violence. More than ever, we see how much the Church's voice is at once prophetic and realistic when, in the face of war and conflicts of all kinds, she indicates the path of truth, justice, love and freedom. This is the path that humanity today must also follow in order to achieve the desired good of real peace."

  "In the name of God," the Pope cried out, "I address all those responsible for this spiral of violence, that all sides immediately lay down their arms! To political leaders and international institutions I ask that no efforts be spared in order to obtain the necessary cessation of hostilities and thus to begin to build, through dialogue, a lasting and stable coexistence of all the people of the Middle East. I ask men and women of good will to continue and to intensify the sending of humanitarian aid to those needy and much tried peoples. But above all, may faithful prayers to the good and merciful God continue to be raised from all hearts, that He may concede His peace to that region and to the world entire.

  "I entrust this heartfelt appeal," Benedict XVI concluded, "to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace and Queen of Peace, who is so venerated in the countries of the Middle East, where we soon hope to see the reign of that reconciliation for which the Lord Jesus offered His precious Blood."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, following his journey from Valle d'Aosta, the Pope reached his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately on arrival, he appeared at the balcony of the Apostolic Palace to greet people gathered in the square below.

  "I am pleased to be back in your beautiful town," the Holy Father said, "in this palace with its restored facade and its extraordinary beauty. I will spend some weeks here with you and I hope to spend them well, in peace and with the Lord's blessing, as a sign of which I now give you my blessing. May Almighty God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, bless you. ... We will meet on Sunday, God willing."
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Friday, July 28, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2006 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Holy See for the months of January through July 2006.


 - 1: Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI for 39th World Day of Peace, on the theme: "In Truth, Peace."

 - 7: Holy Father receives in audience a delegation from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, led by Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick.

 - 9: Holy Father receives in audience - in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace - members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings.

 - 16: Holy Father receives in audience a delegation from the Jewish community in Rome, headed by Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.

 - 16: Holy Father receives in audience Filip Vujanovic, president of the Republic of Montenegro.

 - 19: Holy Father receives in audience an ecumenical delegation from Finland for the occasion of the Feast of St. Henry, patron saint of that country.

 - 19: Holy Father receives in audience Gunther H. Oettinger, minister-president of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

 - 22: For the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Mass in the Sistine Chapel presided by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, attended by the 110 Swiss Guards currently in service and their families. The Mass inaugurates the 500th anniversary celebrations of the world's oldest active military corps.

 - 23 - 24: International congress on charity promoted by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," its theme inspired by St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians: " ... But the greatest of these is love."

 - 24: On the Feast of St. Francis of Sales, patron saint of journalists, publication of Benedict XVI's first Message for the World Day of Social Communications (to be celebrated on May 28), on the theme: "The Media: A Network for Communication, Communion and Cooperation."

 - 25: Publication of Pope Benedict XVI's first Encyclical: "Deus caritas est."

 - 26: Holy Father receives in audience Lech Kaczynski, president of the Republic of Poland.

 - 31: Publication of the Message of Benedict XVI for Lent 2006. The text, dated September 29, 2005, is entitled: "Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity."


 - 3: Publication of a decree announcing the concession of indulgences to the faithful for the fifteenth World Day of the Sick, to be celebrated on February 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

 - 9: The Holy Father accepts the invitation of Ahmet Necdet Sezer, president of Turkey, to make an official visit to that country from November 28 to 30, 2006.

 - 15: During the course of his weekly general audience, Benedict XVI announces the conclusion of the cycle of catechesis begun by John Paul II and dedicated to the Psalms and Canticles of the Liturgy of the Hours and of Vespers.

 - 16: Holy Father receives in audience Fouad Siniora, prime minister of Lebanon.

 - 20: Presentation of the Letters of Credence of Ali Achour, the new ambassador of Morocco to the Holy See.

 - 24: Holy Father receives in audience Alfred Moisiu, president of the Republic of Albania.

 - 27: Publication of the Holy Father's Message to the youth of the world for 21st World Youth Day 2006, on the theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."


 - 3: The Holy Father Benedict XVI visits the headquarters of Vatican Radio for the 75th anniversary of the station's inauguration, in 1931 under the pontificate of Pius IX.

 - 13: Holy Father receives in audience Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

 - 15: In his weekly general audience, the Holy Father begins a new cycle of catechesis dedicated to the mystery of the relationship between Christ and the Church in the light of the experience of the Apostles and the task with which they were entrusted.

 - 18: Beatification of Servant of God Sister Elia di San Clemente (nee Teodora Fracasso, 1901 - 1927), virgin of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, in the cathedral of Bari, Italy.

 - 20: Holy Father receives in audience His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon, accompanied by members of the patriarchal synod and by a group of pilgrims.

 - 24: First Ordinary Public Consistory of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI for the creation of 15 new cardinals from 11 different countries. With the new additions, the College of Cardinals numbers 193 members, of whom 120 are eligible to vote.

 - 30: Publication of the Holy Father's Message for the 43rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, to be celebrated on May 7, fourth Sunday of Easter, on the theme: "Vocation in the mystery of the Church."

 - 30: In the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, screening of the film "Karol, un Papa rimasto uomo" (Karol, a Pope Who Remained a Man) in the presence of the Holy Father. The film, dedicated to the life of John Paul II, was written and directed by the Italian director, Giacomo Battiato.


 - 1: Holy Father receives in audience Their Majesties King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians.

 - 2: First anniversary of the death of John Paul II. At 9 p.m., Benedict XVI and Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar general for the diocese of Rome, preside at the praying of the Rosary in St. Peter's Square. At around 9.37 p.m., the exact moment of John Paul II's demise, the Pope Benedict addresses the crowd from the window of his study overlooking the square.

 - 3: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI celebrates Mass marking the first anniversary of the death of John Paul II.

 - 6: Shimon Peres, former prime minister of the State of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize winner, visits His Holiness Benedict XVI.

 - 8: Holy Father receives in separate audiences Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, president of the Republic of Togo, and His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Otto of Austria.

 - 9: Eucharistic celebration presided by the Pope in St. Peter's Square for Palm Sunday, and for 21st World Youth Day which has as its theme this year "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

 - 21: Benedict XVI attends a concert organized in his honor by the local authorities of Rome at the city's "Parco della Musica" Auditorium to mark the occasion of the 2759th anniversary of the foundation of the Eternal City, and the first anniversary of his own election to the pontifical throne on April 19.

 - 30: Beatification of Servants of God Msgr. Luigi Biraghi (1801-1879) and Fr. Luigi Monza (1898-1954) in the Duomo of Milan, Italy.

 - 30: Beatification of Servant of God Fr. Augustine Thevarparampil "Kunjachan" (1891-1973), in Ramapuram, India.


 - 1: Pope Benedict XVI visits the Sanctuary of "Divino Amore" (Divine Love), located south of Rome. He prays the rosary before the image of the Virgin in the old sanctuary before going on to visit the new sanctuary, consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1999.

 - 3: A concert of popular music performed by the Swiss Guard Band in the Paul VI Hall marks the beginning of the fifth centenary celebrations for the founding of the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

 - 5: Holy Father receives in audience Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

 - 6: In the Vatican Basilica, the Pope presides at a Eucharistic celebration marking the fifth centenary of the foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Civil and military authorities from Switzerland and other countries participate in the ceremony, as do relatives and friends of the Guards, and military chaplains.

 - 8: Holy Father receives in audience Their Royal Highnesses, the Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

 - 11: Holy Father receives in audience Hugo Chavez Frias, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

 - 13: On the 89th anniversary of the first appearance of the Virgin of Fatima, and the 25th anniversary of the assassination attempt against John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, a copy of the statue of the Virgin Mary from the famous Portuguese shrine returns to the Vatican.

 - 13: Holy Father receives Letters of Credence of Valentin Bozhilov, the new Bulgarian ambassador to the Holy See.

 - 13: Holy Father receives in audience participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its foundation. It was established by John Paul II on May 9, 1981.

 - 13: Beatification of Servant of God Maria Teresa di San Giuseppe (nee Anna Maria Tauscher van den Bosch, 1855 -1938) in Roermond, Netherlands.

 - 14: Beatification of Servant of God Maria della Passione di Nostro Signore Gesu Cristo (nee Grazia Tarallo, 1866 - 1912) in the cathedral of Naples, Italy.

 - 15: Holy Father receives in separate audiences Enrique Bolanos Geyer, president of the Republic of Nicaragua, and His Royal Highness Duke Carl von Wurttemberg.

 - 18: Holy Father receives Letters of Credence of five new ambassadors to the Holy See: Moukhtar Wawa Dahab from Chad; Amitava Tripathi from India; Domingos Dias Pereira Mascarenhas from Cape Verde; Valeriu Bobutac from Moldova; and Anne Maree Plunkett from Australia.

 - 18: Holy Father receives in audience Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, president of the Department for Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

- 18: Holy Father receives in audience Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, prime minister of Poland.

- 19: Holy Father receives in audience Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

- 20: Holy Father receives Letters of Credence of Francisco Vazquez Vazquez, the new Spanish ambassador to the Holy See.

 - 22: Holy Father receives in audience Branko Crvenkovski, president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 - 23: Publication of a Letter from Benedict XVI to Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), for the 50th anniversary of Pope Pius XII's Encyclical "Haurietis aquas" on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

- 23: Holy Father receives in audience Sergei Stanishev, prime minister of Bulgaria.

 - 25-28: Holy Father Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to Poland where he visits Warsaw, Czestochowa, Krakow, Wadowice, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and Auschwitz.

 - 28: Beatification of Servant of God Rita Amada de Jesus (1948 - 1913) in Viseu, Portugal.


 - 2: Publication of the Holy Father's Message for 80th World Mission Day, on the theme: "Charity, Soul of the Mission." The Day is due to be celebrated on October 22.

 - 3: Holy Father receives in audience Tony Blair, prime minister of Great Britain.

 - 3: In St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father Benedict XVI meets more than 400,000 representatives of ecclesial movements and new communities for the First Vespers of the eve of Pentecost.

 - 8: Holy Father receives in audience Norbert Lammert, speaker of the German parliament, the "Bundestag."

 - 15: Beatification of Servant of God Fr. Eustaquio Van Lieshout (1890 - 1943) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

 - 16: Holy Father receives in audience Oscar Arias Sanchez, president of the Republic of Costa Rica.

 - 22: In accordance with Canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, Holy Father accepts the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, requesting him, nonetheless, to remain in office until September 15, with all the faculties inherent to that role. On September 15. the Holy Father will appoint Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of Genova, Italy, as the new secretary of State.

 - 24: Announcement of a forthcoming apostolic trip by Benedict XVI to Germany from September 9 to 14, where he will visit Munich, Altotting and Regensburg.

 - 26: Holy Father receives in audience Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Republic of the Philippines.

 - 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. Pope presides at a Eucharistic concelebration with 27 metropolitan archbishops from 17 countries, upon whom he imposes the pallium. The day also marks the 55th anniversary of Benedict XVI's own priestly ordination.

 - 30: Holy Father receives Letters of Credence of Mario Juan Bosco Cayota Zappettini, the new ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See.

 - 30: Benedict XVI decrees 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.


 - 8-9: Holy Father Benedict XVI makes the third apostolic trip outside Italy of his pontificate, visiting Valencia, Spain, for the occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families.

 - 11: Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. is appointed as new director of the Holy See Press Office. He is currently director general of the Vatican Television Center and of Vatican Radio, posts he will continue to hold in his new office. The Pope accepts the resignation from the office of director of the Holy See Press Office presented by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who has held the position since 1984.

 - 12: Presentation of the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2005; the year closed with a surplus of 9.7 million euro.

 - 13: Theme announced of the 40th World Peace Day, due to be celebrated on January 1, 2007: "The Human Person: Heart of Peace."

 - 20: Benedict XVI proclaims Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance for peace in the Middle East.

 - 26: Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, participates as an observer at the International Rome Conference on Lebanon.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's vacation at Les Combes, in the municipality of Introd in Italy's Valle d'Aosta, where he has been staying since July 11, is due to come to an end this afternoon.

  After bidding farewell to Osvaldo Naudin, mayor of Introd, to Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta, and to other civil and religious authorities, the Pope is due to travel to the airport of Aosta whence his plane will depart at 5.30 p.m. He is expected to land at Rome's Ciampino airport an hour later and from there to travel to the apostolic palace of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome.

  Beginning on Sunday, July 30, Benedict XVI will pray the Angelus from his summer residence at Castelgandolfo. General audiences will be held regularly in the Vatican from Wednesday, August 2.
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Thursday, July 27, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2006 (VIS) - At Guayaquil, Ecuador, from July 11 to 14, Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes presided at the annual meeting of the administrative council of the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation. The meeting considered the financing of projects to promote integral development among the poor indigenous mixed race and Afro-American rural communities of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  The "Populorum Progressio" Foundation is part of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," the president of which is Archbishop Cordes who also acts as president and legal representative of the foundation. The administrative council, which meets to study and approve the projects presented, is made up of seven members: six bishops from various countries in Latin America, and a representative of the pontifical council.

  In a communique, "Cor Unum" indicates that during the July meeting consideration was given to 255 projects for a total value of 2,500,000 US dollars. Of these, approval was given to 215 projects for a total of 1,820,500. "Most of this sum," says the communique, "comes from the generosity of the faithful of the Church in Italy through the Italian Episcopal Conference's Committee for Charitable Interventions in favor of the Third World."

  Of the projects approved this year, 36.9 percent involve the production sector, in the fields of both agriculture and small business; 26.19 percent goes to the creation of public service infrastructures such as the supply of drinking water, fencing, toilets and communal halls; 17.46 percent to the building of schools, dwellings and health centers; 12.3 percent to education; and 7.15 percent to healthcare.

  The communique closes by highlighting the fact that since February 13, 1992 - when John Paul II established "Populorum Progressio" - the foundation has awarded more than 20 million dollars for more than 2,000 projects.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Holy See secretary for Relations with States, gave an interview to Vatican Radio on the subject of the International Conference for Lebanon, which was held yesterday in Rome and in which he participated as an observer.

  In the interview, large extracts of which are given below, the archbishop described as "positive" the speed with which the conference was convened and the fact that "it focussed its attention on the most urgent needs of the present time." On the subject of the final declaration, which was judged by many as disappointing, he noted that "the expectations of the public were certainly high, but for the well-informed who understand the difficulties, it could perhaps be said that the results were significant."

  The secretary for Relations with States then went on to enumerate some of those results. In the first place, he pointed out "the fact that countries from various parts of the world ... came together in an awareness of the gravity of what is happening in Lebanon, reaffirming the need for the country to regain full sovereignty as soon as possible," and that "they made a commitment to help her." He also mentioned "the request to form an international force under the United Nations, to support the regular Lebanese army in security matters," as well as "the commitment to offer immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Lebanon and the guarantee of support in rebuilding by calling a conference of donor States." Finally, he highlighted the participants' commitment "to remain in constant contact concerning further developments in the intervention of the international community in Lebanon."

  The sense of disappointment, said the archbishop, may have been caused above all "by the fact that there was no request for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Unanimity among the participants was not achieved because some countries maintained that an appeal would not have produced the desired effect, and it was felt more realistic to express a commitment to achieve without delay a cessation of hostilities," a commitment "which can, in fact, be maintained."

  Another problematic issue, said the archbishop, was the fact that the conference limited itself "to inviting Israel to exercise the greatest restraint. By its nature, this call has a certain inevitable ambiguity, whilst respect for the innocent civilian population is a precise and binding duty."

  Archbishop Lajolo also affirmed that yesterday Fouad Siniora, prime minister of Lebanon, "had the opportunity to explain fully the dramatic nature of the situation of the country, and to present his own plan for the immediate and definitive resolution of the conflict with Israel. He was also able to witness and further encourage the positive efforts being made by the international community to help the Lebanese people, to put an end to the conflict and to reinforce his government's control of the country."

  In a meeting yesterday evening with Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, Fouad Siniora "expressed great appreciation for the commitment with which the Holy Father in person, and the Holy See, are following the conflict that is wracking Lebanon, and he requested continuing support for his country in the international arena" said Archbishop Lajolo. "He also recalled the words of Pope John Paul II, who defined Lebanon not only as a country but as 'a message' for all peoples of harmonious coexistence among various religions and confessions in one State."

  The secretary for Relations with States affirmed that, following the Rome conference, "the Holy See remains in favor of an immediate cessation of hostilities. The problems on the table are many and extremely complex, and precisely for that reason cannot all be dealt with together. While bearing in mind the general picture and the overall solution to be achieved, the problems must be resolved 'per partes,' beginning with those that are immediately resolvable. The position of those who maintain that conditions must first be created so that any truce is not once again violated is only apparently one of realism, because those conditions can and must be created with means other than the killing of innocent people. The Pope is close to those peoples, victims of contrasts and of a conflict foreign to them. Benedict XVI prays, and with him the entire Church, for the day of peace to come today and not tomorrow. He prays to God and appeals to political leaders. The Pope weeps with every mother weeping for her children, with all those weeping for their loved ones. An immediate suspension of hostilities is possible, and therefore necessary."
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 26, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Msgr. Francisco Caninde Palhano of the clergy of the archdiocese of Natal, Brazil, pastor of the parish "Santo Alfonso Maria de Ligorio," as bishop of Bonfim (area 34,600, population 632,000, Catholics 569,000, priests 24, permanent deacons 1, religious 100), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Jose de Mipibu, Brazil in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Bishop Jairo Rui Matos da Silva, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Antonio Carlos Altieri S.D.B., director of the community of priest-students at Rome's Pontifical Salesian University, as bishop of Caraguatatuba (area 1,992, population 264,139, Catholics 163,766, priests 26, permanent deacons 10, religious 69), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1978.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Nazare, Brazil, presented by Bishop Jorge Tobias de Freitas, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 26, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a Letter to Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini for the 50th anniversary, on July 29, of his episcopal ordination, and for his ninetieth birthday. Cardinal Angelini was born in Rome on August 1, 1916 and consecrated a bishop in the Roman church of St. Ignatius in 1956.

  In his Letter, the Pope recalls the cardinal's work in the field of healthcare ministry under various pontiffs: Pius XII, under whom he was delegate for hospitals and nursing homes in Rome; Blessed John XXIII, who appointed him as national ecclesial assistant to Italian Catholic doctors; and John Paul II, who made him a cardinal and, establishing the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, appointed him as president thereof.

  Benedict XVI expresses his gratitude for the "pastoral solicitude" of Cardinal Angelini who recently founded the International Institute of Research into Christ's Countenance, in collaboration with the Congregation of Benedictine Reparatrix Sisters of the Holy Countenance of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The institute promotes healthcare initiatives, social work and educational assistance in Poland, Romania, India and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


VATICAN CITY, JUL 26, 2006 (VIS) - The Pope yesterday called for prayers for the international conference for Lebanon being held in Rome today, in the hope, he said, that it "may bear fruit and bring concrete results for peace, ... for a solution that goes to the roots of the problem."

  Yesterday evening, returning from an excursion in the Valle d'Aosta region of Italy where he is spending a brief holiday, the Holy Father expressed the hope that "stable and lasting solutions" be found, and he added: "I feel that something is now moving, I see that prayers are not in vain."

  Benedict XVI made his remarks following a visit to the Marian shrine of Notre-Dame de la Guerison, located at the foot of Mont Blanc at an altitude of 1,460 meters, where he called on the faithful to pray for peace. Faced with the worsening situation in the Middle East, the Holy Father had proclaimed Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance. On that day, visiting the church of Rhemes Saint Georges, a few kilometers from his holiday villa at Les Combes, the Pope had prayed to the Lord: "Grant us peace; not tomorrow or the day after, grant us peace today!"

  Also yesterday, it was made public that the Holy See has been officially invited to participate as an observer at the Rome international conference for Lebanon. The Holy See delegation will be led by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, who will be accompanied by counsellors Msgr. Franco Coppola and Msgr. Alberto Ortega Martin.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 25, 2006 (VIS) - On Saturday, July 29, the Feast of St. Martha, all those wishing to do so may participate in the traditional praying of the Rosary in the Vatican Gardens.

  According to a communique made public today by the Vicariate of Vatican City State, a torchlight procession will wind through the Gardens praying the Rosary, the five Mysteries dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Czestochowa, of Guadalupe, of Fatima, of Lourdes and of la Guardia. The procession will conclude with the singing of the "Salve Regina" before the image of the Blessed Virgin of Mercy.

  As in earlier years, the communique reads, the cloistered order of Poor Clares, who live in the "Mater Ecclesiae" Convent founded in Vatican City by John Paul II in 1994, will join participants at the end of the Rosary through a Vatican Radio linkup.
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Monday, July 24, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2006 (VIS) - This afternoon, Benedict XVI travelled to the small church of Rhemes Saint Georges, a few kilometers from Les Combes, the Italian alpine resort where he is spending a brief holiday. There he participated in the day of prayer and penance for peace between Lebanon and Israel.

  The Pope arrived at the church in the company of Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta, and greeted the faithful gathered there. Following the liturgy of the Word, the Holy Father referred to "the dramatic situation in the Middle East ... where war persists between Christians, Muslims and Jews." He exclaimed: "Lord, free us from all evil and grant us peace; not tomorrow or the day after, grant us peace today!"

  Benedict XVI highlighted the importance of the Christian perspective as a way "to end violence and overcome evil. ... At this time, in which there is great abuse of the name of God," he added, "we must affirm that the cross wins by love, affirming [also] the countenance of God which triumphs and brings light and reconciliation to the world. ... We need the testimony of God's victory though non-violence."

  "Violence must be answered with love like that of Christ, that reaches unto death," he concluded. "This is God's humble way of winning, not with a stronger empire but with love that endures to the very end. ... Jesus' reconciliation and sacrifice are not in vain. ... There is a network of Eucharistic communion that overcomes cultural differences. ... This is the force for peace in the world."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims and local residents at Les Combes in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta where he is spending a brief vacation, the Pope renewed the appeal he launched last Thursday for a cease-fire in the Middle East.

  After recalling how, following the worsening of the situation in the Middle East, he had proclaimed this Sunday as a special day of prayer and penance, inviting pastors, faithful and all believers to implore from God the gift of peace, the Holy Father said: "I forcibly renew my appeal to the conflicting parties to begin an immediate cease-fire, to allow the passage of humanitarian aid and, with the support of the international community, to seek ways to begin negotiations.

  "I take this opportunity," he added, "to reiterate the right of the Lebanese to the integrity and sovereignty of their country, of the Israelis to live in peace in their State, and of the Palestinians to have their own free and sovereign homeland."

  The Holy Father expressed his particular closeness to the "defenseless civilian population, unjustly involved in a conflict of which they are only victims: both those in Galilee who are forced to live in shelters, and the great multitudes of Lebanese who, once again, are seeing their country destroyed and have been forced to abandon everything to seek refuge elsewhere.

  "I raise a sorrowful prayer to God that the vast majority of people's aspiration to peace may be realized as soon as possible, through the harmonious commitment of leaders. I also renew my appeal to all charitable organizations to bring those people the concrete expression of shared solidarity."

  Benedict XVI then recalled that Saturday marked the liturgical memory of St. Mary Magdalene, "the Lord's disciple who occupies a leading role in the Gospels," and that today is the day of St. Bridget of Sweden, "one of the patrons of Europe who lived in Rome and made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land." Let us, he added, "ask her to help humanity today to create great spaces for peace, and especially to obtain from the Lord peace in that Holy Land towards which she had such profound affection and veneration."

  "I entrust humanity entire to the power of divine love," the Pope concluded. "And I invite everyone to pray that the beloved people of the Middle East may be capable of abandoning the path of armed conflict and of building, through the courage of dialogue, a just and lasting peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!"
ANG/PEACE:MIDDLE EAST/...                        VIS 20060724 (450)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Sabino Odoki, rector of the major national seminary of philosophy at Alokulum, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Gulu (area 27,946, population 1,112,044, Catholics 634,292, priests 54, religious 200), Uganda. The bishop-elect was born in Layibi, Uganda in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1983.
NEA/.../ODOKI                                    VIS 20060724 (60)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2006 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" today published the following communique:

  "Given the persistence of the conflict in the Middle East and of the terrible plight of the peoples involved, the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum' wishes, in the name of the Holy Father, to demonstrate its closeness to those who are suffering, sending preliminary aid to help shelter the thousands of displaced people.

  "This aid is directed towards a project being promoted by Caritas Lebanon, the Custody of the Holy Land, the AVSI Foundation and other organizations present on the ground, in order to supply materials for welcome centers (mattresses, blankets and sheets), drinking water, food and hygiene kits, and medicines."

  The communique also indicates where to send donations for this special collection of funds:

  Italian Post Office current account number 603035, made out to Pontifical Council Cor Unum, stating the reason: for Lebanon.

  Banca di Roma current account number 101010 - ABI 3002, CAB 5008 (from abroad: SWIFT code: BROMIT) - made out to Pontifical Council Cor Unum, stating the reason: for Lebanon.
CON-CU/LEBANON/...                            VIS 20060724 (190)

Friday, July 21, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Barthelemy Djabla of San Pedro-en-Cote-d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast, as metropolitan archbishop of Gagnoa (area 21,951, population 1,384,046, Catholics 139,617, priests 109, religious 67), Ivory Coast. The archbishop-elect was born in Mahibouo, Ivory Coast in 1936, he was ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated a bishop in 1990.

 - Bishop Joseph Ake, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as bishop of Yamoussoukro (area 19,890, population 959,282, Catholics 126,343, priests 51, permanent deacons 2, religious 78), Ivory Coast.
NER/.../DJABLA:AKE                                VIS 20060721 (100)

Thursday, July 20, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2006 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Archbishop Estanislao Alcaraz Figueroa, emeritus of Morelia, Mexico, on July 13, at the age of 87.

 - Bishop Julio Amilcar Bethancourt Fioravanti of Santa Rosa de Lima, Guatemala, on July 5, at the age of 69.

 - Bishop Edwin Bernard Broderick, emeritus of Albany, U.S.A., on July 2, at the age of 89.

 - Bishop Jose Fernandes Veloso, emeritus of Petropolis, Brazil, on July 10, at the age of 90.

 - Bishop Thomas Fernando, emeritus of Tiruchirapalli, India, on July 4, at the age of 93.

 - Bishop Jesus Rocha of Oliveira, Brazil, on July 13, at the age of 66.

 - Bishop Carlos Talavera Ramirez, emeritus of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, on July 2, at the age of 82.
.../DEATHS/...                                    VIS 20060720 (140)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2006 (VIS) - Faced with worsening situation in the Middle East, the Holy See Press Office has been directed to communicate the following:

  "The Holy Father is following with great concern the destinies of all the peoples involved and has proclaimed this Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance, inviting the pastors and faithful of all the particular Churches, and all believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace.

  "In particular, the Supreme Pontiff hopes that prayers will be raised to the Lord for an immediate cease-fire between the sides, for humanitarian corridors to be opened in order to bring help to the suffering peoples, and for reasonable and responsible negotiations to begin to put an end to objective situations of injustice that exist in that region; as already indicated by Pope Benedict XVI at the Angelus last Sunday, July 16.

  "In reality, the Lebanese have the right to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected, the Israelis the right to live in peace in their State, and the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and sovereign homeland.

  "At this sorrowful moment, His Holiness also makes an appeal to charitable organizations to help all the people struck by this pitiless conflict."
OP/MIDDLE EAST/...                                VIS 20060720 (230)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of a Message from Benedict XVI to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople for the 6th symposium on the environment organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as part of its "Religion, Science and Environment" project, the theme of which this year is "The Amazon River: source of life."

  The symposia of the project are always held afloat, and this year's edition is being celebrated from July 13 to 20 on a ship sailing along the Amazon River. The aim of the project is to promote "awareness of the grave problems threatening creation, and commitment to joint action among Christians and men of religion in attempting to solve them."

  The symposium, which is also taking place under the patronage of the Catholic Church in Brazil, is being attended by, among others, Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, and by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, vice dean of the College of Cardinals, who delivered the Pope's Message to the Patriarch Bartholomew I. In that Message, the Pope thanks Bartholomew for "your support for the Brazilian episcopate's commitment in Amazonia and your activity in favor of the environment, the deterioration of which has grave and profound repercussions upon peoples."

  "The task of highlighting an appropriate catechesis of creation - in order to recall the meaning and religious significance of its protection - is intimately connected to our duty as pastors," writes the Pope, "and could have an important impact on the perceived value of life itself and on the adequate solution of ... social problems."

  The Holy Father expresses the hope that the Amazon symposium "may once again draw the attention of peoples and governments to the problems and urgent needs of an area ... so threatened in its ecological balance." He also highlights how, with this initiative, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has sought to demonstrate "Christian support to the people of the Amazon regions."

  "In our common commitment," says Pope Benedict in his Message," I see an example of that collaboration which Orthodox and Catholics must seek constantly in order to respond to the need for a shared testimony. This means that all Christians must cultivate that interior openness of soul which is dictated by charity and has its roots in the faith. In this way, they can together offer the world a credible witness of their sense of responsibility towards the defense of creation."

  Remarking on the presence at the symposium of figures from the great monotheistic religions, the Pope observes how "reciprocal respect" between faiths also comes about through initiatives such as this one, which concern the interests of all. "It is necessary," he concludes, "to find common ground in which to bring together the commitment of each individual to defend the habitat ordained by the Creator for human beings."
MESS/ENVIRONMENT/BARTHOLOMEW I                VIS 20060720 (490)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 19, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, in the presence of Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, an agreement was concluded between the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls and the Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital, for the use of certain buildings and spaces currently available in the extraterritorial zone of St. Paul's.

  According to a communique made public today, "the buildings and land being made available will be used by the hospital to expand and to bring together on one site a number of offices and clinics." This "will make it possible to provide better service to children in a very densely populated area of Rome.

  "This solution," the communique adds, "will enable greater integration, both in terms of healthcare and of administration, of the services offered, with indubitable benefits for the young patients."

  The agreement was signed by Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, and Francesco Silvano, president of the Bambino Gesu hospital. Both these Holy See institutions are located in Rome on extraterritorial land.
.../NEW SITE/BAMBINO GESU                        VIS 20060719 (190)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 19, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano sent the following telegram of condolence, in the name of the Pope, to the ecclesial and civil authorities of Indonesia for the tsunami that hit the island of Java on Monday and left more than 500 people dead and around 300 missing:

  "Deeply saddened to learn of the tragic consequences of the recent tsunami in Java, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI assures all those affected of his closeness in prayer. He commends the deceased to the loving mercy of the Almighty, and upon their grieving families he invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation. His Holiness likewise prays for the rescue workers and all involved in providing assistance to displaced families, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support."
TGR/TSUNAMI/INDONESIA:SODANO                    VIS 20060719 (150)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 18, 2006 (VIS) - At the close yesterday in St. Petersburg, Russia, of the summit meeting of leaders of the world's most industrialized nations (G8), a declaration from participants in a world gathering of religious leaders was also read out. Their meeting was held in Moscow, Russia, from July 3 to 5.

  "Let us keep the peace that God has given us" write representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Shintoism, highlighting the need for "religion to continue to be the true and solid foundation of peace and dialogue between civilizations," and for "it never to be used as a source of division and conflict."

  The declaration identifies the challenges facing humanity today, from the defense of human life in all its stages to the relationship between justice and economics, without overlooking "the scandal of poverty." The text also condemns all forms of terrorism and extremism as well as the violence that seeks justification in religion. It also deplores the activities of pseudo-religious groups and movements "which attack the freedom and wellbeing of peoples."

  The world meeting of religious leaders was organized by the inter-religious council of Russia. The Catholic Church delegation was presided by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and also included Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. In his contribution to the debate, Cardinal Poupard highlighted the necessity for religious and civil authorities throughout the world to collaborate for the good of humanity, and the need to face the challenges of globalization, while always respecting the dignity of human beings.
.../RELIGIOUS LEADERS:G8/ST. PETERSBURG                VIS 20060718 (290)

Monday, July 17, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Douglas Young S.V.D., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 8,288, population 392,259, Catholics 144,745, priests 38, religious 91). The archbishop-elect was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1977 and ordained a bishop in 2000. He succeeds Archbishop Michael Meier S.V.D., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Jose Vilaplana Blasco of Santander, Spain, as bishop of Huelva (area 10,085, population 472,446, Catholics 453,548, priests 153, permanent deacons 8, religious 438), Spain. He succeeds Bishop Ignacio Noguer Carmona, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday, July 15, it was made public that the Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi C.S.C., auxiliary of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, as bishop of the same diocese (area 16,448, population 14,100,000, Catholics 68,963, priests 28, religious 124). He succeeds Bishop Francis Anthony Gomes, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Thomas Thuruthimattam C.S.T., superior general of the Little Flower Congregation, as bishop of the eparchy of Gorakhpur of the Syro-Malabars (area 19,070, population 17,120,000, Catholics 2,916, priests 57, religious 212), India. The bishop-elect was born in Aruvikuzhy, India in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1973. He succeeds Bishop Dominic Kokkat C.S.T., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

 - Appointed Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala, auxiliary of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, as bishop of El Vigia-San Carlos del Zulia (area 8,100, population 368,176, Catholics 357,130, priests 32, religious 38), Venezuela.

 - Appointed Bishop Gratian Mundadan C.M.I., of Bijnor of the Syro-Malabars, India, as apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malabars in India outside their "territorium proprium."
NER:RE:NA/.../...                                VIS 20060717 (360)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is presiding at a seminar dedicated to the theme: "The Search for Christian Unity: Where We Stand Today." The event has been jointly organized by the pontifical council, the office of ecumenical and inter-religious affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea.

  The aim of the seminar, being held in Seoul, South Korea, from July 17 to 21, "is to provide an opportunity for Asian bishops and others working in the field to reflect on the realities of ecumenical relations in Asian countries, and to develop effective pastoral approaches," says a communique from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity made public today.

  This seminar forms part of a series organized by the pontifical council to consider various themes associated with ecumenism. The first two seminars took place in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Dakar, Senegal, in July 2005 and "were aimed at presenting the principles of ecumenism and motivating participants to respond to the complex ecumenical situation" on the continent of Africa. Another seminar in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in September of the same year "focused on the issue of Pentecostalism and its growth in Brazil."

  "The seminars have been planned in response to the needs expressed by the bishops themselves to find a pastoral response to the emerging challenges, particularly the rapid growth of new religious movements (Pentecostal, Evangelical and Charismatic)", the communique explains.

  "The seminar in Seoul has been timed to coincide with the World Methodist Conference, to be held there from July 20 to 24. ... At this conference it is expected that the Methodist Churches will adopt the Joint Declaration on Justification agreed between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, and a solemn celebration of the Word of God will mark this extended agreement, to be signed in the presence of Cardinal Kasper and Rev. Ismael Noko, secretary general of the Lutheran World Federation."
CON-UC/ECUMENISM/SEOUL:KASPER                    VIS 20060717 (350)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2006 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in front of the house at Les Combes in Italy's Valle d'Aosta region which he is spending a brief holiday, the Pope called on people to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

  News coming from the Holy Land over the last few days is, said the Holy Father, "a cause of new and serious concern to everyone, especially for the increasing military activities in Lebanon and for the many victims among the civilian population. At the root of such pitiless contrasts there are, unfortunately, objective ... violations of rights and of justice. But neither terrorist acts or reprisals, especially when they have such tragic consequences on the civilian population, can be justified. Bitter experience shows that by following this path no positive results can be achieved.

  "Today," he added, "is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, a mountain in the Holy Land which, just a few kilometers from Lebanon, dominates the Israeli city of Haifa, also recently attacked.

  "Let us pray to Mary Queen of Peace," said Benedict XVI, "that she may implore from God the fundamental gift of harmony, bringing political leaders back to the way of reason and opening new possibilities of dialogue and understanding. With this in mind, I invite the local Churches to raise special prayers for peace in the Holy Land and in the entire Middle East."

  Going on to address the faithful in various languages, the Pope expressed the hope that the summer "may be a stimulus to recover the interior calm that enables us to discover with greater clarity the beauty of the many gifts we have received from God through nature, and to contemplate them in the family and with others in a spirit of friendship."

  In closing, the Pope greeted Italian-speaking individuals and groups, especially participants in a training course organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference for animators of pastoral care in families: "Whilst the memory of the World Meeting of Families recently held in Valencia, Spain, remains fresh, I renew my encouragement to Christian families that they may know how to live and transmit the joy of the faith to the new generations."
ANG/PEACE:HOLY LAND/...                            VIS 20060717 (390)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, more than 5,000 people prayed the Angelus with Benedict XVI at Les Combes, the resort in Italy's Valle d'Aosta region where the Pope is spending a brief holiday.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father addressed a greeting to the religious and civil authorities of the region, to the inhabitants of Les Combes and to holiday makers staying in the area. He also recalled John Paul II who had so often lodged in the same chalet as that in which he is currently staying.

  The Pope then remarked that today's liturgy commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and explained how the slopes of this mountain, on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, are full of natural caves, once used by hermits, including the prophet Elijah "who in the ninth century before Christ undertook a strenuous defense of the purity of faith in the one true God against the contamination of idolatrous cults.

  "Drawing inspiration from the figure of Elijah," he added, "the contemplative Order of Carmelites came into being, a religious family that numbers among its members such great saints as Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Theresa of the Child Jesus, and Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). The Carmelites encouraged devotion to the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel among Christian people, indicating in her a model of prayer, contemplation and devotion to God.

  "Indeed, Mary believed and experienced, before anyone else and insuperably, that Jesus, the Word incarnate, is the Summit, the pinnacle of man's meeting with God. Fully accepting His Word, she 'arrived happily at the holy mountain' and lives forever in soul and body with the Lord.

  "To the Queen of Mount Carmel, I wish today to entrust all communities of contemplative life throughout the world, especially those of the Carmelite Order. ... May Mary help each Christian to encounter God in the silence of prayer."
ANG/MARY:MOUNT CARMEL/...                        VIS 20060717 (340)

Friday, July 14, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a communique from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace concerning the results of the Mini-Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Doha, Qatar, on June 29 - 30. The communique bears the signatures of Cardinal Renato Martino and Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, respectively president and secretary of that pontifical council.

  The English-language text laments the fact that the meeting closed with what "can only regrettably be characterized as a deadlock," something that "stands in stark contrast to the intensity of the commitment demonstrated by the negotiators and the WTO staff, who had set out with a noble vision to conclude the Doha Round with a consensus."

  The pontifical council recognizes the complexity of such a commitment - "due to the objective difficulty to mediate between so many States with different interests and expectations" - but also expresses appreciation "for the hope it promises."

  The principal theme of the Doha meeting - "equity in trade relations" - has been, "and continues to be, a major concern of the Holy See," the text reads. "Pope Paul VI underscored the necessity of such equity forty years ago, affirming that: 'Free trade can be called just only when it conforms to the demands of social justice'."

  The document highlights the need to return to the spirit of Doha. Five years ago, the Doha Round opened a new horizon of hope in this field, successfully negotiating a declaration on development and the alleviation of poverty, with a specific commitment to improve the effective participation of the least developed countries in the multilateral trade system."

  "The weeks that negotiators now have to achieve an agreement which integrates a positive and effective conclusion to the Round, is a unique opportunity," the communique observes. "It is to be hoped that the next G8 Meeting, which will take place in a few days in St. Petersburg, Russia, will result in the political decisions needed to transform the technical steps into operational ones," it adds.

  "The particular urgency of this task cannot be taken lightly, particularly when one considers the fact that the effects of trade relations have serious consequences for human beings and on their dignity," the text concludes. "This said, commercial negotiations should always take into account the impact of such negotiations upon the human family."
CON-IP/TRADE/DOHA                            VIS 20060714 (410)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano today made the following declaration on Vatican Radio:

  "The news we are receiving from the Middle East is certainly worrying.

  "The Holy Father Benedict XVI and all his collaborators are following with great attention the latest dramatic episodes, which risk degenerating into a conflict with international repercussions.

  "As in the past, the Holy See also condemns both the terrorist attacks on the one side and the military reprisals on the other. Indeed, a State's right to self-defense does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations.

  "In particular, the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and gives assurances of its closeness to those people who have suffered so much in the defense of their own independence.

  "Once again, it appears obvious that the only path worthy of our civilization is that of sincere dialogue between the contending parties."
SS/MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE/SODANO                    VIS 20060714 (180)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, for the death yesterday at the age of 89 of Cardinal Angel Suquia Goicoechea, emeritus of the same archdiocese.

  "Profoundly saddened over the death of the dear Cardinal Angel Suquia Goicoechea, archbishop emeritus of Madrid, following a long illness borne with great serenity, I express my most heartfelt condolences to you and to all that dear archdiocese. I join everyone in entrusting to the mercy of the heavenly Father this zealous pastor who served his people with so much pastoral charity.

  "His generous and intense ministerial activity - first as bishop of Almeria, then bishop of Malaga, archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, and later archbishop of the archdiocese of Madrid-Alcala, also serving for a number of years as president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference - testifies to his great dedication to the cause of the Gospel, and gives proof of his profound love for the Church.

  "At this time of sorrow in which the ecclesial community of Madrid weeps its beloved pastor, I wish to impart upon you an affectionate and comforting apostolic blessing."
TGR/DEATH SUQUIA/ROUCO                        VIS 20060714 (210)

Thursday, July 13, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 13, 2006 (VIS) - In a brief communique made public today the theme was announced of the 40th World Peace Day, due to be celebrated on January 1, 2007: "The Human Person: Heart of Peace."

  This theme for reflection, chosen by the Holy Father, "expresses the conviction that respect for the dignity of the human person is an essential condition for peace within the human family," says the communique. "Only through an awareness of the transcendent dignity of each man and woman can the human family follow the path that leads to peace and to communion with God."

  The communique continues: "Today, perhaps more persuasively and with more effective means than in the past, human dignity is threatened by aberrant ideologies, assailed by the misguided use of science and technology, and contradicted by widespread incongruent lifestyles. Indeed, ideologies that find their inspiration in nihilism or fanaticism (material or religious) seek to deny or to impose supposed truths upon reality, upon man and upon God."

  The note highlights the fact that "often science and technology (especially biomedicine), rather than serving the common good of humanity, are instrumental in serving an egotistical vision of progress and wellbeing. Moreover, propaganda and the growing acceptance of disordered lifestyles contrary to human dignity are weakening the hearts and minds of people to the point of extinguishing the desire for ordered and peaceful coexistence. All this represents a threat to humanity, because peace is in danger when human dignity is not respected and when social coexistence does nor seek the common good.

  "The Church," the communique adds, "has the mission of announcing the Gospel of Life, the central position of mankind in the universe and God's love for humanity. Therefore, to the challenges of the present time, the Church responds with a Christian anthropology based on the three pillars of human dignity, sociality and activity in the world, oriented in accordance with the order stamped by God on the universe, and with a view to an integral and solidary humanism that tends towards the development of all of man and of all men."

  The communique concludes by affirming that "any offence to the person is a threat to peace; any threat to peace is an offence to the truth of the person: 'The human person is the heart of peace'."
.../THEME WORLD PEACE DAY 2007/...                    VIS 20060713 (400)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 13, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following declaration at midday today:

  "The Holy See has not yet received precise information concerning the aim of the journey to the United States of America by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, emeritus of Lusaka, Zambia.

  "In any case, if the declarations attributed to him concerning ecclesiastical celibacy were to prove authentic, the only thing to do would be to deplore them, Church discipline on this matter being well known."
OP/ARCHBISHOP MILINGO/...                        VIS 20060713 (90)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 12, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Imphal, India, presented by Archbishop Joseph Mittathany, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Dominic Lumon.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Great Falls-Billings, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Anthony A. Milone, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Bishop Dulcenio Fontes de Matos, auxiliary of Aracaju, Brazil, as bishop of Palmeira dos Indios (area 10,795, population 567,000, Catholics 476,000, priests 38, religious 32), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Fernando Iorio Rodrigues, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
RE:NER/.../...                                    VIS 20060712 (140)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 12, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, announced this morning in a press conference on the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2005 that the year closed with a surplus of 9.7 million euro. This, he said, "represents the most significant value of the last eight years." The year 2004 had closed with a surplus of 3.08 million euro.

  In terms of the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the president indicated that the sector closed the year with a deficit of 36.9 million euro, an increase with respect to 2004 which had closed with a deficit of 23.2 million euro.

  Cardinal Sebastiani pointed out that the sector of financial activities (7 consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) showed a surplus of 43.3 million euro, an improvement on last year's surplus of 6.1 million euro. This is due, the cardinal explained, "to the improvement of the situation of the financial markets which occurred in the course of 2005. Indeed, a net positive fluctuation of 21.7 million euro was registered in 2005 while a net loss of roughly 11 million euro occurred in 2004 due to fluctuations in the rates of exchange." For its part, the real estate sector closed with a surplus of 22.2 million euro, slightly down on last year's closing figure of 24.9 million euro.

  The activity of the media institutions connected with the Holy See (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Center), closed with a deficit of 11.8 million euro, "substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.5 million euro) and of L'Osservatore Romano (4.6 million euro)," said Cardinal Sebastiani. Nonetheless, "the Vatican Printing Office closed its financial statement with a surplus of 653,000 euro, and the Vatican Television Center closed with a profit of 650,000 euro. ... The Vatican Publishing House also closed its 2005 financial statement with a surplus of 934,000 euro and with a rise of 3.8 million euro in the volume of the activity." In this context, the cardinal recalled how the Vatican Publishing House has been entrusted with the exercise and the guardianship of the copyright of "all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises his teaching."

  The final part of the economic report, concerning other income and expense, closed with a negative result of seven million euro, reflecting the costs incurred during the period of vacant see in April 2005.

  In closing, the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See indicated that in the Vatican on July 4, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano had presided at the 40th meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. On that occasion, said Cardinal Sebastiani, as well as the consolidated financial statement of the Holy See for 2005, the cardinals also examined that of the Governorate of Vatican City State, which closed with a surplus of 29.6 million euro.

  Offers from the faithful to Peter's Pence, the fund which goes to the Holy Father's works of evangelical solidarity, came to 46,741,000 euro in the year 2005, an increase of 14.95 percent with respect to 2004.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 12, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano has sent a telegram to the appropriate ecclesiastical and civil authorities in India for the recent terrorist attacks on eight trains in the city of Mumbai, which caused the death of at least 170 people:

  "Deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI assures all affected of his spiritual closeness in prayer. While deploring these senseless acts against humanity, the Holy Father commends the many deceased to the loving mercy of the Almighty. Upon their grieving families and the numerous injured he invokes the divine gifts of strength, consolation and comfort."
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi S.V.C., auxiliary of Lima, Peru, as metropolitan archbishop of Piura (area 33,510, population 1,451,100, Catholics 1,407,567, priests 94, religious 219), Peru. The archbishop-elect was born in Lima in 1956, he was ordained a priest in 1982 and consecrated a bishop in 2002. He succeeds Archbishop Oscar Rolando Cantuarias Pastor, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Robert Le Gall O.S.B., of Mende, France, as metropolitan archbishop of Toulouse (area 6,372, population 1,075,000, Catholics 725,000, priests 347, permanent deacons 18, religious 804), France. The archbishop-elect was born in Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouet, France in 1946 he was ordained a priest in 1974 and consecrated a bishop in 2002. He succeeds Archbishop Emile Marcus P.S.S., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Gonzalo Restrepo Restrepo, auxiliary of Cali, Colombia, as bishop of Girardota (area 2,445, population 203,000, Catholics 183,000, priests 56, religious 99), Colombia.

 - Appointed Fr. Soundaraj Periyanayagam S.D.B., rector of the Don Bosco Orphanage in Katapadi, as bishop of Vellore (area 12,265, population 9,003,000, Catholics 155,700, priests 143, religious 700), India. The bishop-elect was born in Periya Kolappalur, India in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1983.

 - Appointed Bishop Javier Augusto del Rio Alba, auxiliary of Callao, Peru, as coadjutor archbishop of Arequipa (area 26,306, population 939,000, Catholics 845,000, priests 177, religious 482), Peru. The archbishop-elect was born in Lima, Peru in 1957, he was ordained a priest in 1992 and consecrated a bishop in 2004.

 - Appointed Archbishop Andre Dupuy, apostolic nuncio to the European Communities, as apostolic nuncio to the Principality of Monaco.
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THE POPE HAS SENT A MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION to Hans-Adam II, prince of Liechtenstein for the second centenary of the sovereignty of the principality. "An important element of the identity of Liechtenstein," says the Holy Father in his Message, "is its inhabitants' solid adherence to the Catholic faith and their faithfulness to the See of Peter."

CARDINAL SECRETARY OF STATE ANGELO SODANO has sent a telegram to Bishop Mario Paciello of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti, Italy, giving assurances of the Pope's constant prayers for the young brothers Francesco and Salvatore of Gravina in the Italian region of Puglia, who have been missing for more than a month. It is the Holy Father's hope, the telegram reads, "that this painful case may soon reach a happy conclusion."

THE OFFICE OF LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that at 6.30 p.m. on Monday July 17, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the Roman Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Mary in Portico, Piazza Campitelli 9, Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. as director of the Holy See Press Office. Fr. Lombardi was born in Saluzzo, Italy in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1972. He is currently director general of the Vatican Television Center and of Vatican Radio, posts he will continue to hold in his new office.

  Benedict XVI accepted the resignation from the office of director of the Holy See Press Office presented by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, thanking him for his long and generous service. Joaquin Navarro-Valls was born in Cartagena, Spain in 1936 and has been director of the Holy See Press Office since 1984.

  Given below is the text of a letter to journalists written by Fr. Lombardi for the occasion of his new appointment, and a declaration by Joaquin Navarro Valls:

  Fr. Lombardi's letter:

  "Dear friends,

  "As I prepare to assume this new responsibility at the Holy See Press Office I am, naturally, grateful to the Holy Father and to the Superiors for the trust they place in me; but my thoughts also go out especially - and with affection - to you and to all our colleagues in the media whom I am called to serve.

  "Like you, I have been working for some time to ensure that the activity of the Holy Father and the reality of the Church are known and understood objectively and adequately.

  "Dr. Navarro-Valls performed his own long service in this field with exceptional ability, intelligence and dedication. We are all profoundly grateful to him and continue to depend on his friendship.

  "I cannot hope to imitate him, but you may depend upon my commitment - within my limits but with all the power at my disposal - to serve the Holy Father and your own good work. I know I shall be able to depend on the collaboration generously offered - both to me and to you - by all the staff of the Press Office, beginning with Vice Director Fr. Ciro Benedettini.

  "I also ask for your benevolence, so that this shared portion of our journey may be more fruitful.

  "I entrust these sentiments to the Lord on the feast day of St. Benedict upon which, perhaps not by chance, I receive my appointment to this new service."

  Joaquin Navarro-Valls' declaration:

  "I am very grateful to the Holy Father who has seen fit to accept my oft-expressed readiness to leave, after so many years, the post of director of the Holy See Press Office.

  "I know that I have, over these years, received much more than I have been able to give, more than I am at present capable of fully comprehending."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2006 (VIS) - At 10.30 a.m. today, Benedict XVI left Rome by plane and, following an hour-long flight, arrived at the airport of Saint Christophe in the Valle d'Aosta region of northwestern Italy. He then travelled by car to the residence of Les Combes where he will spend a 17-day vacation.

  As he did last year, the Pope will stay in a chalet belonging to the Salesian Order, the same as that in which John Paul II also used to spend his holidays. The building, made of wood and stone, has two floors and is surrounded by a large garden. It stands at an altitude of 1,200 meters and has views over Mont Blanc and other mountains on the French-Italian frontier as well as over the Italian-Swiss Alps.

  The only two public ceremonies the Pope is due to attend during his vacation are scheduled for July 16 and 23, when he will pray the Angelus from the house in which he is staying. Access to this event is open to everyone, says a communique from the diocese of Aosta, and all those wishing to do so may go to Les Combes to hear the Holy Father and pray with him.

  Benedict XVI will stay at Les Combes - located some 20 kilometers from the city of Aosta within the municipality of Introd - until July 28.

  Following his vacation in Valle d'Aosta, the Pope will move to his summer residence of Castelgandolfo, 30 kilometers south of Rome, where he will remain until the end of September.

  The Pope's next apostolic trip, the fourth since the start of his pontificate, will take him to Germany from September 9 to 14.
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Monday, July 10, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2006 (VIS) - Following the Eucharistic celebration for families, the Holy Father travelled by popemobile from Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences to the airport of Manises, where the departure ceremony took place. Over the ten-kilometer journey, thousands of persons lining the route had the opportunity to greet the Holy Father.

  At the airport, after a greeting from King Juan Carlos of Spain, Benedict XVI thanked everyone for the "kind hospitality and evident affection" shown him during his brief visit to Valencia.

  The Holy Father expressed his hope that "with the help of the Most High and the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, this meeting will keep echoing like a joyful song of the love, life and faith shared by families, and help today's world to understand that the marriage covenant, whereby man and woman establish a permanent bond, is a great good for all humanity."

  He also thanked the thousands of pilgrims from all continents who had accompanied him over the two days of his apostolic trip to Spain. "You have a special place in my heart," he said.

  The Pope's aircraft took off at 1 p.m. and arrived at Rome's Ciampino airport at 3 p.m. From there the Pope travelled by helicopter to Vatican City.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2006 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today, the Holy Father presided at Mass in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, in the presence of more than a million and a half people. During the ceremony, which marked the closure of the Fifth World Meeting of Families, the Pope used the Holy Chalice.

  In his homily, after thanking God for the "joyful throng of beloved families" gathered in Valencia, and for the others following the event on radio and television, Benedict XVI mentioned the day's Gospel readings which, he said, show the family "to us as a community of generations and the guarantee of a patrimony of traditions."

  "All of us received from others both life itself and its basic truths," said the Holy Father, "and we have been called to attain perfection in relationship and loving communion with others. The family, founded on indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, is the expression of this relational, filial and communal aspect of life."

  "Once children are born, ... together with the gift of life, they receive a whole patrimony of experience. Parents have the right and the inalienable duty to transmit this heritage to their children: to help them find their own identity, to initiate them to the life of society, to foster the responsible exercise of their moral freedom and their ability to love on the basis of their having been loved and, above all, to enable them to encounter God. Children experience human growth and maturity to the extent that they trustingly accept this heritage and training which they gradually make their own. They are thus able to make a personal synthesis between what has been passed on and what is new, a synthesis that every individual and generation is called to make.

  "At the origin of every man and woman, and thus in all human fatherhood and motherhood, we find God the Creator," the Pope added. "For this reason, married couples must accept the child born to them, not simply as theirs alone, but also as a child of God, loved for his or her own sake and called to be a son or daughter of God. ... The memory of this Father sheds light on our deepest human identity: where we come from, who we are, and how great is our dignity. ... Consequently, at the origin of every human being there is not something haphazard or chance, but a loving plan of God. This was revealed to us by Jesus Christ. ... He knew whence He came and whence all of us have come: from the love of His Father and ours.

  "Faith, then, is not merely a cultural heritage, but the constant working of the grace of God Who calls and our human freedom, which can respond or not to His call. Even if no one can answer for another person, Christian parents are still called to give a credible witness of their Christian faith and hope. ... Thus, with the constant witness of the their parents' conjugal love, permeated with a living faith, and with the loving accompaniment of the Christian community, children will be helped better to appropriate the gift of their faith, to discover the deepest meaning of their own lives and to respond with joy and gratitude."

  "In contemporary culture, we often see an excessive exaltation of the freedom of the individual as an autonomous subject, as if we were self-created and self-sufficient, apart from our relationship with others and our responsibilities in their regard."

  However, "the Church does not cease to remind us that true human freedom derives from our having been created in God's image and likeness. Christian education is consequently an education in freedom and for freedom. We do not do good as slaves, who are not free to act otherwise, we do it because we are personally responsible for the world; because we love truth and goodness, because we love God Himself and therefore His creatures as well."

  "The joyful love with which our parents welcomed us and accompanied our first steps in this world is like a sacramental sign and prolongation of the benevolent love of God from which we have come. The experience of being welcomed and loved by God and by our parents is always the firm foundation for authentic human growth and authentic development, helping us to mature on the way towards truth and love, and to move beyond ourselves in order to enter into communion with others and with God.

  "To help us advance along the path of human maturity, the Church teaches us to respect and foster the marvelous reality of the indissoluble marriage between man and woman which is also the origin of the family. To recognize and assist this institution is one of the greatest services which can be rendered nowadays to the common good and to the authentic development of individuals and societies, as well as the best means of ensuring the dignity, equality and true freedom of the human person."

  "The Christian family, "Benedict XVI concluded, "is called, then, to do all these things not as a task imposed from without, but rather as a gift of the sacramental grace of marriage poured out upon the spouses. If they remain open to the Spirit and implore His help, He will not fail to bestow on them the love of God the Father made manifest and incarnate in Christ. The presence of the Spirit will help spouses not to lose sight of the source and criterion of their love and self-giving, and to cooperate with Him to make it visible and incarnate in every aspect of their lives. The Spirit will also awaken in them a yearning for the definitive encounter with Christ in the house of His Father and ours. And this is the message of hope that, from Valencia, I wish to share with all the families of the world."

  After the Mass, and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father expressed his thanks for everyone whose efforts had contributed to making the Valencia meeting a success, and announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in Mexico City, Mexico, in 2009.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2006 (VIS) - Today at 5.15 p.m., the Pope left the archbishop's residence and went to the palace of the "Generalitat de Valencia," headquarters of the presidency of the Spanish region of Valencia, where he paid a courtesy visit to King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain.

  He then returned to the archbishop's palace where he met with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, prime minister of Spain.

  At 8.30 p.m., he again left the archbishop's palace and travelled by popemobile to Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences, a modern building complex in the city center. There he presided at a festive meeting of families, attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

  The ceremony began with a parade of participants bearing the flags of their native countries. Thereafter Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, addressed some words to those present.

  Following testimonies from families from various countries, the Pope pronounced his address.

  He began by recalling that the family "is an intermediate institution between individuals and society, and nothing can completely take its place. The family is itself based primarily on a deep interpersonal relationship between husband and wife, sustained by affection and mutual understanding. To this end, it receives abundant help from God in the Sacrament of Matrimony, which brings with it a true vocation to holiness.

  "Would that our children," he added, "might experience more harmony and affection between their parents rather than disagreements and discord, since the love between father and mother is a source of great security for children and its teaches them the beauty of a faithful and lasting love."

  Benedict XVI then highlighted the fact that "the family is a necessary good for peoples, an indispensable foundation for society and a great and lifelong treasure for couples. It is a unique good for children, who are meant to be the fruit of the love, of the total and generous self-giving of their parents. To proclaim the whole truth about the family, based on marriage as a domestic Church and a sanctuary of life, is a great responsibility incumbent upon all."

  Referring to the problems facing families when isolated from relatives and friends, the Pope indicated that the Church "has the responsibility of offering support, encouragement and spiritual nourishment which can strengthen the cohesiveness of the family, especially in times of trial or difficulty. Here parishes have an important role to play, as do the various ecclesial associations."

  Going on to mention the question of the transmission of faith in the family, the theme of this Fifth World Meeting of Families, Pope Benedict recalled that it "is a responsibility which parents cannot overlook, neglect or completely delegate to others. ... The language of faith is learned in homes where this faith grows and is strengthened through prayer and Christian practice."

  "This meeting provides a new impetus for proclaiming the Gospel of the family, reaffirming the strength and identity of the family founded upon marriage and open to the generous gift of life, where children are accompanied in their bodily and spiritual growth. This is the best way to counter a widespread hedonism which reduces human relations to banality and empties them of their authentic value and beauty. To promote the values of marriage does not stand in the way of fully experiencing the happiness that man and women encounter in their mutual love. Christian faith and ethics are not meant to stifle love, but to make it healthier, stronger and more truly free."

  The Pope invited politicians and legislators "to reflect on the evident benefits which homes in peace and harmony assure to individuals and the family, the neuralgic center of society." In this context, he recalled how "the purpose of laws is the integral good of man, in response to his needs and aspirations. This good is a significant help for society, of which it cannot be deprived, and a safeguard and a purification for peoples. The family is also a school which enables men and women to grow to the full measure of their humanity. The experience of being loved by their parents helps children to become aware of their dignity as children.

  "Children need to be brought up in the faith, to be loved and protected," he added. "Along with their basic right to be born and to be raised in the faith, children also have the right to a home which takes as its model the home of Nazareth, and to be shielded from all dangers and threats."

  Benedict XVI also highlighted the importance of grandparents: "They can be - and so often are - the guarantors of the affection and tenderness which every human being needs to give and receive. They offer little ones the perspective of time, they are memory and richness of families. In no way should they ever be excluded from the family circle. They are a treasure which the younger generation should not be denied, especially when they bear witness to their faith at the approach of death."

  After the meeting, the Pope returned to the archbishop's palace where he spent the night.
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