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Friday, April 25, 2003


VATICAN CITY, APR 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission will hold its annual plenary session in the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Marthae from April 28 to May 2 on the theme of the relationship between the Bible and morals. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, president of the commission and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will preside at the meeting. Fr. Klemens Stock, S.J., will lead the work sessions.

The afternoon of May 2 there will be a celebratory session in the Augustinianum Patristic Institute to mark the centenary of the Biblical Commission. The third and final report commemorating this anniversary will be given by Cardinal Ratzinger on "The Magisterium of the Church and Exegesis. Their Relationship in the Light of the 100 years of the Pontifical Biblical Commission."

The Commission has 19 members in addition to Cardinal Ratzinger, Fr. Stock and Fr. Alessandro Belano, F.D.P. respectively president, secretary and technical secretary.
On October 30, 1902 Pope Leo XIII instituted the Pontifical Commission for Bible Studies with the Apostolic Letter "Vigilantiae studiique," assigning it the task of promoting Bible studies and taking care to see that they were free from error. Pope St. Pius X in 1904 gave the commission the faculty of conferring academic degrees in Bible studies. Pius XI, in 1924 and again in 1931, made the degrees given by the commission equal to those conferred by pontifical athenaeums. In 1942 Pope Pius XII divided the subject matter of the licentiate, allowing the bachelor's degree to be given after the first exam.

Pope Paul VI, with the Motu proprio "Sedula cura" of June 27, 1971, completely reorganized the Pontifical Biblical Commission, linking it with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose prefect is "ex officio" the president of the commission.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 25, 2003 (VIS) - This afternoon at the conference center of Gesu Maestro Church in Rome, Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, will speak at a round table discussion on "Fr. Giacomo Alberione: 'All of Christ for All Men with All Means." Fr. Alberione, founder of the Pauline Family, will be beatified this Sunday in Rome by Pope John Paul.

Today's forum is part of a weeklong celebration of the beatification of Servant of God Giacomo Alberione, who lived from 1884 to 1971.

Fr. Alberione initiated the Pauline Family when he founded the Pious Society of St. Paul in 1914, followed a year later by the institution of the Daughters of St. Paul. In 1924, following a serious illness the previous year, Fr. Alberione founded a second feminine congregation: the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master. A third feminine congregation, the Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd, or Pastorelle Sisters, was born in 1938. The Pauline family was completed between 1957 and 1960 with the founding of a fourth feminine congregation, the Queen of the Apostles Institute for Vocations, also known as the Apostoline Sisters.

The future Blessed founded many publications during his life, including weekly and monthly magazines, one of the most famous being the Italian weekly "Famiglia Cristiana" (Christian Family), as well as a weekly children's magazine, "Il Giornalino" (The Little Newspaper).

He also built the church of St. Paul in Alba, two churches to the Divine Master, in Alba and Rome, and Queen of the Apostles Shrine in Rome. Fr. Alberione attended daily sessions of Vatican Council II for the three years of its duration (1962-65).



VATICAN CITY, APR 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo, local secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Colombia, as bishop of Sonson - Rionegro (area 7,300, population 735,000, Catholics 698,000, priests 226, religious 718), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in 1951 in Ituango, Colombia and was ordained a priest in 1975.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tierradentro, Colombia presented by Bishop Jorge Garcia Isaza, C.M., upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Cristian Contreras Villaroel, vicar general of the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile, Chile as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area 9,132, population 5,219,199, Catholics 3,862,207, priests 799, permanent deacons 12, religious 4,109). The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in Santiago de Chile and was ordained a priest in 1984.

- Appointed Msgr. Dominic Mai Luong, pastor of Mary Queen of Vietnam Parish in New Orleans, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Orange in California (area 2,025, population 2,846,289, Catholics 1,110,508, priests 273, permanent deacons 59, religious 484), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Minh Cuong, Vietnam in 1940 and was ordained a priest in 1966.

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