Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Maurice Gardes, episcopal vicar and archdeacon of Roannais, France, as archbishop of Auch (area 6,261, population 172,335, Catholics 152,500, priests 107, permanent deacons 7, religious 187), France. The archbishop-elect was born in 1945 in Lyon, France and was ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Archbishop Maurice Frechard whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Manuel da Rocha Felicio, auxiliary of Lisbon, Portugal, as coadjutor bishop of Guarda (area 6,758, population 265,000, Catholics 250,000, priests 186, religious 50), Portugal.

- Appointed Msgr. Antonio Francisco dos Santos, pro-vicar general of the diocese of Lamego, Portugal, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Braga, Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in 1948 in Tendasi, Portugal and was ordained a priest in 1972.
NER:NEA/.../...                                    VIS 20041221 (150)


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2004 (VIS) - This morning at 11 in the Clementine Hall, the Holy Father welcomed the cardinals, archbishops, bishops and all who head the various offices of the Roman Curia for the annual exchange of Christmas greetings. Following a speech by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, the Pope addressed everyone present.

  He thanked his collaborators in the Curia for their "presence and the affection you show me. The passing of time makes one feel even more the need for God's help and the help of people. Thank you for the constant 'syntony' with which you work with me to serve the Universal Church."

  "The Divine Child whom we will worship in the nativity scene is Emmanuel, the God with us Who is really present in the Sacrament of the Altar. ... We are speechless before such a great gift and mystery. .... From the Son of God made man, 'Lumen Gentium', the Church has received the high mission of being 'the sign and the instrument of intimate communion with God and of the unity of all of mankind'. We become always more aware that communion with God and unity among all men, starting with believers, is our priority commitment."

  The Holy Father stated that "the celebration of the Year of the Eucharist aims at, among other things, making us thirst even more for unity, drawing upon the one and unending source; Christ Himself."

  John Paul II remarked that "the ecumenical efforts at various levels are being intensified, thanks to constant contacts, encounters and initiatives," such as "the visit of the ecumenical delegation from Finland and above all that of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I" last June and again, "less than a month ago, for the handing over of the relics of Saints Gregory Nazianzus and John Chrysostom." He said he hoped that the return of the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan in Russia will contribute to accelerating the unity of all of Christ's disciples."

  The Pope said he "reads this desire for unity on the faces of pilgrims of every age," and especially young people.

  The responsibility of believers to achieve unity is great, he exclaimed, adding that he "never failed to encourage European Catholics to remain faithful to Christ. In fact, it is in the heart that these Christian roots of Europe are nourished, roots on which depend, in no small way, the just and solidary future of the continent and of the entire world."

  The Pope concluded his Christmas greetings to the Curia by repeating the theme of his Message for the January 1 World Day of Peace: "Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
AC/CHRISTMAS GREETINGS:CURIA/...                VIS 20041221 (450)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service