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Thursday, December 30, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Freddy Jesus Fuenmayor Suarez of Cabimas, Venezuela, as bishop of Los Teques (area 2,295, population 1,261,000, Catholics 1,061,000, priests 61, permanent deacons 15, religious 245), Venezuela.  He succeeds Bishop Ramon Ovidio Perez Morales whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka published a communiqué today in which the prelates express their "sincere condolences" to those affected by the tsunami that devastated South East Asia on December 26.

  The bishops assured the people of their prayers "for all those bereaved by the loss of loved ones, like parents and children, and to those who have suffered from injuries or loss of property." The communiqué continues: "We are however consoled by the Holy Scriptures (Psalm 145-146) that we are not abandoned to ourselves and that the vicissitudes of our day are not dominated by chaos or fate and so we call on our people to take courage and face the situation bravely. We ask all our people, and Catholics in particular to help those affected regardless of differences in ethnicity or religion."

  In the declaration, dated December 27, the president and secretary general of the episcopal conference, respectively Bishops Joseph Vianney Fernando and Marius Peirus appeal "to all the people in the affected areas to be calm and law-abiding, and to those inclined to prey on others, to restrain themselves and not seek to profit from the misfortunes of others." They also ask those who were not affected by the disaster "to provide material or financial help as well as psychological support to all those who are victims." They urge Catholic associations "to gather in prayer to ask the Lord to give our people the courage and determination to tide-over calamity."

  "This grave moment calls us together to rally round ... those who have been affected by this terrible natural disaster."

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