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Tuesday, January 25, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JAN 25, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of apostolic nuncio to Greece presented by Archbishop Paul Fouad Tabet upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Archbishop Patrick Coveney, apostolic nuncio to New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, Cook Islands and apostolic delegate to the Pacific Ocean, as apostolic nuncio to Greece.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Worcester, USA, presented by Bishop George E. Rueger, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Msgr. Oscar Cantoni, episcopal vicar for the clergy in the diocese of Como, Italy, as bishop of Crema (area 276, population 92,000, Catholics 89,100, priests 116, religious 119), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Lenno, Italy, in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1975.

 - Elevated the archdiocese of Durres-Tirane, Albania, to the status of metropolitan see, inverting its current name to Tirane-Durres and assigning it as suffragans the diocese of Rreshen and the apostolic administration of Southern Albania.

 - United the diocese of Pult, Albania, to the metropolitan archdiocese of Shkodre, Albania, which now assumes the name of Shkodre-Pult and maintains as suffragans the dioceses of Lezhe and Sape.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 25, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Santiago Garcia Aracil of Merida-Badajoz.

    - Bishop Ciriaco Benavente Mateos of Coria-Caceres.

    - Bishop Amadeo Rodriguez Magro of Plasencia.

    - Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Oviedo.

    - Bishop Camilo Lorenzo Iglesias of Astorga.
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WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 2, FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD, and 9th Day of Consecrated Life, the Pope will preside at the Liturgy of the Word, at 5.30 p.m. in St Peter's Basilica. He will bless the candles, participate in the opening procession and, following the homily, lead thanksgiving to God for the gift of consecrated life. At the end of the Mass he will impart his apostolic blessing. The Eucharist will be celebrated by Archbishop Franc Rode, C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

ON THURSDAY JANUARY 27, IN THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE at 11.30 a.m., the presentation will take place of John Paul II's message for Lent 2005, the theme of which is: "He is your life and the length of your days" (Deut 30: 20). Participating in the press conference will be Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and Bishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Namur, Belgium, an expert on questions regarding euthanasia.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 25, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, participated in the UN General Assembly commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps by allied troops.

  "My delegation," said Archbishop Migliore, "welcomes this chance to remember the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, so that humanity not forget the terror of which man is capable; the evils of arrogant political extremism and social engineering."

  "Today we contemplate the consequences of intolerance, as we recall all those ... considered unfit for society - the Jews, the Slavonic peoples, the Roma people, the disabled, homosexuals, among others - (who) were marked for extermination."

  The death camps, he went on, "are also witnesses to an unprecedented plan for the deliberate, systematic extermination of a whole people, the Jewish people. ... During his visit to Auschwitz in 1979, Pope John Paul the Second stated that we must let the cry of the people martyred there change the world for the better."

  "In a century marked by man-made catastrophes, the Nazi death camps are a particularly sobering reminder of 'man's inhumanity to man' and of his capacity for evil. Nevertheless, we should remember that humankind is also capable of great good, of self-sacrifice and altruism," said the archbishop. "In the context of today's commemoration, we need only think of those courageous people from all walks of society, ... recognized as 'Righteous among the Nations'" he added, in a reference to those who helped the Jewish people during the Second World War.

  "May all men and women of good will seize this solemn occasion to say "Never again" to such crimes, no matter their political inspiration, so that all nations, as well as this Organization, truly respect the life, liberty and dignity of every human being."


VATICAN CITY, JAN 25, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Vatican Basilica Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano celebrated a Mass in the Pope's name for victims of the Asian tidal wave of December 26.

  Referring in his homily to the catastrophe of the tsunami and its consequences, Cardinal Sodano affirmed that "once again, man felt his insignificance with respect to the complexity of the planet on which we live. And so a natural interior impulse arose within us to look to the heavens, seeking a response to the many questions that arise in moments of confusion."

  He went on: "Some people have even asked themselves how is it possible for man - who has managed to reach the moon, who has sent a probe to Titan more than a billion kilometers from earth - to be so impotent in the face of such disasters. And many others have asked whether Christian faith has a clear response to the enigma of pain. The response of the believer was immediate: Yes. God always loves men and women, and He is always close to them with a Father's love!"

  The Secretary of State recalled that God "became man to share our existence, in the joyful and the sad moments of life."

  Closing his homily, the Cardinal gave assurances that "in this moment of prayer, the Pope is near us, and with us he confides the souls of all those who died in the terrible tidal wave of Southeast Asia to the hands of God. ... The Vicar of Christ continues to call us to solidarity with our brothers and sisters" of the populations stricken by the tragedy.
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