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Friday, January 28, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Msgr. Michael Owen Jackels of the clergy of Lincoln, U.S.A., official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as bishop of Wichita (area 51,835, population 949,385, Catholics 115,482, priests 130, permanent deacons 3, religious 333), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Rapid City, U.S.A., in 1954, and ordained a priest in 1981.

 - Msgr. Jean Laffitte of the diocese of Autun, France, professor at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family, as under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Bishop Jose Sanchez Gonzalez of Siguenza-Guadalajara, Spain, on his "ad limina" visit.

  Yesterday the Holy Father received Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2005 (VIS) - Twenty-seven members of the International Commission for Theological Dialogue between representatives of the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches were received in the Concistory Hall this morning by the Holy Father, who thanked His Grace Anba Bishoy for "his kind words" and extended "fraternal best wishes to my venerable brothers, the heads of your Churches."

  "I join you," said John Paul II, "in praying that the real bonds of communion between us may be further strengthened through a spirituality of communion which contemplates 'the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us', and sees 'what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God'. With these sentiments, I encourage your efforts to foster mutual understanding and communion between Christians of East and West, and I invoke the blessings of Almighty God upon your deliberations."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2005 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received the president of the Republic of Armenia, Robert Kocharian, recalling other meetings they had held, in the Vatican in 1999 and later in Yerevan in 2001, during the Pope's apostolic visit to Armenia.

  The Pope told the president of his "sincere appreciation for the good relations between  the Holy See and the government of your country. I know that the Catholic community is welcomed and respected, and that its various activities contribute to the wellbeing of the entire nation."

  He went on: "Everyone earnestly hopes that the collaboration between the Holy See and the Armenian government will continue to grow and, where the situation calls for it, that eventual  improvements  to the status of the Catholic Church will be made."

  The Holy Father also gave assurances of the "friendly and respectful relations between the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church. This understanding, which is even more active thanks to the initiative of the Catholicos Karekin II, will certainly have positive repercussions for the peaceful coexistence of the entire Armenian people, who are called to face no small number of social and economic challenges."

  "I also hope," said the Pope., "that true and lasting peace comes to the region of Nagorno-Karabagh where you, President Kocharian, come from. This will come about by a decisive refusal of violence and a patient dialogue between the parties, thanks also to active international mediation."

  The Pope concluded by recalling that the Holy See, "which over the centuries has not failed to denounce violence and defend the rights of the weak, will continue to support all efforts aimed at building a solid and lasting peace."
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