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Wednesday, May 11, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Severino Clasen O.F.M., pastor and rector of the parish-shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in the archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Aracuai (area 23,526, population 383,841, Catholics 252,221, priests 25, religious 33), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Indaia, Brazil, in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1982.

 - Fr. Salvador Gimenez Valls episcopal vicar of the II vicariate of Valencia (area 13,060, population 2,562,333, Catholics 2,484,037, priests 1,538, religious 4,650), Spain, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese. The bishop-elect was born in Muro de Alcoy, Spain, in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1973.
NER:NEA/.../CLASEN:GIMENEZ                        VIS 20050511 (120)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father spoke on the canticle of chapter 15, verses 3 and 4, of the Book of Revelation: "Hymn of adoration and praise." The catechesis was one prepared by John Paul II.

  "History is not in the hands of dark forces, of chance, or of merely human choices," Benedict XVI told the 17,000 people present. "The Lord, supreme arbiter of historical events, rises above the discharge of evil energies, the vehement onslaught of Satan, the emergence of plagues and wickedness. He knowingly guides history to the dawn of the new heaven and the new earth, as mentioned in the last part of the book in the image of the new Jerusalem."

  The Holy Father indicated how the hymn is sung by "the just of history, the vanquishers of the Satanic beast, those who through the seeming defeat of martyrdom are in reality the builders of the new world, with God the supreme architect." The intention of this canticle, the Pope said, "is to reaffirm that God is not indifferent to human affairs, but penetrates them creating His 'ways,' in other words His projects and His efficacious 'works'."

  "This divine intervention," he continued, "has a precise aim: to be a sign inviting all the peoples of the earth to conversion. Nations must learn to 'read' in history a message from God. The human adventure is not confused and meaningless, nor is it hopelessly condemned to the prevarication of the domineering and the perverse."

  The Pope highlighted the possibility of "recognizing divine action hidden in history," and of openness to "fearing the name of God. In fact, in biblical language, this 'fear' is not the same as being afraid, rather its is a recognition of the mystery of divine transcendence. ...  Thanks to fear of the Lord, one is not afraid of the evil raging through history and can vigorously resume the road of life."

  "The hymn closes by foreseeing a universal procession of peoples, who will present themselves before the Lord of history," Whom they will adore. "And the one Lord and Savior seems to repeat the words pronounced on the last evening of His earthly life: 'Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world'."
AG/CANTICLE REVELATION/...                        VIS 20050511 (400)

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