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Thursday, June 9, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 9, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Jose Luis Amezcua Melgoza of Campeche, Mexico, as bishop of Colima (area 11,361, population 711,079, Catholics 645,092, priests 131, religious 250), Mexico. He succeeds Bishop Gilberto Valbuena Sanchez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Morelia, Mexico, as bishop of Tapachula (area 12,244, population 1,524,120, Catholics 1,365,230, priests 83, religious 111), Mexico.

 - Appointed Msgr. Viliam Judak, professor of Ecclesiastical History at the Cyrillic-Methodian Faculty of Theology at the Comenio University of Bratislava, as bishop of Nitra (area 5,321, population 838,861, Catholics 703,322, priests 364, permanent deacons 8, religious 652), Slovakia. The bishop-elect was born in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1985. He succeeds Cardinal Jan Chryzostom Korec S.J., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 9, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 - Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India.

 - His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins.

 - Rabbi Israel Singer, president of the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations, accompanied by Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 9, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict today welcomed a high-level delegation of the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations (IJCIC), noting that the meeting "takes place during this year which marks the fortieth anniversary of the Declaration 'Nostra Aetate' of the Second Vatican Council, whose teaching has served as the basis of the Church's relationship with the Jewish people since then."

  He remarked that "the Council affirmed the Church's conviction that ... the beginnings of her faith are already to be found in Abraham, Moses and the prophets" and it "called for greater mutual understanding and esteem between Christians and Jews and deplored all manifestations of hatred, persecution and anti-semitism. At the very beginning of my pontificate, I wish to assure you that the Church remains firmly committed, in her catechesis and in every aspect of her life, to implementing this decisive teaching."

  "In the years following the Council," stated Benedict, "my predecessors Pope Paul VI and, in a particular way, Pope John Paul II, took significant steps towards improving relations with the Jewish people. It is my intention to continue on this path. The history of relations between our two communities has been complex and often painful, yet I am convinced that the 'spiritual patrimony' treasured by Christian and Jews ... will lead to 'a future of hope'. ... At the same time, remembrance of the past remains for both communities a moral imperative and a source of purification in our efforts to pray and work for reconciliation, justice, respect for human dignity and for that peace which is ultimately a gift from the Lord himself.  Of its very nature this imperative must include a continued reflection on the profound historical, moral and theological questions presented by the experience of the Shoah."

  In closing remarks, the Pope noted that 18 meetings have been held over a 35-year period between  the IJCIC and the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, saying "I give thanks to the Lord for the progress which has been made in these years, and I encourage you to persevere in your important work."
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