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Wednesday, June 15, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following statement this morning:

  "The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be presented on June 28, in the course of a solemn liturgical celebration in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI. The Compendium was prepared by a commission presided by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

  "The Catechism of the Catholic Church was presented to the faithful and to the whole world by Pope John Paul II on December 7, 1992, who described it as 'a sure and authentic reference text.'

  "Following the request for greater appreciation of the Catechism, and in order to meet a widespread need that emerged during the 2002 International Catechetical Congress, in 2003 the Holy Father established a special commission, presided by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that he charged with preparing a Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, containing a more concise and dialogic version of the same contents of Catholic faith and morals.

  "The text will become available to the public beginning on June 29, 2005, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, pillars of the universal Church and exemplary evangelizers of the Gospel. The entire Church is now invited to imitate them in their missionary zeal and to pray the Lord that He grant her the chance to follow, even today, their teaching which brought the joyful announcement of the Gospel to the whole world.

  "Forty years after the end of Vatican Council II, and in the heart of the Year of the Eucharist, the Compendium can represent a precious support to satisfy the hunger for truth felt by all human beings of whatever age or condition.

  "The text of the Compendium will be published by the Vatican Publishing House together with the San Paolo Publishing House which will also oversee the distribution of the book in Italy. Translations and editions in the various languages will involve the respective episcopal conferences."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2005 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issued a communique yesterday in which it welcomed the announcement by the G8, the governments of the world's eight most wealthy nations, to cancel $40 billion in debt owed by eighteen developing countries and the plan to expand the program of debt forgiveness to an additional 20 countries.

   "For many years," states the note, "the Church has called for a reduction or outright forgiveness of the debts owed to developed countries by developing countries. In many of his messages for the World Day of Peace, Pope John Paul II spoke of the burden that these debts placed upon the hope for development that these countries so desperately seek. ... Finally there has been a move by the G8 in that direction. ... The Council commends British Prime Minister Tony Blair for the initiative on the eve of the G-8 Summit, as well as all of the leaders of the other governments who have agreed to it."

  The Pontifical Council, continues the statement, "calls for the money that will now be freed to be used to bring about real and sustainable development opportunities to the people of those countries. This can be accomplished through providing necessary public goods such as clean water, safe sanitation, basic health care and educational opportunities. ... It is the responsibility of the governments of all nations to continue to work toward achieving the promises that have been made over the past thirty years. This includes the commitment to provide 0.7% of the GDP of developed countries as Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries. The promise was made but only a small fraction of that money has ever been provided."

  "It is the hope of this Pontifical Council that the decision to forgive this initial $40 billion in debt might simply be the first of many steps taken by all developed countries to work toward true solidarity with one another."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke on the subject of Psalm 122: "The people's faith in the Lord."

  Benedict XVI told the 32,000 people who had gathered to hear him that this psalm describes "the faithful who raises his eyes to the Lord and awaits a divine response, in order to see a loving gesture, a benevolent gaze. ... The psalmist uses an image, that of the servant and the slave girl looking to the hand of their master, awaiting a liberating decision."

  The Holy Father continued: "The psalm is a plea in which the voice of one member of the faithful joins that of the entire community. ... The hope is expressed that the hands of the Lord will open to scatter forth gifts of justice and freedom."

  The Holy Father highlighted the importance of God's loving gaze, which appears in the second half of the psalm, "characterized by the cry: 'Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us!' This is a continuation of the end of the first part of the psalm, which emphasizes the idea of awaiting confidently: 'till He have mercy upon us.'

  "The faithful need God's intervention because they are in a dire situation, suffering scorn and disdain at the hands of the rich and arrogant. ... For this reason, the just have entrusted their cause to the Lord, Who does not remain indifferent to their imploring eyes, Who does not ignore their plea, Who does not disappoint their hope."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Carlos Alberto dos Santos of the clergy of the archdiocese of Aracaju, Brazil, pastor of the parish of St Joseph, as bishop of Teixeira de Freitas-Caravelas (area 18,574, population 364,720, Catholics 292,000, priests 29, religious 42), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Tobias Barreto, Brazil, in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1983. He succeeds Bishop Antonio Eliseu Zuqueto O.F.M. Cap., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, apostolic nuncio to the Central African Republic and Chad, as apostolic nuncio to Tanzania.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2005 (VIS) - Today, following the general audience, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio to Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles and apostolic delegate to the Comore Islands, with functions as apostolic delegate to Reunion Island.

 - Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, apostolic nuncio to the Central African Republic and Chad.

 - Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen and Qatar, and apostolic delegate to the Arabian Peninsula.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."
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