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Wednesday, July 20, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Erected the diocese of Jaipur (area 129,060, population 25,828,271, Catholics 4,096, priests 32, religious 117), India, with territory taken from the diocese of Ajmer and Jaipur, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Agra. He appointed Bishop Oswald Lewis, coadjutor of Meerut, India, as the first bishop of the new diocese. The Holy Father also changed the name of the diocese of Ajmer and Jaipur to Ajmer.

 - Appointed Bishop Kiro Stojanov, apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of Skopje, ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and of the apostolic exarchate for the faithful of Byzantine rite in Macedonia, as bishop of Skopje (area 21,000, population 2,350,000, Catholics 3,572, priests 6, religious 17), and exarch for the faithful of Byzantine rite in Macedonia.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano sent a letter, in the Holy Father's name, to Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Immigrant Peoples, for the occasion of the World Day of Tourism, which is due to be held on September 27, 2005 and which is dedicated this year to the theme: "Travel and Transport, from the imaginary world of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st Century."

  The cardinal recalls how the "real or imaginary" journeys of the French author "in fact represented an invitation to consult the new geographical atlas and a challenge to human responsibility in facing limits that could no longer be concealed. At the end of the 19th century, in his own incredible voyage, Verne overcame these limits which were imposed by the dominant culture and by a vision exclusively centered on Western Europe."

  The Cardinal continues: "Today too there are obstacles to overcome if we wish tourism, the fruit of travel and transport, to be open to everyone. New and unexplored opportunities for travel with ever more modern and faster means can make tourism a providential occasion to share the goods of the earth and of culture."

  "However, it is necessary to bear in mind the ethical needs associated with tourism," writes the secretary of State. And he calls upon leaders in this field "to favor the peaceful encounter of peoples, guaranteeing security and ease of communication," always bearing in mind the fact that "in all activities, and hence also in tourism, the primary goal must always remain respect for the human being."

  In closing, Cardinal Sodano stresses that tourists, for their part, must respect the "individual, cultural and religious" diversity of the peoples they visit. He also invites Christian communities to welcome tourists and offer them "the chance to discover the richness of Christ incarnate, not only in monuments and religious works of art, but also in the daily life of a living Church."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was the official program of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to Cologne, Germany, from August 18 to 21 for the 20th World Youth Day.

  The Pope will depart from Rome's Ciampino airport at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 18, and is due to arrive at the international airport of Cologne/Bonn at midday. Following a welcome ceremony he will travel by car to the archbishopric of Cologne. In the afternoon he will go to the Rodenkirchenbrucke wharf, whence a boat will take him along the river Rhine to the Rheinwiesen wharf where he will be welcomed by young people. The Holy Father will then travel back by boat to the city of Cologne where he will visit the cathedral.

  On Friday, August 19, the Pope will celebrate a private Mass in the archbishopric of Cologne before travelling by car to Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn where, at 10.30 a.m., he is scheduled to pay a courtesy visit to Horst Kohler, president of the Federal Republic of Germany. At midday he is due to visit the synagogue in Cologne and at 1 p.m. will return to the archbishopric for lunch with a group of young people. At 5 p.m. he is due to meet seminarians at the church of St. Pantaleon in Cologne and will then return to the archbishopric to participate in an ecumenical meeting.

  On Saturday, August 20, having again celebrated a private Mass in the archbishopric, the Holy Father will receive in audience various political and civil leaders: Gerhard Schroeder, federal chancellor; Wolfgang Thierse, president of the parliament; Angela Merkel, president of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union); Jurgen Ruttgers, minister president of North Rhine Westphalia, and a number of local authorities. At 6 p.m. he will meet representatives of Muslim communities. Later he will travel by car to the large open grounds of Marienfeld where he will join young people in a vigil due to last until 10.30 p.m.

  At Marienfeld, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 21, Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass then pray the Angelus. After lunch in the archbishopric he will go on foot to the "Piussaal" of the seminary of Cologne where he will meet the bishops of the German Episcopal Conference. Later, and after having greeted members of the organizing committee of WYD 2005, he will travel by car to the international airport of Cologne/Bonn where the departure ceremony is due to be held at 6.45 p.m. The Pope will then board his aircraft and return to Rome, arriving at around 21.15 p.m.

  For the occasion of Benedict XVI's visit to Germany, some statistics concerning the Catholic Church in that country are given below:

  Germany has 82,520,000 inhabitants of whom 27,411,000 are Catholics, around 33.2% of the total. There are currently 105 bishops, 18,826 priests, 36,323 religious and 3,561 seminarians.

  The Catholic Church in Germany runs 10,307 educational institutes including nursery, primary and secondary schools and universities, with a total of more than 959,000 students. She also directs 536 hospitals, 1,359 clinics, 2,588 homes for the elderly and disabled, 1,298 orphanages and creches, 2.030 centers for the family and the protection of life, and 1,331 special centers for social education and re-education.
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