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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Friday, July 29, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2005 (VIS) - As previously advised, VIS will be closed during the entire month of August. Service will resume on Thursday, September 1, 2005.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Salomon Lezoutie of the clergy of Yopougon, Cote d'Ivoire, spiritual director of the major seminary of Anyama, as bishop of Odienne (area 51,220, population 670,000, Catholics 3,500, priests 9, religious 9), Cote d'Ivoire. The bishop-elect was born in Yopougon in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1989.

 - Appointed Fr. Markus Bernt Eidsvig of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, master of novices in the Abbey of Klosterneuburg, Austria, as bishop of Oslo (area 154,560, population 3,449,286, Catholics 51,305, priests 55, permanent deacons 3, religious 171), Norway. The bishop-elect was born in Rjukan, Norway in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1982. He succeeds Bishop Gerhard Schwenzer SS.CC., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2005 (VIS) - Following comments made by Nimrod Barkan, an Israeli foreign ministry official, which appeared in the Jerusalem Post newspaper on July 26, the Holy See Press Office issued the following note yesterday afternoon:

  "The untenability of the groundless accusations directed against Pope Benedict XVI for not having mentioned - in comments following the Angelus prayer on July 24 - the July 12 terrorist attack in Netanya, Israel, cannot but be clear to the people who made them. Perhaps it is also for this reason that an attempt has been made to uphold the accusations by shifting attention to supposed silences of John Paul II on attacks against Israel in past years, even inventing repeated Israeli government petitons to the Holy See on the subject, and requesting that with the new pontificate the Holy See change its attitude.

  "On this matter, it should be noted that:

  "John Paul II's declarations condemning all forms of terrorism, and condemning single acts of terrorism committed against Israel, were numerous and public.

  "Not every attack against Israel could be followed by an immediate public condemnation. There are various reasons for this, among them the fact that attacks against Israel were sometimes followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the norms of international law. It would, consequently, have been impossible to condemn the former and remain silent on the latter.

  "Just as the Israeli government understandably does not allow its pronouncements to be dictated by others, neither can the Holy See accept lessons and directives from any other authority concerning the orientation and contents of its own declarations."

  The Holy See Press Office note is accompanied by a document recalling some of the statements made by John Paul II between 1979 and February 2005, a month and a half before his death, in which he condemned violence against the civilian population and affirmed the right of the State of Israel to live in security and peace.

  "It is sad and surprising" the document concludes, "that it has gone unobserved how, for the past 26 years, Pope John Paul II's voice has been so often raised with force and passion in the dramatic situation in the Holy Land, condemning all terrorist acts and calling for sentiments of humanity and peace. Affirmations that run counter to historical truth can advantage only those who seek to foment animosity and conflict, and certainly do not serve to improve the situation."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano sent a telegram of condolence, in the Pope's name, to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, president of Algeria, for the recent murder of two Algerian diplomats in Iraq.

  "Having learnt of the murder of two Algerian diplomats in Iraq, the Holy Father unites himself with the pain of their families, of the authorities and of the Algerian people, all affected by this drama which also touches the international community. He salutes the courage and faithfulness to their mission of builders of peace and negotiation in the country, who also brought their help to reconstruction. To all those seeking to resolve conflicts by the way of violence, the Pope makes a new call to humanity and justice, in the legitimate respect of individuals. The death of a human being cannot be the solution to claims of any kind, and cannot make of the assassins partners in dialogue and peace. The Holy Father exhorts all men and women of good will to join in building a world of brotherhood among peoples and beliefs, so that differences become opportunities for sharing and friendship. Entrusting the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, the Pope asks God to bring down abundant blessings upon their families, and upon all the people affected by this hateful act."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for the month of August is: "That World Youth Day may inspire or reawaken in young people the desire to meet Christ and find in Him the guide of their own lives."

  His mission intention is: "That the priests, religious men and women, seminarians and laity from mission countries who are completing their formation in Rome, may find their stay in the 'Eternal City' a time of spiritual enrichment."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, having completed his holiday in Valle d'Aosta in the Italian Alps, Benedict XVI travelled to his summer residence at Castelgandolfo, south of Rome.

  Shortly after his arrival, the Holy Father appeared at the balcony of the Apostolic Palace to greet the people waiting in the square below: "Dear brothers and sisters," he said, "I have just arrived from Valle d'Aosta where I spent two delightful weeks in the mountains; but I am happy to be with you here today in the castle of the Popes."

  "For more than a month," he went on, "I will be your fellow citizen; it is a joy for me to be in this beautiful little town, to live with you and to contemplate the splendor of the ancient Roman countryside. Thank you for your affection and friendship."

  Having imparted his apostolic blessing, and amid the cheers of the faithful, the Pope concluded by saying "thank you for your welcome, we will see one another often."

  The Pope is expected to spend this second part of his vacation resting, reading and writing. He may also travel to the Vatican if particularly large numbers of people arrive for the general audience, held every Wednesday.

  His stay at Castelgandolfo will be interrupted from August 18 to 21 when the Pope will travel to Cologne, Germany, for World Youth Day.
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