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Monday, September 12, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 12, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father elevated the apostolic exarchate for faithful of the Armenian rite resident in the U.S.A. and Canada, to the rank of eparchy with the name "Our Lady of Nareg in New York for Armenian Catholics," and with the same territorial configuration as the current exarchate. He appointed Bishop Manuel Batakian, apostolic exarch for faithful of the Armenian rite resident in the U.S.A. and Canada, as first bishop of the new eparchy.

  On Saturday, September 10, it was made public that he appointed:

 - Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, as his special envoy to celebrations for the first International Eucharistic Congress for Universities, due to take place in Murcia, Spain, from November 9 to 13.

 - As consultors of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims, at the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue: Frs. Andrea Pacini, Italy; Jose Luis Sanchez Nogales, Spain; and Daniel A. Madigan S.J., Australia; Sr. Gerardette Philips R.S.C.J., India; Sandra Keating, U.S.A.; and Lamin Sanneh, U.S.A.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 12, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan, accompanied by an entourage.

 - Five prelates from the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Miguel Patino Velazquez M.S.F., of Apatzingan.

    - Bishop Jose Luis Castro Medellin M.S.F., of Tacambaro.

    - Bishop Carlos Suarez Cazares of Zamora.

    - Archbishop Luis Morales Reyes of San Luis Potosi, accompanied by Archbishop emeritus Arturo Antonio Szymanski Ramirez.

  On Saturday, September 10, he received in separate audiences six prelates from the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi M.Sp.S., of Nuevo Laredo.

    - Alonso Gerardo Garza Trevino of Piedras Negras.

    - Bishop Jose Raul Vera Lopez O.P., of Saltillo.

    - Bishop Jose Luis Dibildox Martinez of Tampico

    - Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Francisco Moreno Barron.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 11, 2005 (VIS) - In comments following today's Angelus prayer at Castelgandolfo, the Pope referred to the meeting of heads of State and government which begins in New York on Wednesday. He also recalled - today, September 11 - all victims of terrorism in the world.

  The Holy Father affirmed that on September 14, at the United Nations in New York, a summit meeting of heads of State and government will "discuss important themes concerning peace in the world, the respect of human rights, the promotion of development and the strengthening of the United Nations Organization."

  After indicating that he will be represented at the meeting by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, the Pope said: "I fervently pray that the leaders meeting there find appropriate solutions to achieve the great fixed goals, in a spirit of harmony and generous solidarity. I particularly hope that effective concrete measures can be successfully put into effect to respond to the most urgent problems of extreme poverty, sickness and hunger that afflict so many peoples."

  In conclusion, Benedict XVI addressed those present in English: "Today, September 11, we remember the victims of terrorist violence throughout the world. May God inspire men and women of goodwill everywhere to renounce hatred and to build a world of justice, solidarity and peace."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 11, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the internal courtyard of the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, which falls on September 14.

  "In the year dedicated to the Eucharist," said the Holy Father, "this celebration assumes particular significance. It invites us to mediate on the profound and indissoluble bond that unites the celebration of the Eucharist to the Mystery of the Cross."

  "The Eucharist is, then, a memorial of the entire Paschal Mystery: passion, death, descent to hell, resurrection and ascent to heaven; and the Cross is a poignant expression of the act of infinite love with which the Son of God saved man and the world from sin and death. For this reason, the sign of the Cross is the fundamental gesture of Christian prayer. To make the sign of the Cross is to pronounce a visible and public 'yes' to he Who died for us and Who rose again; to God Who in the humility and weakness of His love is the Almighty, stronger than all the power and intelligence of the world."

  After highlighting how "the Eucharist is Mystery of death and glory, like the Cross" which "is the passage by which Christ entered His glory and reconciled humanity entire, overcoming all enmity," the Pope went on: "For this reason the liturgy invites us to pray with faithful hope: 'Mane nobiscum Domine!" Remain with us Lord, Who with Your Holy Cross have redeemed the world!"

  The Holy Father concluded: "Mary, present before the Cross at Calvary, is likewise present with the Church and as Mother of the Church in each of our Eucharistic celebrations. For this reason, no one better than her can teach us to understand and experience the Mass with faith and love, uniting ourselves to Christ's redeeming sacrifice. When we receive Holy Communion, we too, like Mary and united with her, embrace the wood that Jesus, with His love, transformed into an instrument of salvation, and we pronounce our 'Amen,' our 'yes' to Love that was crucified and rose again."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 10, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has travelled to the U.S.A., bearing testimony of Benedict XVI's solidarity, and offering concrete assistance to the people affected by Hurricane Katrina, which recently struck the south of the country, especially the area of New Orleans.

  Today, the Holy Father's envoy is due to meet Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge, and Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities U.S.A. Tomorrow, Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral of Baton Rouge in memory of the victims of the hurricane, as well as that of all victims of violence on the 4th anniversary of September 11, 2001. In the afternoon, the Holy See delegation - which also includes Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, U.S.A. - will hold talks with the bishops of the area and with the governor of the State of Louisiana, before visiting those displaced by the catastrophe who have taken refuge in Baton Rouge.

  On Monday, September 12, the delegation will visit Biloxi, while on Tuesday Archbishop Cordes will travel to Washington to meet the federal authorities. The delegation will return to the Vatican on September 14.

  "The papal envoy's mission," says a Cor Unum communique, "apart from bringing a sign of Benedict XVI's spiritual and material closeness, also aims to encourage the Catholic institutions involved in relief efforts during the emergency, to contribute to promoting and preparing the way for reconstruction."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 10, 2005 (VIS) - "The Role of the Church and Christians in the Future of Europe" was the theme of an address delivered yesterday by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, at the fifth International Congress of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, being held in Krakow, Poland.

  The archbishop began by speaking of "the attention the Popes have given to Europe" which, he said, "has always been lively, constructive and encouraging." He recalled, among others, the figure of Pius XII who "publicly endorsed the idea of forming a European Union," and of John Paul II who "played an historical role in assisting that process which started here in Poland and led to the collapse of the unnatural division imposed upon Europe by a materialist ideology and an antihuman power."

  The archbishop then went on to refer to the presence in the old continent "of the Church as an institution" and "of Christians as members of the Church and citizens of Europe." Their presence, he said, is "a human and social reality, openly visible in its religious identity, and not to be confused with any other reality. ... It would be political forgery if Europe were to ignore such a reality or seek to put it aside."

  As for the specific contribution that the Church and Christians can make to Europe, Archbishop Lajolo pointed out that "the Church is the 'columna et firmamentum veritatis' [pillar and bulwark of the truth], ... a true champion of human reason, capable of reaching not only mathematical truths or truths of the natural physical sciences, but also the ultimate truths about humanity: those truths that alone can reveal the ultimate meaning of human existence and, therefore, allow for the great trends of the spirit."

  The Church, continued the secretary for Relations with States, is also "'communio caritatis' [communion of charity], ... the communion of all the particular churches with the Church of Rome and among themselves. ... In the Church, as in no other human reality, the unity of all is realized in the diversity of the parts. The Church mirrors the variety of peoples, of their languages, customs and traditions in the oneness of faith and morals. ... Thus, the Church is naturally a factor of unity among different nations."

  "Given the fundamental lines of action about which I have just spoken, it is easy to identify some institutions of different but always significant public importance, to which the Church has given, and will never cease to give, her own specific contribution." These are: the family, educational institutions, and health care institutions.

  Archbishop Lajolo concluded: "In contemporary pluralistic and ideologically diverse society, Christians must know how to measure and gather their own forces, and then unite their forces to those of other men and women of good will, in the search for a Europe which will be worthy of the spiritual heritage which our fathers have left us, in the search for a Europe as it was dreamed by the great spirits of the twentieth century."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 10, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Holy Father appointing Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, as his special envoy to closing celebrations of the Slovak National Eucharistic Congress. The celebrations are due to be held in Bratislava-Petrzlka, Slovakia, on September 18.

  Cardinal Tomko will be accompanied on his mission by Msgr. Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, secretary of the nunciature to Slovakia; and by Frs. Cyril Jancisin, secretary of the Slovak Episcopal Conference, and Tibor Hajdu of the archdiocese of Bratislava-Trnava.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 10, 2005 (VIS) - Today Benedict XVI received, for the first time, members of the 31st squadron of the Italian Air Force, thanking them for their service. The 31st squadron is responsible for air transportation of the Pope within Italy.

  "In carrying out your work," the Pope said, "you place at the service of the Church your capabilities and the competence and experience you have acquired, thus cooperating in your own way in the ministry of Peter's Successor."

  The Holy Father assured the airmen and their relatives that his meeting with them stimulated him "to recall to the Lord each of your families, that He may illuminate with His grace moments of ease and difficulty, enriching them all with supernatural value."
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