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Monday, September 19, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Archbishop Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino of Valencia en Venezuela, as archbishop of Caracas (area 790, population 4,000,000, Catholics 3,400,000, priests 610, permanent deacons 11, religious 1,942), Venezuela.

 - Erected the diocese of Yoro (area 7,939, population 440,231, Catholics 360,989, priests 21, four institutes of female religious), Honduras, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Tegucigalpa. He appointed Fr. Jean-Louis Giasson P.M.E., regional superior for Honduras of the Society for Foreign Missions of the province of Quebec and pastor of the parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Choluteca, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Islet-sur-Mer, Canada, in 1939 and ordained a priest in 1965.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences thirteen prelates from the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Domingo Diaz Martinez of Tuxpan.

    - Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Marcelino Hernandez Rodriguez; Guillermo Rodrigo Teodoro Ortiz Mandragon; Felipe Tejeda Garcia M.Sp.S.; Francisco Clavel Gil; Rogelio Esquivel Medina; Jonas Guerrero Corona; Antonio Ortega Franco C.O.; and Victor Sanchez Espinosa; and by former Auxiliary Bishop Jose Luis Fletes Santana.

    - Bishop Constancio Miranda Weckmann of Atlacomulco.

    - Florencio Olvera Ochoa of Cuernavaca.

  On Saturday, September 17, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany.

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

    - Archbishop Sergio Obeso Rivera of Jalapa.

    - Bishop Rutilo Munoz Zamora of Coatzacoalcos, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Carlos Talavera Ramirez.

    - Bishop Eduardo Porfirio Patino Leal of Cordoba.

    - Bishop Hipolito Reyes Larios of Orizaba.

    - Bishop Lorenzo Cardenas Aregullin of Papantla.

    - Bishop Jose Trinidad Zapata Ortiz of San Andres Tuxtla, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Guillermo Ranzahuer Gonzalez.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 19, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received a group of bishops who have been ordained over the course of the last 12 months. In keeping with an annual tradition, they have been spending some days of prayer, reflection and study prior to facing the responsibilities and problems of their ministry.

  In his address to them, the Holy Father recalled how "this meeting is part of initiatives for the permanent formation of bishops. ... If many reasons call for a commitment to aggiornamento on the part of bishops, then it is all the more appropriate that they should have, at the very start of their mission, the opportunity to pass an adequate period of reflection upon the challenges and problems awaiting them."

  "Taking your first steps in your episcopal role, you have already become aware of the necessity for a humble trust in God and for the apostolic courage that is born of faith and of a bishop's sense of responsibility," said the Holy Father. "Among your duties, I would like to underline that of being teachers of the faith. The announcement of the Gospel lies at the origin of the Church and of her development in the world, as well as being at the roots of the expansion of faith among the faithful. ... As successors to the Apostles, you are 'doctores fidei,' true doctors who, with the same authority as Christ, announce to the people a faith in which to believe and which to live."

  The Pope went on: "Responding to God requires an interior journey that brings the believer to the meeting with the Lord. ... This calls for interior life, silence, and vigilance, attitudes that I invite you not only to experience in person, but also to propose to your faithful, organizing appropriate initiatives ... to help them discover the primacy of spiritual life."

  After recalling that during the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, he had presented the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a summary of the complete Catechism, he said: "Today, symbolically, I give each of you these two fundamental documents of the Church's faith, that they may be a point of reference in your teaching and a sign of our communion of faith."

  Benedict XVI went on to invite the prelates to remain close to the priests and catechists of their dioceses. Then, referring to the Year of the Eucharist that is now coming to an end, he exhorted them to ensure that it "leaves in the hearts of the faithful the desire to root their lives ever more in the Eucharist."

  "All bishops should take particular care over the participation of the faithful in Sunday Mass, in which the Word of life rings out, and where Christ Himself is present in the species of bread and wine. Moreover, Mass enables the faithful to nourish the community significance which is also part of the faith."

  "Dear brethren," the Holy Father concluded, "have great trust in grace, and know how to infuse this trust in your collaborators, that the precious pearl of faith may shine forth always, treasured, defended and transmitted in all its purity."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 18, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus with faithful gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father commented on the relationship between sanctity and the Eucharist.

  The Pope indicated that "the secret of the sanctification" of priests lies in the Eucharist. "By virtue of Holy Orders, a priest receives the gift and the duty to repeat sacramentally the gestures and words by which, at the Last Supper, Christ instituted the memorial of His Easter. In his hands he renews this great miracle of love, which he is called to witness and announce ever more faithfully."

  The Holy Father continued: "A priest must above all adore and contemplate the Eucharist, starting from the very moment in which he celebrates it. We well know that the validity of the Sacrament does not depend upon the sanctity of the celebrant, but its effectiveness, both for him and for others, will be all the greater the more he experiences it with profound faith, ardent love and a fervent spirit of prayer."

  Benedict XVI underlined the example of certain "saintly ministers of the altar," such as St. John Chrysostom, known as "'Eucharistic doctor' for the vastness and depth of his doctrine on the Most Holy Sacrament." He also recalled St. Pio of Pietrelcina who, in celebrating Mass, "relived the mystery of Calvary with such fervor as to arouse everyone's faith and devotion. Even the stigmata which God gave him were an expression of his intimate conformation to the crucified Christ."

  "Nor, thinking of priests who love the Eucharist, can we forget St. Jean Maria Vianney, a humble pastor of Ars at the time of the French Revolution. With the sanctity of his life and his pastoral zeal, he managed to make that small village a model Christian community, animated by the Word of God and by the Sacraments."

  The Pope concluded by inviting people to pray for priests throughout the world, "that from this Year of the Eucharist, they may draw the fruit of a renewed Love for the Sacrament they celebrate. Through the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God, may they always live and bear witness to the mystery that is put in their hands for the saving of the world."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 17, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano addressed the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which was held in New York from September 14 to 16.

  At the beginning of his address, which was delivered in French, the cardinal affirmed that the UN "is an institution that is ever more necessary for the peace and progress of the whole of humanity." Nonetheless, he added, "time has taken its toll upon this agency, as upon every human undertaking." Therefore, it "needs to be renewed, in response to the great challenges of the present day."

  Cardinal Sodano emphasized how the juridical framework of the United Nations Statute "must be complemented by the necessary international juridical instruments for disarmament and the control of arms, for the fight against terrorism and international crime and for effective cooperation between the United Nations and regional agencies, in order to resolve situations of conflict."

  With reference to peacekeeping operations, the secretary of State asserted that the Holy See "is in favor of the creation of an agency to restore peace to countries that have suffered armed conflicts. The Holy See, in other words, is in favor of the 'Peacebuilding Commission,' intended to design and implement an ambitious strategy to overcome those elements of ethnic rivalry which give rise to conflicts and which could re-ignite them in the future."

  Cardinal Sodano also pointed to the need for profound reflection on "the problem of the use of force to disarm the aggressor." On this subject, he called on States to continue to discuss the application and practical consequences of the principle of "responsibility to protect," in order to solve, in "the most opportune" way, situations "in which national authorities either cannot or will not protect their own populations, in the face of internal or external threats."

  As for commitment to development, the cardinal affirmed that, despite "promising gestures" from governments in recent years, "much work remains to be done in order to achieve greater economic and financial solidarity. This must include a solution to the debt problem of the poorest countries and of average-income countries with serious foreign debt problems."

  "The Holy See," said the cardinal in concluding remarks, "reaffirms its full support for the objectives of this summit and undertakes to do what it can to help the summit produce the desired fruits rapidly so that an era of peace and social justice may quickly follow. The words spoken by the late Pope John Paul II ... in 1987 have lost none of their relevance: 'the poor cannot wait!'."
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