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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Antonio Franco, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.

 - Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, apostolic nuncio to Japan.

 - Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, apostolic nuncio to Senegal, Mali, Capo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and apostolic delegate to Mauritania.

 - Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, apostolic nuncio to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

 - Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, apostolic nuncio to Burundi.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2005 (VIS) - Tomorrow, September 29, the plenary assembly of the Presidents of Europe's Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) will open in the  "Salesianum" center in Rome. The gathering will reflect on the theme: "The Second Vatican Council and Europe. Future directions?"

  The meeting is due to last until October 2, and will be attended by the presidents of the 34 CCEE member European Bishops' Conferences at the invitation of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general of His Holiness and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

  On the first day of the Assembly, discussions will focus on the theme of Vatican Council II and Europe on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the council sessions. In the light of the indications stemming from the council, the bishops will try to discern basic guidelines for the future work of bishops' conferences and the CCEE with regard to evangelization. Among the pastoral spheres under discussion will be vocations, school and university catechesis, the means of social communications and migration.

  The debate on present-day ecumenism and the forthcoming Third European Ecumenical Assembly will be introduced by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, England. The presidents will be informed about the program for the first stage of the assembly, which is due to take place in Rome on January 24-27, 2006.

  The second part of the Assembly will focus on some events which have been at the heart of work in the bishops' conferences: World Youth Day in Cologne; the Italian referendum on fertility treatment; the debate in Spain on the family, and the question of euthanasia. Also under discussion will be the relationship between the Churches and the European Union, and the future of the process of European unification.

  The plenary assembly will conclude with participation at the opening Mass for the Synod of Bishops in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday, 2 October.
.../CCEE PLENARY/RUINI                            VIS 20050928 (330)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which was held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke on the first part of Psalm 134, "Praise the Lord, Who works marvels."

  Benedict XVI explained to the 30,000 people present that this psalm "is a liturgical-style hymn, interwoven with allusions, evocations, and references to other biblical texts. ... It begins with a broad-ranging and impassioned call to praise the Lord," in His temple, "the communal and preferred site of prayer. There the presence of 'our God' is effectively felt; a 'good' and 'gracious' God, the God of the choice and the covenant."

  The invitation to praise the Lord, the Holy Father went on, is followed by the "proclamation of the faith," the substance of the entire hymn which reveals itself as being a proclamation of the greatness of the Lord as revealed in His marvelous works."

  The Pope affirmed that "divine omnipotence is then shown to the entire world," however "it is above all another aspect of divine activity that is being celebrated in this profession of faith: the wonderful intervention in history, where the Creator reveals His face as redeemer of His people and sovereign of the world. The great events of Exodus are set out before the eyes of Israel gathered in prayer."

  "Divine love becomes concrete and almost tangible in history with all its sad and its glorious events. It is the task of liturgy to make the divine gifts ever present and effective, especially in the great Paschal celebration which lies at the roots of all other solemnities, and constitutes the supreme emblem of freedom and salvation."

  Benedict XVI concluded by calling on the faithful to make their own the words written by the first-century Pope, St. Clement of Rome, in his Letter to the Corinthians: "O Lord, bring your face to shine upon us for goodness in peace. ... Bring harmony and peace to us and to all inhabitants of the earth."

  Among his greetings at the end of the audience, Benedict XVI addressed participants in an international congress being held in Lucca, Italy, on the theme: "The signs of the Spirit in the twentieth century. A historical re-reading: the witnesses' account." He told them: "Last century, marked by sad pages of history, was at the same time permeated by marvelous testimony of spiritual and charismatic awakening in all fields of human life and activity."

  After congratulating the national coordinator of Renewal in the Spirit - who promoted the congress in collaboration with the superior general of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit, the founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, and the founder of Focolari movement - the Pope expressed the hope "that the Holy Spirit will always find fruitful welcome in the hearts of believers, and that the 'culture of the Pentecost,' so necessary in our time, will become more widely spread."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Ruy Rendon Leal, spiritual director of the major seminary of Monterrey, Mexico, as bishop prelate of the territorial prelature of El Salto (area 36,000, population 370,000, Catholics 314,000, priests 22, permanent deacons 1, religious 17), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Ciudad de Cadereyta de Jimenez, Mexico, in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1979. He succeeds Bishop Manuel Mireles Vaquera, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same territorial prelature the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NER:RE/.../RENDON:MIRELES                        VIS 20050928 (100)

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