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Thursday, November 3, 2005


VATICAN CITY, NOV 3, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Hearst, Canada, presented by Bishop Andre Vallee P.M.E., upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 3, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Six prelates from the Austrian Bishops' Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Fr. D. Kassian Lauterer O. Cist., abbot of the territorial abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau.

    - Archbishop Alois Kothgasser S.D.B., of Salzburg, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Laun O.S.F.S.

    - Bishop Elmar Fischer of Feldkirch.

    - Bishop Egon Kapellari of Graz-Seckau, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Franz Lackner O.F.M.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Georges Marie Martin Cottier O.P., pro-theologian of the Papal Household.

  At the conclusion of the general audience on Wednesday, November 2, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, and special envoy to the first International Eucharistic Congress for Universities.

 - Archbishop Eliseo Antonio Ariotti, apostolic nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
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ARCHBISHOP CELESTINO MIGLIORE, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, delivered an address on November 1, before the "60th session of the General Assembly of the U.N. on Point 72, 'Holocaust remembrance: draft resolution'." Archbishop Migliore said: "Remembering is a duty and a common responsibility. This is especially true in the case of the Holocaust. ... The responsibility of all nations to remember gains new strength as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the extermination camps." He concluded: "May the Holocaust serve as a warning to prevent us from yielding to ideologies which justify contempt for human dignity on the basis of race, color, language or religion."

THE HOLY SEE'S CONCERN FOR THE DIFFICULTIES faced by Palestinian Christians in the Middle East was the theme of an address, also delivered on November 1, by Archbishop Migliore during the "Fourth Commission of the 60th session of the General Assembly of the U.N. on Point 30: 'United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East'." The Holy See permanent observer spoke of "ongoing concern" for "the security wall which cuts access to some Palestinians' lands and water sources, as well as to employment, commerce, education, medical care and freedom of worship. ... In the hope that the many problems of the region will be resolved by negotiation and dialogue, my delegation underlines that a lasting solution will include the question of the Holy City of Jerusalem."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 3, 2005 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today, a press conference was held to present the First International Congress of the STOQ Project (Science, Technology and the Ontological Quest). The congress will be held in the Pontifical Lateran University from November 9 to 11, on the theme: "Infinity in the Sciences, in Philosophy and in Theology.".

  Participating in today's press conference were: Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Msgr. Gianfranco Basti, director of the STOQ Project, Rodolfo Guzzi of the Italian Space Agency, and Vincenzo Cappelletti, professor of the history of science at Rome's "Roma Tre" university.

  Cardinal Poupard, who is also president of STOQ and whose dicastery gives patronage and support to the project through the Pontifical Universities in Rome, indicated that the aim of the initiative is "to create a new climate of dialogue within the Catholic Church between scientific culture, ... and our daily life."

  The ultimate goal of the project, he went on, "rather than limiting itself to a specialized study of theoretical problems, is to contribute to changing the mentality of believers towards the sciences. At the same time, the project seeks to offer the world of science competent partners with whom to maintain a respectful dialogue on the many questions raised by the development of science today, especially natural science."

    Msgr. Basti announced that the congresses will be held every two years. "The project aims to promote dialogue between science, philosophy and theology by organizing courses and research activities which, over the first three years, have already involved two Pontifical Universities, the Lateran and the Gregorian, and the Pontifical Athenaeum 'Regina Apostolorum.' Over the next few years, other Pontifical Universities will become involved, in the first place the Salesian and the Holy Cross, as well as ... certain European Universities such as the University of Navarre, Spain, of Lublin, Poland, and of Namur, Belgium."

  This month's congress will be attended by professors from the Universities of Princeton, Oxford and Indiana, as well as by two rabbis, both experts in the theme being considered.

  Professor Guzzi pointed out that "this congress will study the conceptions of infinity that emerge from physics, cosmology and mathematics, seeking to find responses to the questions arising from various scientific theories and from the readings supplied by modern radio telescopes, in order to create as unitary a vision as possible."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 3, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received a group of parliamentarians from the Christian-Social Union of the Bavarian Diet (the parliament of Bavaria), Germany. Addressing them in German, the Holy Father highlighted Bavaria's rich historical and cultural heritage also indicating how, for some years, it has been an important center for modern technology and research.

  "To these characteristics," the Pope said, "Bavaria unites a heritage of generosity and a rich religious harmony, elements which hold real promise for a future made in man's measure."

  The Holy Father also referred to the fact that Bavaria is now facing "the difficult social and economic challenges of our time, ... to which must be added the questions raised by new scientific and technological developments, that confront politicians with an obligation to make the right decisions."

  "Scientific advancement," the Pope observed, "can be a blessing for human beings, or their ruin. Politicians, when called to decide on the correct or incorrect use of science, must choose whether to allow themselves to be guided by superficial advantages or by the laws of God. Men and women are responsible for their actions before God, the giver of all life. Those actions must always respect the inviolability of individuals whose lives are sacred at every phase, (especially) when using new scientific discoveries."

  Going on to speak of education, Benedict XVI stressed how, "in order for the highest attainments of our culture to be respected and promoted in the future, young people must have a solid formation, one based not merely on technocratic or economic suppositions, but on an intellectual heritage that reflects the names of Athens, Jerusalem and Rome. In this context, I would like to mention the personal and irreplaceable contribution made to the country's universities by theological faculties, where I too had the honor of teaching, as a professor of dogmatic theology in the University of Regensburg. A time I always recall with happiness."

  In conclusion, the Pope recalled Munich, "an unforgettable city, the city of which I was bishop, ... the city of the Mariensaule" (the monument to Mary, Patroness of Bavaria), and expressed the hope that the Virgin may always occupy a central place in the hearts of the Bavarian people.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 2, 2005 (VIS) - Psalm 111, "the happiness of the righteous," and the commemoration of All Souls were the central themes of Benedict XVI's catechesis in his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 30,000 people.

  "Illuminated by the faith, we look to the human enigma of death with serenity and hope," the Pope said. "Indeed, according to Scripture, more than being an end, death is a new birth, the obligatory passage through which those who model their earthly existence according to the Word of God may achieve the fullness of life."

  He went on: "Psalm 111 ... presents us with the righteous who fear the Lord, who recognize His transcendence and follow His will with trust and love, in the hope of meeting Him after death."

  "The observation of moral law brings inner harmony and profound peace of conscience," the Holy Father explained, specifying that "the core of such faithfulness to the Divine Word consists in a fundamental choice: charity towards the poor and the needy. ... The righteous, accepting the constant admonitions of the prophets, take the side of the marginalized and give them abundant support."

  Following his catechesis, Benedict XVI greeted representatives from the Italian National Association of Large Families. "Your presence," he said, "gives me the opportunity to recall the central importance of the family, fundamental cell of society and principal place for welcoming and serving life. In the modern social context, families with many children represent a testimony of faith, courage and optimism, because without children there is no future. It is my hope that further social and legislative initiatives be promoted to protect and support the largest families, which constitute a source of wealth and hope for the entire country."

  The Pope also addressed some words to Polish pilgrims. "Today, in our prayers for the deceased, we recall our loved ones. We also recall John Paul II. On the anniversary of his priestly ordination (November 1, 1946) and of his name day (November 4), let us give thanks to God for the fruits of the life and ministry of His servant."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 1, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, Solemnity of All Saints, the Pope appeared at the window of his private study in order to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

  Today's feast, the Pope said, "gives us a taste of the joy of belonging to the great family of the friends of God. ... Becoming saints means fully realizing that which we already are, having been elevated, in Christ Jesus, to the dignity of adoptive children of God."

  For those who live in Christ," the Holy Father continued, "death is the passage from the earthly pilgrimage to the heavenly homeland where the Father welcomes all His children of 'every nation, race, people and language.' ... For this reason, it is most significant and appropriate that, in the liturgy, All Saints Day is followed tomorrow by the commemoration of all the deceased faithful. The 'communion of saints' ... is the reality of a family bound together by profound ties of spiritual solidarity, uniting the deceased faithful to those who are still pilgrims in the world. A mysterious but real bond, nourished by prayer and by participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist."

  Benedict XVI then indicated how "in the mystical Body of Christ, the souls of the faithful come together; overcoming the barrier of death, they pray for one another and undertake, in charity, an intimate exchange of gifts. In this sense, the faith also includes the practice of offering prayers for the repose of the dead, especially in the Eucharistic sacrifice, Paschal memorial of Christ, which opened the way to eternal life for the faithful.

  "Uniting myself spiritually with people visiting cemeteries to pray for their loved ones, tomorrow afternoon I too will kneel in prayer in the Vatican Grottoes near the tombs of the Popes, which form a crown around the tomb of the Apostle Peter, and I will have a special thought for the much-loved John Paul II."

  The Holy Father concluded by requesting that "the traditional visit of these days to the tombs of our loved ones should be an occasion to think without fear of the mystery of death, and to prepare ourselves to face it serenely."
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