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Wednesday, November 9, 2005


VATICAN CITY, NOV 9, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Burlington, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Kenneth A. Angell, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Salvatore R. Matano.

 - Appointed as ordinary members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Adriano Pessina, professor of moral philosophy at the Sacred Heart Catholic University of Milan, Italy; and Paolo Preziosi, director of the pharmacological institute at the Sacred Heart Catholic University of Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 9, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Mario Giordana, apostolic nuncio to Haiti.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 9, 2005 (VIS) - Psalm 135, the "great Hallel" or solemn hymn of praise sung by the Jewish people during the Passover, was the central theme of the Benedict XVI's catechesis during the general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of thousands of faithful.

  The key word of the psalm is "mercy," the Pope explained, "part of the language characteristically used by the bible to express the alliance between the Lord and His people. ... Within this relationship, God does not appear as an impassive and implacable Lord, like destiny against whose mysterious power all struggle is useless. Rather, He appears as a person Who loves His creatures, Who watches over them, follows them on their journey through history, and suffers from their frequent unfaithfulness to His merciful and paternal love."

  For the psalmist, said the Pope, the first sign of this divine love is to be found in the creation. "Before discovering the God Who reveals Himself in the history of a people, there is a cosmic revelation, open to all. ...There exists, therefore, a divine message secretly inscribed in creation, a sign of the loving faithfulness of God, Who gives his creatures being and life. ... The prayer of praise arises, then, from the contemplation of the 'wonders' of God ... and is transformed into a joyous hymn of praise and thanksgiving."

  "Thus, from the works of creation it is possible to ascend to the greatness of God, to His loving mercy. This is what the Fathers of the Church teach us," said Benedict XVI and quoted the words of St. Basil the Great on Genesis, affirming that "if some people ... 'imagine the universe without guidance of order, as though at the mercy of chaos,' the sacred writer 'immediately enlightened our minds with the name of God at the beginning of the story: In the beginning God created. ... If, then, the world had a beginning and was created, seek out the One Who began it, the One Who is its Creator'."
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