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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church of Fr. Dionisio Lachovicz O.S.B.M., rector of the Basilian major seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, as bishop of the Curia of the major archbishopric of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine; and of Fr. Bohdan Dzyurakh C.Cs.R., as auxiliary of the archieparchy of Kyiv-Vyshhorod, Ukraine. Bishop-elect Lachovicz was born in Pombas, Brazil in 1946 and ordained as a priest in 1972. Bishop-elect Dzyurakh was born in Hirske, Ukraine in 1967 and ordained as a priest in 1991.

 - Appointed Fr. Michel Pansard of the clergy of Nanterre, France, vicar general, as bishop of Chartres (area 5,940, population 407,665, Catholics 285,000, priests 103, permanent deacons 23, religious 373), France. The bishop-elect was born in Rennes, France in 1955 and ordained as a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Msgr. Jozef Piotr Kupny of the clergy of the archdiocese of Katowice, Poland, rector of the major seminary, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 2,400, population 1,712,000, Catholics 1,660,000, priests 1,061, religious 1,078). The bishop-elect was born in Dabrowka Wielka, Poland in 1956 and ordained as a priest in 1983.

- Appointed Msgr. Marian Rojek of the clergy of the archdiocese of Przemysl of the Latins, Poland, rector of the major seminary, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 9,750, population 780,000, Catholics 763,352, priests 983, religious 1,360). The bishop-elect was born in Rzeszow, Poland in 1955 and ordained as a priest in 1981.

- Appointed Fr. Meron Mazur O.S.B.M., superior of the major seminary of St. Basil in Curitiba, as auxiliary of the eparchy of Sao Joao Batista em Curitiba of the Ukrainians (Catholics 161,500, priests 77, permanent deacons 2, religious 552), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Prudentopolis, Brazil in 1962 and ordained as a priest in 1990.

  His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, with the consent of the Synod of the Chaldean Church and after having consulted with the Apostolic See, transferred, in accordance with canon 85 para. 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Jacques Ishaq, emeritus of Arbil, Iraq, to the titular archiepiscopal see of Nisibi of the Chaldeans, with the office of patriarchal auxiliary.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to Uganda.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2005 (VIS) - "The light of Christmas" was the theme of Benedict XVI's special catechesis in today's pre-Christmas general audience, which was held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 15,000 people.

  "Today's audience is taking place in a climate of joyful and eager expectation as we await the imminent Christmas festivities," said the Pope, adding that many symbols help us to understand the mystery of Christmas, "among them that of the light, which is one of the richest in spiritual significance."

  He went on: "Christmas in our hemisphere coincides with the days in which the sun completes its descendent cycle and the period of daylight gradually begins to lengthen. ... This helps us to a better understanding of the subject of light overcoming shadow; a symbol evoking a truth that touches the most intimate part of man: the light of goodness that overcomes evil, ... of life that overcomes death. Christmas - which re-presents us with the announcement of the definitive victory of God's love over sin and death - causes us to think of this interior light, this divine light. ... As we prepare to celebrate with joy the birth of the Savior in our families and our ecclesial communities, a certain form of modern consumer culture tends to remove Christian symbols from the Christmas celebration. Let everyone, then, seek to understand the value of the Christmas traditions, which are part of the heritage of our faith and our culture."

  "In particular, when we see streets and squares adorned by dazzling lights, let us remember that these lights call us to another light, one invisible to the eyes but not to the heart. As we admire them, as we light the candles in church or the lights on the nativity scene or the Christmas tree in our homes, let our souls open to the true spiritual light, which was brought to all men and women of good will."

  The Pope concluded his catechesis by calling on the faithful to "maintain their interior wonder" as they celebrate the birth of the Savior, and wishing everyone "a happy and holy Christmas."
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