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Monday, January 16, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JAN 16, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Saint-Flour, France presented by Bishop Rene Sejourne, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. John Hung Shan-chuan S.V.D., director of the Catholic school of Kiayi and teacher at the Catholic Universtiy of Taipei, Taiwan, as bishop of Kiayi (area 3,244, population 1,573,098, Catholics 10,033, priests 57, religious 58), Taiwan. The bishop-elect was born in Penghu, Taiwan in 1943 and ordained a priest in 1973.

  On Saturday, January 14, it was made public that he:

 - Appointed Msgr. Marlo Mendoza Peralta of the clergy of the diocese of Urdaneta, Philippines, vicar general and pastor, as coadjutor bishop of Alaminos (area 2,449, population 562,364, Catholics 445,573, priests 37, religious 82), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in San Carlos, Philippines, in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1975.

- Appointed Msgr. Roberto Calara Mallari of the clergy of the archdiocese of San Fernando, Philippines, pastor of the parish of Our Lord's Ascension, as auxiliary of San Fernando (area 2,180, population 3,000,000, Catholics 2,800,000, priests 162, religious 204). The bishop-elect was born in Masantol, Philippines, in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1982.

 - Appointed Hsin-Chi Kuan, president of the department of government and public administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

  Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, C.SS.R., major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, with the consent of the permanent synod and in conformity with canon 210 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Kottayam of the Syro-Malabars, India, presented by Metropolitan Archbishop Kuriakose Kunnacherry. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Mathew Moolakkattu O.S.B.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 16, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Filip Vujanovic, president of the Republic of Montenegro, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Seven prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

    - Cardinal Frederic Etsou-Nzabi-Bamungwabi C.I.C.M., archbishop of Kinshasa, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Daniel Nlandu Mayi, Dominique Bulamatari, and Edouard Kisonga S.S.S.

    - Bishop Cyprien Mbuku C.I.C.M., of Boma.

    - Bishop Louis Mbwol-Mpasi O.M.I., of Idiofa.

    - Bishop Philippe Nkiere Kena C.I.C.M., of Inongo.

  On Saturday, January 14, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop emeritus of Paris, France.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 16, 2006 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, the Holy Father received a delegation from the Jewish community in Rome, headed by Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.

  Benedict XVI began his short address by referring to Moses' song of thanksgiving after his passage through the Red Sea. "Your visit fills me with joy," he said "and it motivates me to renew with you this song of thanks for salvation. The people of Israel have been liberated many times from the hands of their enemies and, in times of anti-Semitism, in the dramatic moments of the Shoah, the hand of the Almighty guided and sustained them. The favor of the God of the Covenant has always accompanied them, giving them the strength to overcome trials. Your Jewish community, present in the city of Rome for more than two thousand years, can also bear witness to this divine loving attention."

  "The Catholic Church," he continued, "is close to you and is your friend. ... Following Vatican Council II the reciprocal esteem and trust between us has increased. Ever more fraternal and cordial contacts have developed, becoming even more intense during the pontificate of my venerated predecessor, John Paul II."

  "In Christ we partake in your heritage of the Fathers, in order to serve the Almighty, ... grafted onto the one 'holy tree' of the people of God. As Christians, this fact makes us aware that, with you, we share in the responsibility of cooperating for the good of all people, in justice and peace, in truth and freedom, in holiness and love. Keeping in mind this shared mission we cannot fail to denounce and fight firmly against the hatred and misunderstanding, the injustice and violence that continue to worry the soul of men and women of good will. In this context, how can we not be pained and concerned over the renewal of manifestations of anti-Semitism?"

  The Pope concluded by expressing his best wishes to the rabbi, affirming that "the many challenges and needs of Rome and the world demand that we unite our hands and hearts in concrete initiatives of solidarity, justice and charity. Together, we can work to transmit the torch of the Ten Commandments and of hope to the young generation."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2006 (VIS) - After the Angelus, the Pope recalled that today is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and called for recognition for the services provided by Catholic schools.

  Benedict XVI affirmed that migration is "a very widespread phenomenon in today's world: it is one of the 'signs of the times' that presents itself in varying forms: migration can be voluntary or forced, legal or illegal, motivated by work or study."

  "Although, on the one hand," continued the Pope, "some respect is shown for ethnic and cultural differences, difficulties remain with acceptance and integration."

  For this reason, he added, "the Church seeks to take advantage of the positive aspects of this sign of the times, while overcoming every form of discrimination, injustice and disdain for the human person, since all people are an image of God."

  The Holy Father went on to affirm that today the diocese of Rome celebrates the Day of Catholic Schools. After greeting the directors, professors, parents and alumni present, he encouraged them to "continue working toward an integral education, that strives to unite quality of teaching with the Christian concept of the human person and society."

  "I hope that collaboration between families and schools may continue," he concluded, "and that the services Catholic schools offer may be fully recognized."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2006 (VIS) - In reflections before praying the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI recalled the beginning of the liturgical year, which "invites us to live our ordinary lives as a path to holiness, that is to say, of faith and of friendship with Jesus, ... Teacher and Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life of the human person."

  The Pope referred to the Gospel of St. John that recounts the first encounter of Jesus with those who were to become His apostles. Two of the disciples of St. John the Baptist, according to the Gospel text, followed Christ after His Baptism. Jesus asked them: "What do you seek?" and invited them to accompany Him. One of them, Andrew, later explained to Simon that they had found the Messiah.

  "Here are two words of particular significance," observed the Pope, "'to seek' and 'to find.' These two verbs contain a fundamental indication for the new year, in which we seek to renew our spiritual journey with Jesus, with the joy of constantly seeking Him and finding Him."

  "The most authentic joy is in the relationship with Him: found, followed, known and loved, thanks to a continual exertion of the mind and heart. ... Friendship with the Teacher assures the soul profound peace and serenity in dark moments and during the most difficult trials. When faith encounters dark nights in which the presence of God is no longer 'felt' or 'seen,' the friendship of Jesus is a guarantee that in reality nothing can ever separate us from His love. To seek and to find Christ, the inexhaustible source of truth and life: the Word of God invites us to begin again, at the start of a new year, this never-ending journey of faith."

  "For the believer," concluded the Holy Father "this means incessant searching and new discovery, for Christ is the same yesterday, today and always, but we, the world and history are never the same, and He comes toward us to give us His communion and fullness of life."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2006 (VIS) - In keeping with an annual tradition, Benedict XVI today received members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, which oversees safety and security in St. Peter's Square and surrounding streets.

  Safety and order, said the Pope, "require technical and professional training, coupled with no small amount of patience, constant vigilance and a spirit of sacrifice."

  The Holy Father then recalled "the great efforts" made by the Inspectorate and other members of the Italian armed forces during the period of the illness, death and funeral of John Paul II, "and on the occasion of my own election to the See of Peter. I take this opportunity to renew my collaborators' and my own thanks to all those people who, in those historic circumstances, contributed to ensuring that everything proceeded in an orderly and tranquil fashion; the entire world was able to admire the efficiency of the organization."

  After highlighting the importance of "always working in a spirit of harmony and true cooperation," the Pope said: "Families, communities, organizations of all kinds, States, and the world itself would be better if, like a healthy and well-composed body, all members conscientiously and altruistically carried out their duties, however large or small they may be."

  Benedict XVI concluded by appealing: "Let us open our hearts to Christ, and faithfully welcome His Gospel, a precious rule of life for those people who are searching for the true significance of human existence."
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