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Wednesday, February 1, 2006


VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jose Luiz Ferreira Salles C.Ss.r., master of novices in the Brazilian province of the Redemptorist Fathers, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Fortaleza (area 14,813, population 3,400,657, Catholics 2,406,000, priests 291, religious 1,152), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Itirapina, Brazil in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1985.
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for February is: "That the international community may be ever more aware of the urgent duty to bring an end to the trafficking in human beings."

  His mission intention is: "That in the missions the lay faithful may recognize the need to serve their own country with greater commitment, also in its political and social life."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2006 (VIS) - In his catechesis during today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of 8,000 pilgrims, Benedict XVI turned his attention to the first part of Psalm 144, "praise of divine majesty."

  This psalm, said the Pope, "is an intense and impassioned celebration of divine regality. ... It is an expression of God's plan of salvation. He is not indifferent to human history, rather He desires to bring it into conformity with His design of harmony and peace. All humanity is called to put this plan into effect, that it might adhere to the divine salvific will, a will that extends to 'all men,' to 'all generations' and to 'all time.' A universal action that takes evil from the world and places there the 'glory' of the Lord, in other words, His effective and transcendent personal presence."

  The Holy Father then went on to recall how, in the psalm, "the Lord is exalted as a loving and tender sovereign, concerned for all His creatures. ... We are not at the mercy of dark forces, nor are we alone with our freedom; rather we are entrusted to the action of the powerful and loving Lord Who has a plan for us, a 'kingdom' to establish. This 'kingdom' is not founded on power and domination, on triumph and oppression as is often the case of earthly kingdoms." It is a place of "piety, tenderness, goodness, grace and justice." As the psalm says, the Lord is "gracious and merciful, slow to anger."

  Benedict XVI concluded his catechesis with a reference St. Peter Chrysologus, who noted that "even greater than the Lord's works is the Lord's mercy."

  At the end of the audience, the Pope addressed a special greeting to heads of the Italian Prison Administration. "Your presence," he told them, "gives me an opportunity to remind individuals and the whole of society of respect for civil and ethical norms, which lie at the foundation of human coexistence."

  In remarks to Polish pilgrims, he mentioned the celebration tomorrow, February 2, of the Day of Consecrated Life. "Let us thank God for religious vocations and ask Him to support with grace the sisters and brothers who have chosen chastity, poverty and obedience as the way of sanctity."
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