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Monday, February 13, 2006


VATICAN CITY, FEB 13, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Edmundo Ponziano Valenzuela Mellid S.D.B., missionary in Angola, as apostolic vicar of Chaco Paraguayo (area 96,030, population 18,200, priests 5, religious 9), Paraguay. The bishop-elect was born in Villarrica del Espiritu Santo, Paraguay in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1971.

  On Saturday, February 13, it was made public that he:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Lomza, Poland, presented by Bishop Tadeusz Jozef Zawistowski, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Msgr. Tadeusz Bronakowski of the clergy of the diocese of Lomza, Poland, teacher of canon law at the major seminary and vice-chancellor of the diocesan curia, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 11,500, population 573,647, Catholics 567,035, priests 476, religious 213). The bishop-elect was born in Augustow, Poland in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Montreal, Canada, presented by Bishop Jude Saint-Antoine, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Lionel Gendrom P.S.S., provincial superior for Canada of the Suplician Fathers, and Fr. Andre Gazaille of the clergy of the archdiocese of Montreal, Canada pastor of the parishes of 'Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens,' 'Visitation de la Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie,' and 'Saint-Antoine-Marie-Claret,' as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Montreal (area 1,399, population 2,340,928, Catholics 1,590,150, priests 1,283, permanent deacons 103, religious 5,881). Bishop-elect Gendrom was born in Saint-Quintin, Canada in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1969. Bishop-elect Gazaille was born in Montreal in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971.

- Appointed Fr. Peter Joseph Hundt of the clergy of the diocese of Hamilton, Canada, pastor of the parish of the Holy Cross in Georgetown, Ontario, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Toronto (area 13,000, population 5,043,085, Catholics 1,363,657, priests 811, permanent deacons 96, religious 1,178), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Hanover, Canada in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Fr. Aloisio Jorge Pena Vitral of the clergy of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, pastor of the parish of 'Nossa Senhora das Dores,' and Fr. Joaquim Giovanni Mol Guimaraes of the clergy of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, pastor of the parish of 'Santa Maria Mae de Deus' and vice-rector of the Pontifical Catholic University in Minas Gerais, as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte (area 7,240, population 4,216,719, Catholics 3,162,539, priests 572, religious 2,252). Bishop-elect Pena Vidral was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1986. Bishop-elect Mol Guimaraes was born in Ponte Nova, Brazil in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1988.
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 13, 2006 (VIS) - In the Bologna Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace at 10.30 a.m. today, Benedict XVI presided at a meeting of cardinals and heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 12, 2006 (VIS) - The World Day of the Sick, celebrated on February 11, Feast of Our lady of Lourdes, provided the main theme for Benedict XVI's remarks before praying the Angelus this morning with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "Sickness," said the Pope, "is such a typical characteristic of the human condition that it can even become a realistic metaphor thereof. St. Augustine expresses this well in one of his prayers: 'Have mercy on me, Lord! See, I do not hide my wounds from You. You are my doctor, I am the sick man.' ... Christ is the true 'doctor' of humanity, Whom the heavenly Father sent into the world to cure mankind, marked in body and spirit by sin and the consequences of sin."

  The Holy Father then made reference to the Gospel of St. Mark, which is being read over these Sundays "and presents us with Jesus Who, at the beginning of His public ministry, dedicates Himself entirely to preaching and to curing the sick in the villages of Galilee. The innumerable prodigies He performs on the sick confirm the 'Good News' of the Kingdom of God."

  Today's specific Gospel text recounts the healing of a leper "and very effectively expresses the intensity of the relationship between God and man," the Pope said. "Here we see the entire history of salvation in concentrated form," he added.

  "That gesture of Jesus, Who stretches out His hand and touches the scarred body of the person who calls on Him, perfectly expresses God's will to restore His fallen creature to health, giving him back 'abundant life' - eternal, full and joyful life. Christ is 'the hand' of God reaching out to humanity, that it may escape from the quicksands of sickness and death, and stand on its own feet on the solid rock of divine love."

  The Pope concluded his remarks by entrusting "to Mary, 'Salus infirmorum,' all sick people, especially those who, all over the world, in addition to poor health, also suffer from solitude, poverty and marginalization."

  Following the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled that the 20th Winter Olympic Games are currently being held in the Italian city of Turin. "I hope this magnificent sporting competition may take place in accordance with the Olympic values of loyalty, joy and fraternity," he said, "thus contributing to peace among peoples."

  Finally, the Pope referred to the 75th anniversary of the inauguration of Vatican Radio, which falls today February 12, and to "the first radio message to the world, delivered by Pope Pius XI who commissioned the scientist Guglielmo Marconi to build the Vatican radio station. By means of radio, and later of television, it has been possible to bring the Gospel message and the words of the Popes to all peoples more quickly and easily."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 11, 2006 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 4.30 p.m. today, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 14th World Day of the Sick, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, celebrated Mass for the sick and for pilgrims of UNITALSI (Italian National Union for Transport of the Sick to Lourdes and International Shrines), and of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi.

  Following Mass, Benedict XVI arrived in the basilica to bless the sick and address some words to those present.

  The Pope recalled how "in the grotto of Massabielle, the Virgin showed the tenderness of God towards those who suffer. ... Appearing to Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception, Mary Most Holy came to remind the modern world, which risked forgetting, of the primacy of divine Grace which is stronger than sin and death."

  The Holy Father went on to refer to a congress held in the Australian city of Adelaide on February 9 and 10, promoted by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry on the theme: "Mental health and human dignity."

  "The human person," he said, "is a single entity the various dimensions of which may be distinguished but not separated. The Church always aims to consider persons in this light, and this concept characterizes both Catholic health care institutions, and the approach of those who work in them."

  Benedict XVI made a special appeal for those suffering mental illness and for their families: "We feel close to [people in] such situations, with our prayers and with the numerous initiatives implemented by the ecclesial community all over the world, especially in places where legislation is lacking, where public structures are insufficient and where natural disasters or, alas, war and armed conflict, create grave psychological trauma in individuals."

  "To all doctors, nurses and other health care workers, and all volunteers who work in this field, I would like today symbolically to consign the Encyclical 'Deus caristas est,' with the hope that God may ever remain alive in their hearts, so as to animate their daily work, their projects, their initiatives and above all their relationship with the sick. Acting in the name of charity and in the way of charity, you also offer your precious contribution to evangelization, because the announcement of the Gospel has need of coherent signs to confirm it. And these signs speak the language of universal love, a language that everyone can understand."

  The Pope concluded his address by calling on the Virgin Mary "to keep our hope alive so that, faithful to Christ's teaching, we may renew our commitment to raise up our brothers and sisters in their sickness. May the Lord ensure that people do not remain alone and abandoned at the moment of need but, rather, that they may experience even illness in accordance with human dignity."
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