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Friday, February 17, 2006


VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Msgr. Lorenzo Ghizzoni, director of the episcopal seminary of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and vice-director of the national vocational center, as auxiliary of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla (area 2,394, population 508,677, Catholics 485,527, priests 337, permanent deacons 67, religious 444), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Cognento, Italy in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1979.

 - Gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church meeting in Ain Traz, Lebanon, from February 6 to 11, 2006, of Archimandrite Elias Chacour, pastor of Ibillin and president of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions, as archbishop of Akka of the Greek-Melkites (Catholics 67,890, priests 39, religious 59), Israel. The archbishop-elect was born in Biram in 1939 and ordained a priest in 1965.
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the Conference of Bishops of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Maixent Coly of Ziguinchor, Senegal.

    - Bishop Martin Albert Happe M. Afr., of Nouakchott, Mauritania.

    - Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Mindelo, Cape Verde.

    - Bishop Paulino do Livramento Evora C.S.Sp., of Santiago de Cabo-Verde, Cape Verde.

    - Bishop Carlos Pedro Zilli P.I.M.E., of Bafata, Guinea-Bissau.

    - Bishop Jose Camnate na Bissign of Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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CARDINAL SECRETARY OF STATE ANGELO SODANO sent a telegram of condolence, in the name of the Holy Father, to Bishop Precioso D. Cantillas S.D.B., of Maasin, Philippines for the huge landslide which engulfed two villages in that country. The Holy Father offers fervent prayers for the dead, invoking divine consolation upon the relatives of the victims and calling for relief efforts to be swift and generous.

MIGUEL ANGEL MORATINOS, FOREIGN MINISTER OF SPAIN, met this morning with Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano. During the cordial meeting, bilateral relations between Spain and the Holy See were examined. The minister guaranteed the complete readiness of his government to welcome Benedict XVI when he visits the Spanish city of Valencia in July for the 5th International Meeting of Families, and invited the Holy See to support the Spanish-government initiative: "An Alliance of Civilizations between the Western World and the Arab-Islamic World."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received journalists and editors from the Italian magazine "Civilta Cattolica," which is run by the Jesuits, recalling that Blessed Pius IX had "perpetually instituted" the publication in 1850, "giving it a particular statue that established a special link with the Holy See."

  In order for the magazine to remain "faithful to its character and its duty," said the Pope, it must "continually renew itself, correctly interpreting 'the signs of the times'." Faced with the spread of "individualistic relativism and positivistic science, ... closed to God and His moral law though not always prejudiced against Christianity, ... Catholics are called to develop dialogue with modern culture, opening it up to the perennial values of transcendence."

  The Holy Father also indicated the "many signs of hope" in today's world, such as "a new sensitivity to religious values, ... renewed interest in Sacred Scripture, greater respect for human rights, and the desire to establish dialogue with other religions. In particular, faith in Jesus can help many to grasp the meaning of life and of the human adventure, giving them the points of reference that are often lacking in so frenetic and disoriented a world."

  In this context, Benedict XVI identified the mission of a magazine like "Civilta Cattolica" as being "to participate in the modern cultural debate, both to propose - seriously but also in a way accessible to all - the truths of Christian faith with clarity and faithfulness to the Church's Magisterium, and to defend, with no desire for controversy, the truth which is sometimes distorted by baseless accusations leveled against the ecclesial community."

  The Pope indicated Vatican Council II as a "beacon" to guide the magazine. "The doctrinal and pastoral wealth it contains," he said, "have not yet been fully assimilated by the Christian community, even though 40 years have passed since its conclusion."

  He concluded by saying that "Civilta Cattolica" must "divulge and support the action of the Church in all areas of her mission. The magazine must give particular emphasis to spreading the Church's social doctrine, one of the themes it has covered most fully in its 155 years of life."
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