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Tuesday, March 7, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAR 7, 2006 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Manuel Tavares de Araujo, emeritus of Caico, Brazil, on February 17, at the age of 93.

 - Bishop Ivan Choma, procurator in Rome to the major archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians, on February 3, at the age of 82.

 - Bishop Florencio Coronado Romani C.SS.R., emeritus of Huancavelica, Peru, on February 25, at the age of 97.

 - Bishop Alexander Soetandio Djajasiswaja of Bandung, Indonesia, on January 19, at the age of 74.

 - Bishop Roger Froment, emeritus of Tulle, France, on February 10, at the age of 77.

 - Archbishop Paul Casimir Marcinkus, former pro-president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, on February 21, at the age of 84.

 - Bishop Michael Francis McAuliffe, emeritus of Jefferson City, U.S.A., on January 9, at the age of 85.

 - Bishop Carlos Schmitt O.F.M., emeritus of Dourados, Brazil, on January 16, at the age of 86.

 - Bishop Marko Sopi, apostolic administrator of Prizren, Srbija i Crna Gora, on January 11, at the age of 67.

 - Archbishop David de Sousa O.F.M., emeritus of Evora, Portugal, on February 5, at the age of 94.

 - Bishop Desmond A. Williams, former auxiliary of Dublin, Ireland, on February 24, at the age of 75.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 7, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI sent a Message to Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia and president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, for the occasion of the Fraternity Campaign traditionally promoted by the Brazilian Church during Lent.

  In his Message, written in Portuguese, the Pope mentions the theme of this year's campaign - "Fraternity and Disabled People" - which, he writes, "promotes reflection and is an encouragement to renew the commandment to charity with greater force, especially towards people suffering some form of disability."

  What is needed, the Pope continues, is not simply "an attitude of tenderness and consolation," but the complete insertion into society of these "our brothers and sisters in Christ."

  Benedict XVI continues by affirming that "even when the problems [of disabled people] touch their minds or their sensorial and intellective capacities, they remain fully human, with the sacred and inalienable rights that belong to humans. Indeed, human beings, irrespective of the conditions in which they live and of the capacities they are capable of expressing, possess unique and extraordinary worth from the very beginning of their existence to the moment of natural death."

  The Pope also highlights that "to assume the dignity that God wished for us - which is an intrinsic part of this life - means adopting attitudes of commitment, at times heroic and worthy of eternal reward, not only for those who undergo such suffering, but also for those who help the most needy."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 7, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano sent a telegram, in the Pope's name, to Bishop Cesare Bonicelli of Parma, Italy, calling for the liberation of the 17-month-old boy Tommaso Onofri, who was taken by force from his parents' home near Parma on March 2.

  "The Supreme Pontiff unites himself to Your Excellency's appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of little Tommaso Onofri, expressing his intense solidarity to parents and family members struck by such acute anguish for the brutal kidnapping of their relative. And, while entrusting the child to the special maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin, he gives assurances of special recollections in his prayers and sends a heartfelt and comforting apostolic blessing."
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