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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAR 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Jose Maria Arancibia of Mendoza, Argentina, as member of the Special Council for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 21, 2006 (VIS) - On Friday, March 24, Benedict XVI will celebrate his first Ordinary Public Consistory, during which he will create 15 new cardinals. Including the newcomers the College of Cardinals will, on that day, have 193 members of whom 120, those under the age of 80, enjoy the right to participate in a conclave for the election of a new Pope.

  Following Friday's consistory Europe will have 100 cardinals of whom 60 have the right to vote, while the Americas will have 52 cardinals (20 from North America and 32 from South America) with 36 electors. There will be 17 African cardinals with 9 electors, 20 Asian cardinals with 13 electors, and four cardinals from Oceania with 2 electors.

  Italy remains the country with the largest number of cardinals, 40 in all including three who will be created on March 24. It is followed by the United States with 15 cardinals , and by France and Spain with nine each.

  Friday's consistory will take place according to the new rite introduced at the consistory of June 28, 1991. After a liturgical greeting, the Holy Father will read the formula of creation and solemnly proclaim the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals, in the name of all the others, will address the Pope.

  Following the Liturgy of the Word, the Holy Father will deliver a homily. There will then be the profession of faith and taking of the oath by the new cardinals, the imposition of the red "biretta" or hat and assignment of the titular or diaconate church in Rome as a sign of participation in the Pope's pastoral concern for the city.

  The Holy Father will hand over the Bull of Creation as cardinal and that of assignment of titular or diaconate church, and exchange an embrace of peace with the new cardinals. The cardinals will then do the same with each other. The rite will conclude with the prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 21, 2006 (VIS) - This year's annual plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, due to be held on March 27 and 28, will be dedicated to the "Via pulchritudinis," in other words, to beauty as a way to evangelization and dialogue.

  "Alongside the traditional proofs for the existence of God - the five 'ways' - 'pulchrum' has also recently affirmed itself as a path to reach God, supreme beauty, and to transmit something of God's life to mankind, both through the wonder of nature and through artistic creation", reads a communique made public today by the pontifical council.

  "In a time distrustful of powerful truths, one that doubts the existence of universal goodness, beauty can be seen as a meeting place between people of different cultures, as the first stage on a journey that leads to the rediscovery of 'verum' and 'bonum'."

  The plenary assembly, which will be attended by cardinals, bishops, priests and lay people from the five continents, will consider three broad questions: the beauty of nature, the beauty of art, and the beauty of Christian sanctity. Starting from the basis of theological aesthetics, and in the wake of the great thinkers of the 20th century, attention will also be given to "the great challenges of the Church at the beginning of this century, the threats of a new laicism and of religious indifference; the mirage of beauty in sects and in new religious movements; the contemplation of creation and new debates concerning evolution and the protection of nature; the use of Christian artistic heritage with a view to the new evangelization; the beauty of the liturgy and, ultimately, sanctity."
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