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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Francois Xavier Maroy Rusengo, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 8,815, population 1,555,608, Catholics 895,023, priests 200, religious 668). The archbishop-elect was born in Bukavu in 1956, he was ordained a priest in 1984 and consecrated a bishop in 2005.

 - Appointed Bishop Benedito Beni dos Santos, auxiliary of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Lorena (area 5,055, population 267,000, Catholics 202,000, priests 46, permanent deacons 15, religious 66), Brazil.

 - Appointed Fr. Joao Mamede Filho O.F.M. Conv., rector of the philosophical seminary "Casa Sao Francisco" in Curitiba, Brazil, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,060,750, Catholics 5,154,347, priests 804, permanent deacons 8, religious 2,289), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Cacapava, Brazil in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1978.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2006 (VIS) - From April 21 to 25, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, made an official visit to Albania at the invitation of Besnik Mustafaj, foreign minister of that Balkan country.

  On Sunday, April 23, Archbishop Lajolo celebrated a solemn Mass in the cathedral of Tirana and recalled John Paul II's historic visit on April 25 1993, during which he consecrated four new bishops. On January 25, 2005 the late Pope reorganized the Catholic Church in Albania into two ecclesiastical provinces: one around the archdiocese of Tirane-Durres, and the other around the archdiocese of Shkodre-Pult. In the evening, Archbishop Lajolo paid a courtesy visit to the heads of the Muslim communities and was received by the prime minister, Sali Berisha.

  On Monday, April 24, the secretary for Relations with States was received by Alfred Moisiu, president of the Republic of Albania. That afternoon he travelled to Scutari (Shkodre) where he visited the national shrine of the Virgin of Good Counsel and presided at a solemn Eucharistic concelebration in the city's cathedral. He also visited the tombs of Albanian martyrs of the communist regime last century, among them that of Cardinal Mikel Koliqi.

  On the morning of April 25, prior to concluding his visit, Archbishop Lajolo met with His Beatitude Anastasios Yannoulatos, Orthodox archbishop of Tirana, Durazzo and all Albania.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2006 (VIS) - The program of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Poland was made public today. Between May 25 and 28 he is due to visit Warsaw, Czestochowa, Krakow, Wadowice, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and Auschwitz.

  The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8.40 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, arriving in Warsaw at 11 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony, he will hold a meeting with clergy in the cathedral of St. John. At 5.45 p.m. the Pope will pay a courtesy visit to the president of Poland in the presidential palace, before going on to participate in an ecumenical gathering at the Lutheran church of the Most Holy Trinity.

  On Friday, May 26, Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass in Warsaw's Pilsudski Square. In the afternoon, he will travel by helicopter to Czestochowa where he will visit the Shrine of the Virgin of Jasna Gora and meet with religious, seminarians and representatives from Catholic movements and institutes of consecrated life. He will then travel to Krakow where he will spend the night in the archbishop's place.

  The following day, the Pope will celebrate a private Mass in the archbishop's palace in Krakow before travelling by car to Wadowice. There he will visit the basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the house in which John Paul II was born, later meeting local inhabitants in the town's Rynek Square. At midday, he is due to visit the shrine of the Virgin of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. On his return to Krakow, he will visit the shrine of Divine Mercy and Wawel Cathedral and, at 7 p.m., meet with young people in the city's Blonie Park.

  At 9.45 a.m. on Sunday, May 28, Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass in Blonie Park, and pray the Regina Coeli. After lunch, he will travel by car from the archbishop's palace in Krakow to Auschwitz. After visiting the former concentration camp and the center for dialogue and prayer, he will participate in a prayer meeting in memory of victims in the former concentration camp of Birkenau.

  At 6.30 p.m., the Pope will travel directly from Birkenau to the Krakow's Balice airport. Following the departure ceremony, his plane will take off at 8 p.m. and is due to arrive in Rome at 9.15 p.m.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2006 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Pope recalled the explosion 20 years ago - on April 26, 1986 - of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine, considered the worst industrial and environmental accident in history.

  The Chernobyl explosion produced radioactive rain detectable in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and even the eastern United States. The radioactive fallout provoked irreparable damage to the environment, cancers, mutations, genetic deformation and a large number of deaths.

  "I feel the need," said the Holy Father, "to express my great appreciation for the families, associations, civil authorities and Christian communities who, over these years, have striven to house and care for the people, especially the children, struck by the consequences of that painful event.

  "As once again we pray for the victims of so immense a tragedy and for those who carry the signs on their bodies, we call on the Lord to enlighten the people responsible for the fate of humanity that they, through joint efforts, put all their energies at the service of peace, while respecting the needs of mankind and of nature."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2006 (VIS) - Ecclesial communion and the concept of tradition provided the theme for Benedict XVI's catechesis during today's general audience, which was held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 50,000 people.

  "Ecclesial communion - aroused and sustained by the Holy Spirit, safeguarded and promoted by the apostolic ministry - does not only extend to the believers of a particular historical period, but embraces all times and generations," said the Pope.

  "Thanks to the Paraclete," he continued, " the early apostolic community was able to experience the Risen Lord. Successive generations do the same, as the faith is transmitted and lived through faith, worship and the communion of the People of God. ... This transmission of the 'things' of salvation is what constitutes the apostolic tradition of the Church." The Holy Spirit "actualizes the salvific presence of the Lord Jesus, through the ministry of the apostles ... and through the entire life of the people of the new covenant."

  This ongoing actuality of the active presence of the Lord Jesus in His people - worked by the Holy Spirit and expressed in the Church through the apostolic ministry and fraternal communion - is the theological meaning of the term Tradition. It is not just a material transmission of what was originally given to the Apostles, but the effective presence of the Lord Jesus ... Who, in the Spirit, accompanies and guides the community He gathered."

  "Tradition," Pope Benedict concluded, "is the communion of the faithful around legitimate pastors over the course of history, a community nourished by the Holy Spirit. ... It is the organic continuity of the Church, ... the permanent presence of the Savior Who comes out to meet, redeem and sanctify us in the Spirit."
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