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Tuesday, May 2, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Gagnoa as Metropolitan Archbishop of Abidjan (area 3,810, population 2,540,000, Catholics 762,000, priests 258, religious 716, permanent deacons 1) in the Ivory Coast. He succeeds Cardinal Bernard Agre, whose resignation from the pastoral care from the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  Saturday April 29 was made public that the Holy Father appointed Msgr. Francis Assisi Chullikatt, as apostolic nuncio in Jordan and Iraq, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Bolghatty, India in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1978.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2006 (VIS) - Today, at 11:30am, a press conference was held at the Holy See Press Office on the occasion of the closure of the twelfth Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which took place at the Vatican  from April 28 to May 2. The session was dedicated to the theme "Vanishing Youth? Solidarity with Children and Young People in an Age of Turbulence".

  During the conference, Professor Mary Ann Glendon, president of this institution, explained that "the theme is part of a multi-year project of the Academy, which is examining the broad implications of the demographic changes of the last few decades". She said that "this opens up a new possibility for Catholic social teaching, which to date has not focused as explicitly on the situation of young people as it has, for example, on labor, or women, or those living in poverty".

  The plenary, always focusing around its central theme, also discussed the oppression and exploitation of the young population, called the "Demographic Winter" and the spiritual emptiness that "prevents deep ideals from taking hold". The participants also discussed how the twentieth century came to be known as the "children's century", because of the large number of international charters and treaties to protect young people.

  "No society, no culture", concluded Glendon, "can afford to suffer a 'vanishing youth', for with them would also vanish the real hope and noble ideals of every nation".
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2006 (VIS) - Next Sunday, May 7, at 9:00am in St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father will preside over Holy Mass, during which he will ordain 15 deacons from the diocese of Rome to the priesthood, according to a communique from the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2006 (VIS) - Following is a telegram of condolences from Pope Benedict XVI to the archbishop of Cordoba, Carlos Jose Nanez, regarding the death yesterday of Cardinal Raul Francisco Primatesta, Archbishop emeritus of Cordoba, Argentina.

  Upon learning of the sad news of the death of Cardinal Raul Francisco Primatesta, Archbishop emeritus of Cordoba, I offer my fervent prayers, united to the faithful of that diocesan community and to those of San Rafael, where Cardinal Primatesta previously exercised with faithfulness his episcopal ministry, asking God to grant eternal rest to he who, for so many years, was a diligent pastor.

  Remembering his selfless pastoral  work that distinguished his episcopal service in that nation, working for the implication of the doctrines of the Second Vatican Council and for the renewal of the Church in faithfulness to Christ and toward the successor of Peter, I express my condolences to you, the auxiliary bishop, the clergy, the religious communities and the faithful of this beloved archdiocese, and also to the Cardinal's family. At the same time I extend to the participants of the funeral mass, from my heart, the comfort of the apostolic blessing as a sign of Christian faith and hope in the Risen Lord.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 1, 2006 (VIS) - This afternoon Pope Benedict XVI visited the Sanctuary of "Divino Amore" (Divine Love), located south of Rome. He prayed the rosary before the image of the Virgin in the ancient sanctuary and afterward visited the new sanctuary, consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1999.
  Addressing the faithful present after prayer, the Holy Father expressed his joy to be able to renew "the experience of my beloved predecessor John Paul II, who on the first day of May twenty seven years ago, made his first visit as pope to this sanctuary".

  "We have prayed the Holy Rosary, recalling the five joyful mysteries that bring before our hearts the first events of the story of our salvation, from the conception of Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit until the finding of Jesus in the temple, when he was already twelve years old".

 After having related what he wrote in his encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" that "Mary is a woman who loves", Pope Benedict underlined that she is "the fruit and sign of God's love for us, of His tenderness and mercy. For this, united with our brothers in the faith throughout history and in all places, we direct to her all our needs and hopes, in the joyful and sorrowful vicissitudes of life. In these moments, I think of the families from the island of Ischia, victims of the landslide yesterday".

  "From this sanctuary, we hope for great spiritual assistance and support for the diocese of Rome, for me, her bishop, for the other bishops, my collaborators, for the priests, families and for vocations, for the poor, those who suffer, the sick, the children, the elderly, and for all of the beloved Italian nation".

  "We hope in a special way, for the inner strength necessary to complete the vow made by the Romans on June 4, 1944, when they solemnly petitioned the Virgin of Divine Love to rescue the city from the horrors of the war, and they were heard".

  On June 4 of that year, the image of the Virgin was exposed in the Roman church of Saint Ignatius to ask for the liberation of the city, then occupied by the Nazis. The Romans made the promise, recalled the pope, to "correct and improve their moral conduct so that it would conform to the Lord Jesus".

  "Also today, there is the need for a conversion to God, to Divine Love, so that the world may be liberated from wars and terrorism. We remember with sorrow the military officers killed last Thursday in Nasiriya, Iraq, whom we entrust to the maternal intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace."

 At the end of the discourse, the Holy Father returned via helicopter to the Vatican.


VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2006 (VIS) - This morning Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, presided over the beatification ceremony of two priests in the city's cathedral square. The newly beatified priests are Luigi Monza and Luigi Biraghi. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, read the formula for beatification on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.

  During the mass Cardinal Tettamanzi related that this was the first time in the history of the Ambrosian Church that a beatification ceremony was celebrated in the city of Milan.

  Fr. Monza (1898-1954) was imprisoned during the Fascist regime. In 1937 he founded the Secular Institute of the Little Apostles of Charity, a community of consecrated sisters who seek to instill in society, via their profession and apostolic service, the same charity of the early Christians. Their service to the community is carried out principally through a foundation called "Our Family", dedicated to physically handicapped children in various countries around the world.

  Monsignor Biraghi (1801-1879) was spiritual director of the Major Seminary of Milan. He focused intensely on acts of charity and providing support to various mission countries. In 1838 he founded the Sisters of Saint Marcellina, dedicated to the task of educating youth in Christianity and also to missionary activities in many countries.

  For his part, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, presided Sunday over the beatification ceremony of Fr. Augustine Thevarparampil (1891-1973), in Ramapuram, India. In this city, the "Kunjachan", or (little priest) as he was popularly known, was born. The majority of his priestly ministry took place in his own parish, the church of Saint Augustine in Ramapuram. He was one of three assistant priests of this church over the course of four decades. He baptized more than five thousand "dalits" or untouchables, the lowest among the low in the caste system in India, whom he always referred to as "my children".
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VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2006 (VIS) - Today at noon, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus with the thousands of pilgrims gathered there.

  "The liturgy during the Easter season" the pope said, "offers us many occasions to reinforce our faith in the resurrected Christ". The pope cited a passage from the Gospel of St. Luke retelling the encounter between Jesus and the disciples of Emmaus, and how they recognized Him at the breaking of the bread.

  "In this account and in others" explained the pontiff, "we are invited once again to dispel doubts and to believe in the resurrection of Christ. And so, the disciples are called to be witnesses to this extraordinary event. The resurrection of Christ is the central event of Christianity, a fundamental truth that we must reaffirm with vigor at all times, because to deny this truth, as has been attempted in the past and continues to this day, or to change the Resurrection into simply a spiritual fact, would make our faith in vain, as St. Paul affirms".

  "In the days that follow the Resurrection of the Lord, the apostles remained united, comforted by the presence of Mary, and after the Ascension they remained together with her waiting for Pentecost. The Virgin was for them both mother and teacher, a role that she continues to play for Christians throughout the ages. Each year, during the time of Easter, we live this experience more intensely and it was precisely this reason that tradition dedicates the month of May to Mary, which normally falls between Easter and Pentecost".
  "To Mary," concluded the pope, "we entrust the needs of the Church and the needs of all the world, especially in these times, marked by so much darkness".
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VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

- Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

- Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

- Monsignor Massimo Camisasca, superior general of the Priestly Society of Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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