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Wednesday, May 3, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father

- Appointed Archbishop Andrea Mugione of Crotone-Santa Severina, as metropolitan archbishop of Benevento, (area 1,691, population 267,000, Catholics 265,000, priests 254, permanent deacons 26, religious 414), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Serafino Sprovieri, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Accepted the resignation of Bishop Godefroy Mukeng'a Kalond, C.I.C.M., of the Archdiocese of Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Eloi Roggia of the Society of Catholic Apostolate as bishop of the Territorial Prelature of Borba, (area 150,000, population 180,000, Catholics 145,000, priests 11, permanent deacons 1, religious 10), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Faxinal do Soturno, Brazil in 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1971. He succeeds Archbishop Jose Afonso Ribeiro, T.O.R., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same territorial prelature, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2006 (VIS) - "Returning a Soul to Europe", is the theme of a conference taking place in Vienna, Austria from May 3 to May 5. The conference plans to discuss Christian culture and has been organized, for the first time, jointly by the Holy See and the patriarch of Moscow.

  Accordingly, Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent a message in the name of the Holy Father to the participants. In the message, he underlines that "the Church, expert in humanity, cannot forget that only through fully preserving and appreciating the patrimony of the values transmitted from its ancestors can Europe, recognizing the diverse spiritual traditions that enrich it, write a new page in its history that respects the dignity of the human person, definitively prohibiting violence and abuses against human rights, which seriously obstruct the integral development of nations and contaminate the heart of the human being, considerably grieving the heart of the Creator".   

  According to a communique made public yesterday, "this meeting is the fruit of Cardinal Paul Poupard's visit to His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow, in November of 2004. Cardinal Poupard is the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The conference was born in the common concern shared by Christians in Europe to confront the Continent's loss of identity, to reflect on the Christian people of Europe, and to propose a plan for the future.

  Presiding will be Cardinal Poupard and Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. The meeting has been made possible thanks to support from the foundation "Pro Orient", located in Vienna. Experts from all over the Continent, lay and religious, are participating, having been chosen by the two groups that have called the initiative together.

  Among the themes to be discussed over the three days of the conference will be: "Europe: The Churches before the Challenges of Globalization and Modernity, Religious Sects, New Forms of Disbelief and Religious Indifference"; "The Influence of the Christian Ethic in Politics, Economy and the Means of Communication"; and  "Dialogue among the Churches with other Religions and the Humanism of Secularized Cultures".


VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2006 (VIS) - After greeting the crowds at the end of his general audience, celebrated today in St. Peter's Square, the pope acknowledged the Polish pilgrims, especially numerous today.

  Pope Benedict XVI commented that "for the Church in Poland, as in the entire nation, this is a particularly solemn day, as the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Mother of God, Queen of Poland. This year is the 350th anniversary of King Jan Kazimierz's assigning this title to the Virgin. Furthermore, the Polish nation remembers the 1791 ratification of the Constitution on May 3, which expresses great hopes for the renovation of political and social life."

  The Holy Father greeted the Polish bishops gathered in Jasna Gora and all of the faithful. "I confide the preparations for my pilgrimage to Poland to your prayers," he concluded, "I bless you all".
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2006 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience to the Apostolic Tradition, a theme of "great relevance in the life of the Church". The audience in St. Peter's Square numbered 52,000 people.

  "The Vatican Council affirms that the Tradition is 'apostolic', above all in its origins", explained the pope, "God ... willed to reveal it so that the salvation of souls may be integrally transmitted to all generations ... For this, Christ, in Whom the will of God is completed, sent the apostles to preach ... the Gospel as a source of all truth and moral law".

  The apostles, "heads of an eschatological Israel were twelve, as were the tribes of the chosen people", and this number "not only expresses the continuation of the holy race, the twelve tribes of Israel, but also the universal destiny of its ministry".

  "The community, born from the pronouncement of the Gospel by those who were first with the Lord ... can rely on the leadership of the twelve, as did those who little by little united themselves with the successors in the ministry of the Word and service toward the community. Nevertheless, one feels compelled to transmit to others the 'Good News' of the Lord's presence".

  "The Tradition", continued the Holy Father, "is the living Gospel pronounced in its integrity by the apostles ... through their work the faith was communicated to others and has arrived to us, until the end of the world. The Tradition is ... the history of the Spirit, working in the life of the Church through the apostles and their successors, in faithful continuity with the original experience".

  Citing the Gospel of St. Matthew, Pope Benedict XVI explained that the apostolic mandate "implies a pastoral service ('make disciples of all nations'), a liturgical service ('baptizing them'), and a prophetic service ("teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you') guaranteeing closeness to the Lord until the end of the ages ('I am with you always until the end of time')".

  "Thanks to the apostolic ministry," he concluded, "Christ Himself comes to one who is called to the faith, overcoming the distance of the ages and offering Himself, living and working, today in the Church and the world".
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