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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Friday, May 12, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Georges Pontier of La Rochelle, France, as metropolitan archbishop of Marseille (area 650, population 993,000, Catholics 703,000, priests 311, permanent deacons 22, religious 779), France. The archbishop-elect was born in Lavaur, France in 1943, he was ordained a priest in 1966 and consecrated a bishop in 1988. He succeeds Cardinal Bernard Panafieu, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Jacques Diouf, director general of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), accompanied by an entourage.

 - Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.

 - Archbishop Fernando Filoni, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.

 - His Royal Highness Duke Franz of Bavaria, accompanied by an entourage.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Toledo, Spain, will take possession of the title of St. Pancras, in Piazza San Pancrazio 5, Rome, at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday May 21, and not on Sunday May 14 as previously announced.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York yesterday participated in a series of informal consultations of the plenary of the General Assembly on counter-terrorism strategy.

  The archbishop began his English-language talk by recalling how, at the beginning of this year, the Pope had called on all men and women of good will to unite their efforts in order to overcome the phenomenon of terrorism and build a just and peaceful coexistence.

  In analyzing terrorism, said Archbishop Migliore, the Pope feels that "consideration should be given not only to its political and social causes but also to its deeper cultural, religious and ideological motivations." for this reason, the Holy See "is pleased to note that" the United Nations report on the subject "incorporates a cultural and religious component in its global strategy."

  "The Holy See," he went on, "is willing to support initiatives that encourage believers to be agents of peace. ... Moreover, when religion's true nature is rightly understood and lived out, it can become part of the solution rather than the problem." Therefore, the United Nations should "encourage religions to make this important contribution on their own terms: that is, religions are called to create, support and promote the precondition of every encounter, every dialogue, and of every understanding of pluralism and cultural difference. That precondition ... is the dignity of the human person.

  "Our common human dignity is a true precondition because it comes before every other consideration or methodological principle, even those of international law. We see it in the 'Golden Rule,' found throughout the religions of the world."

  "Encouraging awareness and experience of this common heritage ... will surely help in the translation of this positive vision into political and social categories which will, in their turn, inform the juridical categories linked to national and international relations."

  The permanent observer also recalled how "the political, social and economic exclusion of immigrant communities stokes the frustration of young people and has led to breakdowns in order in some places; but the demand for a just solution to these questions remains a legitimate one.

  "By resolving such questions, swiftly and justly, nations can rob terrorists of the oxygen of hatred and of grievances, real or imagined, by which they attempt to legitimize their evil deeds and recruit the impressionable."

  Archbishop Migliore concluded his talk by highlighting the fact that "counter-terrorism must be characterized by denying the moral high ground to terrorists. This is just one reason why the treatment of terrorists and suspects should be according to international humanitarian norms."
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (VIS) - Tomorrow, May 13, 89th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima, and 25th anniversary of the attack against John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, a copy of the statue of the Virgin from that famous Portuguese shrine will return to the Vatican.

  For the occasion, more than 20,000 pilgrims will gather in Rome in order to participate in the 2nd World Day of Pilgrims, being promoted by the "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi."

  The statue of the Virgin will arrive by helicopter at Castel Sant'Angelo on Saturday afternoon whence the pilgrims, led by Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India, will accompany it in procession along Via della Conciliazione and into St. Peter's Basilica. In crossing St. Peter's Square, the procession will halt for a moment at the point in which John Paul II was shot.

  In the basilica, after praying the rosary, the pilgrims will participate in a Eucharistic celebration presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar general for the diocese of Rome and president of "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi."

  After the Mass a celebration in honor of John Paul II will be held in St. Peter's Square, concluding with a firework display.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2006 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the community of the college of Santa Maria dell'Anima. The institution is celebrating the sixth centenary of its foundation by the Bull of Pope Innocent VII, who exonerated it from all jurisdiction save that of the Pope, and took it under his own personal protection. Santa Maria dell'Anima houses German-speaking priests studying in the pontifical universities of Rome, and is linked with the Roman church of the same name, center of the German-speaking Catholic community in the Italian capital.

  "Ever since its inception," said the Pope in German, "two traits have characterized this institution: veneration for the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and a special link with the Holy See. ... Mary extends her hands to protect the souls of pilgrims, both those on the road of life, and those on the road to Rome."

  "Since 1859, during the time of my predecessor Blessed Pope Pius IX," the Holy Father continued, "this institution has ensured that its resident priests and seminarians obtain a full understanding of 'romanitas Ecclesiae,' ... and the German-speaking community in Rome has its home in Santa Maria dell'Anima. Thus, Catholics from those lands have the opportunity of praying, singing and receiving the Sacraments in their own language."

  The Pope concluded by inviting the priests and the heads of the institution to give priority, among all their activities, "to sacramental life," and to continue to be a spiritual beacon for the Italian capital city.
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