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Wednesday, May 24, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 (VIS) - As previously advised, there will be no VIS service tomorrow, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and a holiday in the Vatican. VIS will resume on Friday, May 26.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Hugo Manuel Salaberry S.J., president of the Higher Council of Catholic Education, as bishop of Azul (area 64,210, population 469,000, Catholics 418,000, priests 71, permanent deacons 21, religious 120), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in San Andres de Giles, Argentina in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1985. He succeeds Bishop Emilio Bianchi di Carcano, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Diomedes Espinal de Leon, auxiliary of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, as bishop of Mao-Monte Cristi (area 4,841, population 400,000, Catholics 385,000, priests 35, permanent deacons 6, religious 78), Dominican Republic. He succeeds Bishop Jeronimo Tomas Abreu Herrera, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Roberto Rodriguez of Villa Maria, Argentina, as bishop of La Rioja (area 92,100, population 313,365, Catholics 278,895, priests 37, religious 67), Argentina.

 - Appointed Msgr. Oscar Vicente Ojea, pastor of the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buenos Aires, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Buenos Aires (area 203, population 2,763,000, Catholics 2,530,000, priests 868, permanent deacons 4, religious 2,340), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1972.

 - Appointed Fr. Broderick Sonsuaco Pabillo S.D.B., of the clergy of the apostolic vicariate of Puerto Princesa, Philippines, pastor of the parish of St. Ezekiel Moreno in Puerto Princesa City, as auxiliary of Manila (area 117, population 2,993,000, Catholics 2,719,781, priests 482, permanent deacons 2, religious 1,138), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in Victoria City, Philippines in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1982.

 - Appointed Fr. Peter Stumpf S.D.B., pastor and dean of Rakovnik, as auxiliary of the metropolitan archdiocese of Maribor (area 7,418, population 824,855, Catholics 702,916, priests 397, permanent deacons 4, religious 229), Slovenia. The bishop-elect was born in Beltinci, Slovenia in 1962, and ordained a priest in 1990
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Thursday, Benedict XVI will leave the Vatican on an apostolic trip to Poland, the second of his pontificate following last August's visit to Germany. In Poland, from May 25 to 28, he will visit Warsaw, Czestochowa, Krakow, Wadowice, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and Auschwitz.

  The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8.40 a.m., arriving in Warsaw at 11 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony at Warsaw's Okecie airport, he will travel by popemobile to the city's cathedral of St. John - which John Paul II visited five times - where he will hold a meeting with clergy.

  Following lunch at the archbishop's palace of Miodowa, Benedict XVI will go to the apostolic nunciature. At 5.45 p.m. he is due to pay a courtesy visit to the president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, in the presidential palace.

  Leaving the presidential palace at 6.45 p.m., he will travel to the Lutheran church of the Most Holy Trinity where he is due to meet with delegates of the seven Churches form the Polish Ecumenical Council - established in 1946 by the Lutheran pastor, Zygmunt Mitchelis - and with representatives of other religions.

  The Lutheran church of the Most Holy Trinity was built in 1781 in a poor area on the outskirts of Warsaw. In 1939, during the Second World War, its wooden dome was destroyed, to be replaced some years later with a steel one. However, the communist authorities prohibited the use of the church as a place of worship and banned the placement of a cross atop the dome. The building was used as a concert hall. At the end on the Stalinist era, in 1956, the evangelical community was able to recoup its church.

  Following the ecumenical meeting, the Pope will return to the apostolic nunciature, where he will spend the night.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope mentioned his forthcoming apostolic trip to Poland, "homeland of the beloved John Paul II." There, he said, "I will visit the places of his life and of his priestly and episcopal ministry."

  After giving thanks to God for "the opportunity of fulfilling a desire I have long held in my heart," the Holy Father invited those present "to accompany me with your prayers on this apostolic trip which I undertake with great hope, and which I entrust to the Virgin Mary, so venerated in Poland. May she guide my steps that I may confirm the beloved Catholic community of Poland in the faith, encouraging it to face the challenges of the present time with incisive evangelical action."

  "May Mary," he concluded, "ensure that the entire nation is granted a renewed springtime of faith and civil progress, while conserving the memory of my great predecessor."
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 (VIS) - In his general audience today, Benedict XVI continued his catechesis dedicated to the personality of the Apostles, focussing again on the figure of Peter. The audience was held in St. Peter's Square and attended by 35,000 people.

  The Pope began by recalling the miracles of the loaves and the fishes, which Christ later interpreted "not in the sense of regality over Israeli, in the way the crowd had hoped, but in the sense of the giving of self. ... Jesus announced the cross, and with the cross the Eucharistic bread: His absolutely new way of being king."

  "We can understand that these words of the Master, as all His behavior, were difficult for people to accept, even for the disciples," said the Holy Father. Peter's faith, he added, "was still a nascent faith, a developing faith. It would acquire true fullness only through his experience of the events of Easter. Yet it was already faith, open to a greater reality, above all because it was not faith in something, but faith in Someone: in Him, in Christ."

  The Holy Father went on: "Nonetheless, Peter's impetuous generosity did not safeguard him from the risks of human weakness. ... The moment came in which even he gave in to fear and crumbled. He betrayed the Master. The school of faith is not a triumphal march but a road beset with suffering and with love, with trials and with faithfulness, to be renewed day after day.

  "Peter, who had promised absolute faithfulness, knew the bitterness and humiliation of denial; the proud man learns the cost of humility at his own expense. ... When the mask finally fell and he understood the truth in his weak believing-sinner's heart, he burst into liberating tears of penance, after which he was ready for his mission."

  One day, on the shores of Lake Tiberias, "that mission was entrusted to him by the Risen Jesus," as St. John recounts. The dialogue between Peter and Jesus, the Pope observed, "contains a very significant play of verbs. In Greek, the verb 'fileo' expresses the love of friendship, tender but not total, while the verb 'agapao' means unreserved, complete and unconditional love. The first time, Jesus asks Peter: 'Simon, do you love Me? (agapas-me?).'

  "Prior to his experience of betrayal, the Apostle would certainly have replied: 'I love You (agapo-se).' Now that he has known the bitter sadness of infidelity, the drama of his own weakness, he simply says: 'Lord, I love you (filo-se),' in other words, 'I love you with my poor love.' ... Simon had understood that his poor love, the only one of which he was capable, was enough for Jesus. ... We could almost say that Jesus had adapted Himself to Peter, rather than Peter to Jesus."

  Pope Benedict continued: "It was precisely this divine adaptation that gave hope to the disciple. ... From that day, Peter followed the Master with a specific awareness of his own frailty. But this knowledge did not discourage him; he knew he could count on the presence of the Risen One at his side."

  He concluded: "From the ingenuous enthusiasm of the outset, passing through the painful experience of denial and the tears of conversion, Peter came to trust himself to the Jesus Who had adapted Himself to his own poor capacity to love. It was a long journey that made him a reliable witness, because constantly open to the action of the Spirit in Jesus. Peter would describe himself as 'a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed'."
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