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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 13, 2006 (VIS) - On June 22, 2006, for the occasion of the issue of a series of special stamps dedicated to "St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican 1506 - 2006," the Vatican Post Office will use a special postmark bearing an image of the basilica, a reference to the 500th anniversary, and the words: "DIE EMISSIONIS" and "POSTE VATICANE - 22 GIUGNO."

  Moreover, to mark Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to the Spanish city of Valencia on July 8 and 9, where he will participate in the Fifth World Meeting of Families, on those two days the Vatican Post Office will use another special postmark depicting the Holy Father's coat of arms and the words "BENEDICTVS XVI FAMILIAS CONVENIT VALENTIAE" and "POSTE VATICANE 8-9 LUG. 2006."
.../SPECIAL POSTMARKS/...                            VIS 20060613 (140)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 13, 2006 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Valencia, Spain , his third visit outside Italy as Pope which is due to take place on July 8 and 9, statistics concerning the Spanish Catholic Church have been released. The information, updated to December 31, 2004, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.

  Spain has a population of 41.9 million, of whom 39.4 million (94.1 percent) are Catholic. There are 70 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 22,599 parishes and 4,428 pastoral centers of other kinds. Currently, there are 132 bishops, 26,330 priests, 60,079 religious, 3,229 lay members of secular institutes and 102,973 catechists. Minor seminarians number 2,483, and major seminarians 2,259.

  A total of 1,578,609 children and young people attend 5,882 centers of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church, or run by priests or religious in Spain include 97 hospitals, 113 clinics, 943 homes for the elderly or disabled, 549 orphanages and nurseries, 108 family counseling centers and other pro-life centers, and 2,405 centers for education and social rehabilitation.
OP/STATISTICS SPAIN/...                            VIS 20060613 (190)

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