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Wednesday, June 28, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - As previously announced, there will be no edition of VIS tomorrow, June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Friday, June 30.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Dominique Lebrun of the clergy of the diocese of Saint-Denis, France, archpriest of the cathedral and dean of Saint-Denis, as bishop of Saint-Etienne (area 3,000, population 575,540, Catholics 442,000, priests 187, permanent deacons 22, religious 284), France. The bishop-elect was born in Rouen, France in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1984. He succeeds Bishop Pierre Joatton, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Jacques Blaquart of the clergy of the diocese of Angouleme, France, vicar general, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bordeaux (area 10,000, population 1,288,311, Catholics 1,000,000, priests 288, permanent deacons 16, religious 594), France. The bishop-elect was born in Roumazieres, France in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Msgr. Barry Jones, administrator of the cathedral of the diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, as coadjutor of the same diocese (area 51,780, population 503,631, Catholics 62,715, priests 73, religious 155). The bishop-elect was born in North Canterbury, New Zealand in 1941 and ordained a priest in 1966.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - This evening, the Holy Father is due to receive in audience Archbishop Robert Sarah, emeritus of Conakry, Guinea, and secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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IN ORDER TO MARK THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ERECTION of the ecclesiastical province of Lithuania and the creation of the archdiocese of Kaunas, the Pope has written a message to Metropolitan Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius S.J. The ecclesiastical province "suffered under the blows of harsh Soviet persecution," writes the Holy Father, but, "thanks to the never failing help of God, the years of trial saw the blossoming of a real garden of witnesses and martyrs of the faith. After the fall of the communist dictatorship, the Lithuanian people regained their liberty and entered more deeply into the family of nations, bringing with them their own heritage of values."

THE OFFICE OF LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF today announced that at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 2, Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, metropolitan archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela will take possession of the tile of St. Mary ai Monti, Via della Madonna dei Monti 41, Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - For the occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families, due to be held in Valencia, Spain from July 1 to 9, Benedict XVI will concede Plenary Indulgence to those faithful who participate in any of the associated celebrations and in the closing ceremony, according to a decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary made public yesterday afternoon.

  The Holy Father will attend the closing ceremony of the meeting and hopes, the decree states, "that the many people from all over the world who come together in Valencia may participate enthusiastically and dutifully in the various initiatives and liturgical celebrations taking place there in favor of the family, and that, having returned to their own homes fortified by the grace of God, they may dedicate themselves generously to moulding their own families and those of their neighbors to the holy rules of the Gospel."

  Moreover, the decree continues, the Pope asks the Most Holy Trinity "that great benefit may be forthcoming to the Church; especially through profound reflection on the theme of the family, seat of life and of love, domestic church in which parents transmit to children the priceless gift of faith."

  "The Supreme Pontiff," the decree adds, "grants Plenary Indulgence to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin), if they participate in any of the solemn functions held in Valencia during the Fifth World Meeting of Families, and in the solemn closing ceremony.

  "All other faithful who are unable to participate in that event, may obtain the same gift of Plenary Indulgence, under the same conditions, over the days the meeting is held and on its closing day if, united in spirit and thought with the faithful present in Valencia, they recite in the family the 'Our Father,' the 'Creed,' and other devout prayers calling on Divine Mercy to concede the above-mentioned aims."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2006 (VIS) - The Apostle James the Less was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis at today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 40,000 people.

  The Pope recalled how James the Less "played a preeminent role within the Church in Jerusalem. ... In the apostolic council held there ... he affirmed, together with others, that pagans could be welcomed into the Church without first undergoing circumcision."

  "St. Paul," the Pope went on, "names him even before Peter as a 'pillar' of the Church," and "the Jewish-Christians considered him to be their principal point of reference." Together with Peter, he helped "to integrate the original Jewish dimension of Christianity with the need not to impose all the precepts of Mosaic Law upon pagan converts."

  "In this way, two significant and complementary results were achieved, both of them still valid: on the one hand, the indissoluble relationship linking Christianity and Judaism was recognized, ... on the other, Christians of pagan origin were allowed to maintain their own sociological identity. ... Thus began a process of reciprocal esteem and respect which, despite unfortunate later misunderstandings, sought by its nature to safeguard the characteristic elements distinguishing each of the two sides."

  The New Testament Letter attributed to this Apostle "places much emphasis on the need not to reduce one's own faith to a mere abstract or verbal declaration, but to express it solidly in works of charity. ... He calls us to constancy in trials, ... and to faithful prayer to God for the gift of wisdom, thanks to which we come to understand that the true values of life are not to be found in transitory riches, but rather in knowing how to share our own wealth with the poor and needy."

  Following his catechesis, Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims in various languages. Among the groups present were participants in a meeting promoted by the "Family of St. Luigi Orione," for the "Feast of the Pope" the theme of which is: "Many Hearts around the Pope, Evangelizer of Life." The Pope thanked them for this initiative and invited them "to continue bearing witness to the Gospel of life through all your institutions and activities, seeking especially to serve the weak and the needy."
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