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Monday, July 3, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 3, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Three prelates from the Croatian Bishops' Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Ivan Prendja of Zadar.

    - Archbishop Ivan Devcic of Rijeka.

    - Bishop Ivan Milovan of Porec i Pula.

  On Saturday, July 1, he received in audience Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2006 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today with thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke of the "growing concern" with which he was following events in Iraq and the Holy Land.

  "Faced, on the one hand, with blind violence that provokes appalling massacres and, on the other, with the threat of a worsening of the crisis which over the last few days has become even more dramatic, what is needed is justice and a serious and credible commitment to peace, which unfortunately are nowhere to be seen.

  "For this reason," the Holy Father added, "I invite everyone to join in faithful and persistent prayer: may the Lord illuminate hearts and may no one evade their duty to construct peaceful coexistence, recognizing that all men are brothers, whatever the people to which they belong."

  The Pope then recalled that in Moscow, Russia, from July 3 to 5 "an important summit meeting of religious leaders" is taking place, "organized by the inter-religious council of Russia. At the invitation of the Patriarch of Moscow, the Catholic Church is taking part with its own delegation. I wish to communicate my most cordial greetings to His Holiness Alexis II and to all the participants."

  Benedict XVI went on: "This important meeting of so many religious leaders of the world, is a sign of a shared desire to promote dialogue between civilizations and a search for a more just and peaceful world order. I hope that, with sincere commitment on everyone's part, areas for effective collaboration may be identified, while maintaining respect and mutual understanding, in order to face up to today's challenges.

  "For Christians," the Pope added, "this means learning to know one another even more profoundly and to esteem one another, in the light of man's dignity and his eternal destiny. Giving assurances of my prayers to God that He may render the summit's work fruitful, upon everyone I invoke abundant blessings from heaven."

  Turning then to address French pilgrims, the Pope said: "May the holidays be a period for rest and of more intense family life, in order to strengthen ties between generations, especially enabling young people to talk with adults upon essential questions of faith and the meaning of life."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2006 (VIS) - The Fifth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Valencia, Spain next Saturday and Sunday in the Pope's presence, was the theme of Benedict XVI's comments before praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square at midday today. Today's Angelus was the Pope's last before his apostolic trip to Valencia and his summer holidays, which he is due to spend in Italy's Valle d'Aosta region.

  The Holy Father recalled that the first such gathering of families took place in Rome in 1994 on the occasion of the International Year of the Family promoted by the United Nations. It was then that John Paul II wrote his famous Letter to Families. Subsequent World Meetings of Families have been held in Rio de Janeiro (1997), Rome (2000) for the occasion of the Jubilee of Families, and Manila (2003). "It is important," Pope Benedict said, "that today's families also hear the memorable appeal launched 25 years ago in the Apostolic Exhortation 'Familiaris consortio' by John Paul II: 'Family, become what you are!'."

  The Holy Father proceeded: "The theme of the forthcoming Valencia meeting is the transmission of faith within the family. This is what has inspired the motto of my apostolic visit to that city: 'Families, live and transmit the faith!' In so many of today's secularized communities, the primary need for believers in Christ is precisely that of renewing the faith of adults, that they may become capable of communicating that faith to the new generations. At the same time, the path of Christian initiation of babies and children can become a useful occasion for parents to draw near the Church once more, and deepen their knowledge of the beauty and truth of the Gospel.

  "The family," he added, "is a living organism in which a reciprocal exchange of gifts takes place, what is important is that the Word of God, which keeps the flame of faith alive, should never be lacking. During the rite of Baptism, in an extremely significant gesture, the father or godfather lights a candle at the great Easter candle, symbol of the risen Christ; then, addressing the members of the family, the celebrants says: 'ensure that your baby, illuminated by Christ, always lives as a child of the light'."

  The Pope concluded: "In order to be authentic, that gesture - which contains all the significance of the transmission of faith within the family - must be preceded and accompanied by the commitment of parents to deepen their knowledge of their own faith, reviving its flame through prayer and the assiduous practice of the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for July is: "That all those who are in prison, and especially young people, may receive the necessary support from society to help them rediscover a sense to their own existence."

  His mission intention is: "That, in the mission territories, different ethnic and religious groups may live in peace and together build a society inspired by human and spiritual values."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2006 (VIS) - During an Ordinary Public Consistory held this morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI decreed that on October 15 he will canonize the following four Blesseds:

  Rafael Guizar Valencia (1878-1938), bishop; Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923), priest, founder of the Institute of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart; Rosa Venerini (1656-1728), virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the "Maestre Pie Venerini;" Teodora Guerin, nee Anne-Therese (1798-1856), virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary "ad Nemus" (Saint Mary of the Woods).
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