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Thursday, July 6, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, presented by Bishop Ivan Tilak Jayasundera, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Fr. Gregory O'Kelly S.J., headmaster of the St. Ignatius College in Athelstone, Australia, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Adelaide (area 103,600, population 1,290,786, Catholics 275,174, priests 156, permanent deacons 3, religious 445), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Adelaide in 1941 and ordained a priest in 1972.

 - Appointed Fr. Markus Buchel of the clergy of the diocese of Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, dean of the cathedral chapter, as bishop of the same diocese (area 2,429, population 461,180, Catholics 268,555, priests 229, permanent deacons 19, religious 670). The bishop-elect was born in Ruthi, Switzerland in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1976.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

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

    - Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Josip Mrzljak, Vlado Kosic, and Valentin Pozaic S.J.

    - Bishop Slavomir Miklovs of Krizevci for Catholics of the Byzantine Rite.

    - Bishop Marin Srakic of Djakovo i Srijem, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Djuro Gasparovic and Djuro Hranic.

    - Archbishop Marin Barisic of Split-Makarska.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience three prelates from the Croatian Bishops' Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Mile Bogovic of Gospic-Senj.

    - Bishop Valter Zupan of Krk.

    - Bishop Zelimir Puljic of Dubrovnik.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2006 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, will present the consolidated financial statements of the Holy See for the year 2005. Accompanying the cardinal will be Bishop Franco Croci and Paolo Trombetta, respectively secretary and accountant general of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received prelates from the Croatian Bishops' Conference, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  In his address to them, the Holy Father expressed his contentment for the bishops' pastoral initiatives aimed at "solid preparation for the Sacraments and appropriate participation in the liturgy." He also mentioned their "commitment to religious formation and to high quality catechesis," and their concern "for traditional forms of devotion and frequent pilgrimages, especially to Marian shrines."

  After mentioning Croatia's desire to join the European Union, Benedict XVI pointed out how the nation could bring "the contribution of its own culture and its own traditions to a shared search for the full truth about man. ... It is essential that the construction of the common European home" rests upon that truth, and upon every individual's right to life, respect and religious freedom. "Upon these values it is possible to reach a consensus even with those people who, while not belonging to the Catholic Church, accept the voice of reason and are sensitive to the dictates of natural law."

  The Pope also highlighted that in order to counteract secularization and relativism "tireless announcement of evangelical values is necessary." In this context, he encouraged the prelates not to be afraid "to show the faithful what the Gospel teaches, putting them on their guard against values that run counter to it, so that your communities can stimulate all of society to pursue the common good and care for the needy."

  "Unfortunately," Pope Benedict went on, "your country is still feeling the consequences of the recent conflict, the negative effects of which are visible not only in the economy but also in the souls of the inhabitants. ... Always be announcers of reconciliation and workers for peace among the citizens of your country, encouraging them to follow the path of Christian reconciliation. Forgiveness frees, in the first place, those who have the courage to grant it."

  Benedict XVI called on the Croatian bishops to be "generous in serving the Church and your people, persevering in prayer and full of zeal in announcement. Pay particular attention to the formation of priests; ... promote priestly vocations and take watchful care of your seminarians. I exhort you to guide, with love and a spirit of mutual collaboration, religious communities and movements of both consecrated and lay life."

  The Pope told the prelates to continue to promote "faithful love, harmony, and daily prayer" in families, "encouraging them to a generous openness to life," then emphasized the importance of the presence of Catholics "in public life, and in the communications media." It is up to them, he concluded, "to ensure that a voice of truth is heard on the problems of the day."
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