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Monday, July 17, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Douglas Young S.V.D., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 8,288, population 392,259, Catholics 144,745, priests 38, religious 91). The archbishop-elect was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1977 and ordained a bishop in 2000. He succeeds Archbishop Michael Meier S.V.D., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Jose Vilaplana Blasco of Santander, Spain, as bishop of Huelva (area 10,085, population 472,446, Catholics 453,548, priests 153, permanent deacons 8, religious 438), Spain. He succeeds Bishop Ignacio Noguer Carmona, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday, July 15, it was made public that the Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi C.S.C., auxiliary of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, as bishop of the same diocese (area 16,448, population 14,100,000, Catholics 68,963, priests 28, religious 124). He succeeds Bishop Francis Anthony Gomes, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Thomas Thuruthimattam C.S.T., superior general of the Little Flower Congregation, as bishop of the eparchy of Gorakhpur of the Syro-Malabars (area 19,070, population 17,120,000, Catholics 2,916, priests 57, religious 212), India. The bishop-elect was born in Aruvikuzhy, India in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1973. He succeeds Bishop Dominic Kokkat C.S.T., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

 - Appointed Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala, auxiliary of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, as bishop of El Vigia-San Carlos del Zulia (area 8,100, population 368,176, Catholics 357,130, priests 32, religious 38), Venezuela.

 - Appointed Bishop Gratian Mundadan C.M.I., of Bijnor of the Syro-Malabars, India, as apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malabars in India outside their "territorium proprium."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is presiding at a seminar dedicated to the theme: "The Search for Christian Unity: Where We Stand Today." The event has been jointly organized by the pontifical council, the office of ecumenical and inter-religious affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea.

  The aim of the seminar, being held in Seoul, South Korea, from July 17 to 21, "is to provide an opportunity for Asian bishops and others working in the field to reflect on the realities of ecumenical relations in Asian countries, and to develop effective pastoral approaches," says a communique from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity made public today.

  This seminar forms part of a series organized by the pontifical council to consider various themes associated with ecumenism. The first two seminars took place in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Dakar, Senegal, in July 2005 and "were aimed at presenting the principles of ecumenism and motivating participants to respond to the complex ecumenical situation" on the continent of Africa. Another seminar in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in September of the same year "focused on the issue of Pentecostalism and its growth in Brazil."

  "The seminars have been planned in response to the needs expressed by the bishops themselves to find a pastoral response to the emerging challenges, particularly the rapid growth of new religious movements (Pentecostal, Evangelical and Charismatic)", the communique explains.

  "The seminar in Seoul has been timed to coincide with the World Methodist Conference, to be held there from July 20 to 24. ... At this conference it is expected that the Methodist Churches will adopt the Joint Declaration on Justification agreed between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, and a solemn celebration of the Word of God will mark this extended agreement, to be signed in the presence of Cardinal Kasper and Rev. Ismael Noko, secretary general of the Lutheran World Federation."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2006 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in front of the house at Les Combes in Italy's Valle d'Aosta region which he is spending a brief holiday, the Pope called on people to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

  News coming from the Holy Land over the last few days is, said the Holy Father, "a cause of new and serious concern to everyone, especially for the increasing military activities in Lebanon and for the many victims among the civilian population. At the root of such pitiless contrasts there are, unfortunately, objective ... violations of rights and of justice. But neither terrorist acts or reprisals, especially when they have such tragic consequences on the civilian population, can be justified. Bitter experience shows that by following this path no positive results can be achieved.

  "Today," he added, "is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, a mountain in the Holy Land which, just a few kilometers from Lebanon, dominates the Israeli city of Haifa, also recently attacked.

  "Let us pray to Mary Queen of Peace," said Benedict XVI, "that she may implore from God the fundamental gift of harmony, bringing political leaders back to the way of reason and opening new possibilities of dialogue and understanding. With this in mind, I invite the local Churches to raise special prayers for peace in the Holy Land and in the entire Middle East."

  Going on to address the faithful in various languages, the Pope expressed the hope that the summer "may be a stimulus to recover the interior calm that enables us to discover with greater clarity the beauty of the many gifts we have received from God through nature, and to contemplate them in the family and with others in a spirit of friendship."

  In closing, the Pope greeted Italian-speaking individuals and groups, especially participants in a training course organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference for animators of pastoral care in families: "Whilst the memory of the World Meeting of Families recently held in Valencia, Spain, remains fresh, I renew my encouragement to Christian families that they may know how to live and transmit the joy of the faith to the new generations."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, more than 5,000 people prayed the Angelus with Benedict XVI at Les Combes, the resort in Italy's Valle d'Aosta region where the Pope is spending a brief holiday.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father addressed a greeting to the religious and civil authorities of the region, to the inhabitants of Les Combes and to holiday makers staying in the area. He also recalled John Paul II who had so often lodged in the same chalet as that in which he is currently staying.

  The Pope then remarked that today's liturgy commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and explained how the slopes of this mountain, on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, are full of natural caves, once used by hermits, including the prophet Elijah "who in the ninth century before Christ undertook a strenuous defense of the purity of faith in the one true God against the contamination of idolatrous cults.

  "Drawing inspiration from the figure of Elijah," he added, "the contemplative Order of Carmelites came into being, a religious family that numbers among its members such great saints as Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Theresa of the Child Jesus, and Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). The Carmelites encouraged devotion to the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel among Christian people, indicating in her a model of prayer, contemplation and devotion to God.

  "Indeed, Mary believed and experienced, before anyone else and insuperably, that Jesus, the Word incarnate, is the Summit, the pinnacle of man's meeting with God. Fully accepting His Word, she 'arrived happily at the holy mountain' and lives forever in soul and body with the Lord.

  "To the Queen of Mount Carmel, I wish today to entrust all communities of contemplative life throughout the world, especially those of the Carmelite Order. ... May Mary help each Christian to encounter God in the silence of prayer."
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