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Monday, September 4, 2006


VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2006 (VIS) - Following is a chronological presentation of Holy See-related activities for the month of August:

- 12: Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and International Institutions in Geneva, intervened in the Second Special Session of the Council for Human Rights, dedicated to the situation in Lebanon.

- 16: Conclusion of the visit to Lebanon by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, whom the Pope had sent to that country.

- 23: Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano sent a Letter in the Pope's name to participants in the 57th Italian National Liturgical Week, being celebrated in Varese from August 21 to 25.

- 31: Publication of a communique from the eighth meeting of the Special Council for Oceania of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. The meeting was held in Suva, Fiji Islands on August 4 and 5 and considered the implementation of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Oceania."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2006 (VIS) - Following is a list of Pope Benedict's activities during the month of August. It includes the Angelus, general and private audiences, other pontifical acts, letters, messages, telegrams and other news. The activities are presented in chronological order under their respective headings.


- 6: From Castelgandolfo, the Pope commented on the evangelical episode of the Transfiguration, highlighting how it invites us to open our eyes to the mystery of the light of God, present throughout the history of salvation. He also recalled Pope Paul VI who died on August 6, 1978.

- 13: The Holy Father remarked that holidays are a "precious opportunity" to dedicate more time to human contact and religious experience. He also recalled the conflict in the Middle East, expressing the hope that peace may prevail over violence and the force of arms.

- 15: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy Father emphasized how the Assumption is Mary's triumph, in which Christian people, on their pilgrimage though history, recognize the fulfillment of their expectations and a sure sign of their hope. He mentioned Eucharistic celebrations in favor of peace in Harissa, Lebanon and in Nazareth, and recalled the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and the continual bloodshed in Iraq.

- 20: The Pope recalled the figure of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, whose feast day falls today. The saint's theology, he said, is characterized by its clear and incisive presentation of the truths of the faith. The Holy Father also highlighted how, as St. Bernard said, it is necessary to guard against the dangers of excessive activity in all fields because this is often accompanied by "hardness of heart."

- 27: In this last Angelus of the month of August, Benedict XVI considered St. Monica and her son St. Augustine, whose feast days fall today and tomorrow respectively. The life of the former, said the Pope, invites mothers not to despair over the problems of their children but to put their trust in God, while the life of St. Augustine is model of the path to God, supreme truth and good.


- 2: The Pope greeted participants in the European Pilgrimage of Ministrants, addressing them in German as the majority of participants were German speakers. At the end of the audience he made an appeal for peace in the Middle East, especially recalling the conflict in Lebanon.

- 9: Benedict XVI resumed his series of catecheses on the Apostles, commenting on the writings of St. John. He also renewed his appeal for peace in the Middle East.

- 16: The Holy Father dedicated his catechesis to yesterday's Feast of the Assumption.

- 23: In today's general audience, the Pope returned to the subject of St. John the Evangelist, the "seer of Patmos."

- 30: The Apostle and Evangelist St. Matthew was the subject of the Pope's reflections in today's general audience, the last of the month of August.


- 2: Telegram of condolence to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and to Cardinal Adrianus Johannes Simonis, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands, for the death of Dutch Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, president emeritus of that pontifical council.

- 11: Telegram from the Holy Father to Susilo Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia, requesting clemency for three men condemned to death for their role in inciting sectarian violence in Poso, Indonesia.

- 19: Telegram to His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, expressing the Pope's closeness to the Chaldean Catholic Church and requesting the release of the kidnapped priest, Fr. Saad Syrop Hanna, seized in Baghdad on August 15.

- 21: Message from the Holy Father to participants in and organizers of the 27th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini, Italy. The theme of this year's meeting is: "Reason is need for the infinite, and culminates in the desire and presentiment that the infinite will be revealed."


- 11: The Holy Father asks Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to travel to Lebanon as his special envoy to express to the people there his spiritual closeness and solidarity.

- 13: Publication of the text of an interview granted by Benedict XVI to the television stations Bayerischer Rundfunk (ARD), ZDF and Deustsche Welle, and to Vatican Radio, for his forthcoming apostolic trip to Munich, Altotting and Regensburg, due to take place from September 9 to 14.

- 15: The Pope, for the Solemnity of the Assumption, celebrates Mass and delivers a homily at the pontifical parish of St. Thomas of Villanova in Castelgandolfo.

- 19: Following a theatrical performance of a work by Charles Peguy, "Le Mystere de la charite de Jeanne d'Arc," at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father addresses some words to those present. The initiative was promoted by the archdiocese of the Principality of Monaco in collaboration with that country's embassy to the Holy See.


- 18: The Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."

- 21: The Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- 28: The Holy Father received in separate audiences Angela Merkel, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, accompanied by her entourage; Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio to Cuba; Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Italy accompanied by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community; Bishop-elect Markus Buchel of Sankt Gallen, Switzerland.

- 31: The Holy Father received in separate audiences Gukatsu Kano, ambassador of Japan, on his farewell visit; a group of priests from the diocese of Albano, Italy.


- 2: Appointment of Fr. Joao Alves dos Santos O.F.M. Cap. as bishop of Paranagua, Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Alfredo Ernest Novak C.SS.R., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit.

- 5: Resignation of Bishop Andrea Gemma F.D.P. from the pastoral care of the diocese of Isernia-Venafro, Italy, upon having reached the age limit. Appointment of Msgr. Waclaw Depo as bishop of Zamsoc-Lubaczow, Poland. He succeeds Bishop Jan Srutwa whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- 8: Resignation of Bishop Gordon Dunlap Bennett S.J. from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- 10: Appointment of Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as special papal envoy to the closing ceremony of the Plenary Council of Venezuela, due to be held in Caracas on October 7.

- 17: Appointment of Msgr. James Patrick Green as apostolic nuncio to South Africa and Namibia, and as apostolic delegate to Botswana, and his elevation to the dignity of archbishop.

- 19: Appointment of Bishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kasana-Luweero, Uganda, as metropolitan archbishop of Kampala, Uganda. He succeeds Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit. Appointment of Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, metropolitan archbishop of Naples, Italy, as special papal envoy to the Asian Mission Congress, due to be held in Chang Mai, Thailand on October 19-22. Appointment of Cardinal Agostino Vallini, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and of Bishop Giovanni Paolo Benotto of Tivoli, Italy, as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Appointment of Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes S.J. as director of the Vatican Observatory.
- 25: Resignation of Archbishop Joseph Dore P.S.S., from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Strasbourg, France, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- 28: Erection of the diocese of Banmaw, Myanmar, and appointment of Fr. Raymond Sumlut Gam as first bishop thereof.

- 29: Given the appointment as Secretary of State of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, military ordinary for Italy, as archbishop of Genoa.

- 31: Appointment of Msgr. Paul Joseph Swain as bishop of Sioux Falls, U.S.A.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Twelve prelates from the Canadian (Ontario) Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops John Anthony Boissonneau, Richard John Grecco and Peter Joseph Hundt.

    - Bishop Frederick J. Colli of Thunder Bay.

    - Bishop Ronald Paul Fabbro C.S.B., of London, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Robert Anthony Daniels.

    - Bishop Anthony Frederick Tonnos of Hamilton, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Matthew Francis Ustrzycki and Gerard Paul Bergie.

    - Bishop James Matthew Wingle of Saint Catherines.

    - Bishop Paul Marchand S.M.M., of Timmins.

 - Zef Bushati, ambassador of Albania, on his farewell visit.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Holy Father to Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi-Nocera-Umbra-Gualdo Tadino, Italy, for the 20th Inter-religious Meeting of Prayer for Peace, being held in Assisi on September 4 and 5.

  Benedict XVI recalls how twenty years ago, on October 27 1986, the first such meeting was held, promoted by Servant of God John Paul II. Since then, writes the Pope in his Message, "the most important event ... has without doubt been the fall of the communist-inspired regimes of Eastern Europe," and the end "of the Cold War which had created a kind of division of the world into opposing spheres of influence. ... That was a moment of general hope for peace. ... Unfortunately this dream has not come true. Quite the contrary, the third millennium began with episodes of terrorism and violence that show no signs of abating."

  John Paul II's call "to the leaders of world religions to bear choral witness to peace, served to clarify beyond any possibility of doubt that religion cannot but be a harbinger of peace." On this subject, Benedict XVI highlights how, as a consequence, no one is permitted "to present religious difference as a reason or pretext for a belligerent attitude towards other human beings."

  The Holy Father goes on to point out how the 1986 meeting promoted by John Paul II highlighted "the value of prayer in the construction of peace. ... Firstly, however, peace must be built in the human heart," which "is the place of God's interventions."

  John Paul II, writes Pope Benedict, "called for authentic prayer, prayer that involved all of existence. For this reason he wished it to be accompanied by fasting and expressed through pilgrimage, symbol of the journey towards the meeting with God." The value of prayer "in building peace was expressed by exponents of different religious traditions" who thus demonstrated "how prayer does not divide but unites, and constitutes a vital element in an effective education for peace."

  "Of such education we have more need than ever, especially if we consider the new generations," says the Holy Father, going on to express his joy at an initiative being promoted in Assisi by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, involving a meeting for dialogue, prayer and education for peace, for young Catholics and young people from other religions.

  Benedict XVI's Message also recalls the care taken at Assisi twenty years ago to ensure that "the inter-religious prayer meeting did not lend itself to syncretistic interpretations based on relativist concepts."

  Therefore, his Message concludes, "even when we find ourselves together to pray for peace, it is important that prayer take place according to those distinct paradigms particular to the various religions. This was the decision in 1986, and such a decision cannot but still be valid today. The convergence of opposites must not give the impression of a capitulation to the relativism that denies the very meaning of truth and the possibility of attaining it."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 3, 2006 (VIS) - Today, Benedict XVI dedicated his brief remarks preceding the noon Angelus to St. Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church. "This unique figure," said the Holy Father to pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, "is an example of which both pastors of the Church and public administrators must be made aware."

  St. Gregory, first prefect and later bishop of Rome, was outstanding in civilian life for "his administrative qualities and moral integrity." On the death of his father in 574 he embraced the monastic life and, from then, "the Benedictine Rule became the mainstay of his existence. Even when the pope sent him as his representative to the eastern emperor he maintained a poor and simple monastic life."

  Gregory was a collaborator of Pope Pelagius II, and succeeded him when he died during a plague epidemic. "With prophetic far-sightedness, Gregory understood that a new civilization was being born from the encounter between the Roman heritage and the so-called 'barbarian' peoples, thanks to the cohesive power and moral stature of Christianity. Monasticism showed itself to be an asset not only for the Church but for the whole of society."

  To him we owe, among other things, the reform of liturgical music which took his name, "Gregorian chant." However, his most famous achievement, said Pope Benedict, is "the 'Pastoral Rule' which has had the same importance for clergy as the Rule of St. Benedict for the monks of the Middle Ages. The life of a pastor of souls must be a balanced blend of contemplation and action, animated by the love 'that touches the highest peaks when it stoops mercifully over the profound iniquity of others. The capacity to stoop to other people's misery is a measure of the force driving upward to the heights.' This ever-pertinent teaching inspired the Fathers of Vatican Council II in delineating the image of the pastor of our own times."

  The Pope concluded his remarks by calling for "the example and teaching of St. Gregory the Great to be followed by pastors of the Church, and by those responsible for the institutions of civil life."

  After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI expressed his thanks to everyone praying for his forthcoming pastoral visit to Germany. "Thank you for your best wishes," he said, "I leave for Bavaria on Saturday."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 2, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Cardinal James Francis Stafford, major penitentiary, as his special envoy to celebrations for the dedication of the new altar in the recently-restored cathedral of Baltimore, U.S.A. The event is due to take place from November 4 to 12.

 - Bishop Lucio Angelo Renna O. Carm. of Avezzano, Italy, as bishop of San Severo (area 1,270, population 130,500, Catholics 128,500, priests 60, permanent deacons 2, religious 121), Italy.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 2, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of September is: "That those who use the means of social communication may always do so conscientiously and responsibly."

  His mission intention is: "That in the mission territories the entire People of God may recognize that permanent formation is their own priority."
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