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Wednesday, September 6, 2006


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

 - Appointed Archbishop James Patrick Green, apostolic nuncio to South Africa and Namibia and apostolic delegate to Botswana, as apostolic nuncio to Lesotho.

 - Gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Coptic Catholic Church meeting on August 31, of Fr. Kamal Fahim Awad Hanna, rector of the Coptic Catholic Seminary of Maadi, Egypt, as bishop of the Curia of the patriarchal eparchy of Alexandria of the Coptic Catholics. The bishop-elect was born in Twa, Egypt, in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1988.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 6, 2006 (VIS) - In this morning's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI continued his catechesis on the Apostles, dedicating his remarks to the figure of St. Philip. Twenty-five thousand pilgrims were present to hear him speak.

  Philip, said the Pope, "came from the same place as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida," and "was one of the first Apostles." He showed all "the characteristics of the true witness" when, talking with Nathaniel, he not only spoke to him of Christ "but suggested he come and experience personally what was being announced."

  "The Apostle calls us to a close knowledge of Jesus," said the Pope, recalling Mark's words about Jesus appointing the twelve "primarily 'to be with Him,' in other words, to share His life and learn directly from Him, not only His behavior but, above all, exactly who He was. ... Intimacy, familiarity and habit bring us to discover the true identity of Jesus Christ. It is precisely of this that the Apostle Philip reminds us."

  On the occasion of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, it was to Philip that Jesus turned asking where they could buy bread to feed the multitudes following Him; and before the Passion, a number of Greeks approached Philip wanting to see Jesus. In both cases, the Apostle took on the role of "intermediary ... teaching us to be ever ready to welcome questions and requests, ... from wherever they may come, and to guide them towards the Lord, Who alone is capable of satisfying them fully."

  During the Last Supper it was Philip who asked the Lord to show them the Father receiving Jesus' reply, "he who has seen me has seen the Father," said Pope Benedict. And he explained: "Expressing ourselves in accordance with the paradox of the Incarnation, we could well say that God assumed a human face, that of Jesus, and so from now on, if we truly wish to know the face of God, we must do no more than contemplate the face of Jesus."

  "The goal to which our lives must tend," the Pope concluded, is "to meet Jesus as Philip met Him, seeking to see in Him the Heavenly Father. If this commitment is lacking, we would simply be turned back to ourselves, as in a mirror. ... Philip invites us to allow ourselves to be conquered by Jesus, to be with Him and to invite others to share His indispensable company."

  After the audience, the Pope greeted pilgrims in various languages, also mentioning his forthcoming apostolic trip to Germany. "I thank the Lord," he said, "for the opportunity He has given me to visit, for the first time since my election as Bishop of Rome, my homeland of Bavaria." Benedict XVI asked people to pray for his journey, and confided the visit to the Virgin Mary, that she may "obtain for the German people a springtime of renewed faith and civil progress."
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