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Friday, September 15, 2006


VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Archbishop Dominique Mamberti as secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State. Archbishop Mamberti was born in Marrakech, Morocco, in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1981. He is currently apostolic nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea and apostolic delegate to Somalia. He succeeds Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, whose appointment as president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, becomes effective today. Archbishop Lajolo succeeds Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka.

 - Elevated Msgr. Janusz Kaleta, apostolic administrator of Atyrau, Kazakhstan, to the dignity of bishop. The bishop-elect was born in Katowice, Poland, in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1989.
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ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, IN THE SQUARE OF THE BASILICA of St. Stephen in Budapest, Hungary, the beatification will take place of Servant of God Sara Salkahazi of the Institute of the Sisters of Assistance. The future Blessed was born in Kassa (today Kosice in Slovakia) in 1899, and murdered in 1944 as she tried to protect a group of Jewish people during the Second World War. Also on Sunday, September 17, in the cathedral of Brescia, Italy, the beatification will take place of Servant of God Mose Tovini. Born in Cividate Camuno, Italy, the oldest of eight children, he was ordained a priest of the diocese of Brescia in 1904, entering the Congregation of Oblates. The passion of his life was catechesis. He died in 1930.

THE DEFENSE OF LIFE WILL BE THE THEME OF A SYMPOSIUM promoted by the International Association for Christian Social Doctrine and by the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace," due to be held in the Vatican on September 15 and 16. The event will be attended by experts and university professors from various countries. Among the subjects to be considered are: "The problems of modern reproductive medicine and its impact on marriage and family life; the defense of life as a condition for the legitimacy of a democracy; and the triumph of the market over the family."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, during his meeting with members of the Secretariat of State at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI read out the text of his own Letter to Cardinal Angelo Sodano for the occasion of his resignation from the office of secretary of State.

  "When the Lord called me to assume the mandate of supreme pastor of the People of God," said the Holy Father reading from his Letter, "I felt it appropriate to ask you, Cardinal Sodano, to continue to lend me your assistance as my direct collaborator, sharing my daily cares in governing the Universal Church. For this reason I confirmed you in the office of secretary of State, a role which to this day you have carried out with generous dedication and competence."

  Referring then to the fact that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is now succeeding Cardinal Sodano in the role of secretary of State, Benedict XVI explained how "in such significant circumstances, I feel the need to renew to you my most heartfelt thanks for the faithfulness and enlightened competency, the dedication and love you have shown in working for the good of the Church alongside various Successors of the Apostle Peter."

  The Pope went on to enumerate the different stages of Cardinal Sodano's service to the Holy See, which began in 1961 under Blessed John XXIII, recalling his work in the pontifical representations in Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile, and in the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, his appointment as apostolic nuncio to Chile and later as secretary of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, until his designation as pro-secretary of State in December 1990.

  "In these first months of my pontificate," said Benedict XVI, "I too have been able to appreciate the gifts of your pastor's spirit, ... the dedication with which you followed the daily activities of the secretariat of State and of pontifical representations in various parts of the world," and "the solicitude you showed towards your staff."

  "Apart from expressing my own gratitude, I also wish to convey that of the people who, in the course of the years, have known you and admired the good sense, prudent wisdom and tireless zeal with which ... you have carried out your mission with single-minded concern for the supreme good of the Church.

  "The Holy See will continue in the future to benefit from your contribution - and for this too I am grateful - because with the same enthusiasm and generosity you will work in the important role of dean of the College of Cardinals and as a member of various dicasteries of the Roman Curia and of the Governorate of Vatican City State."

  The Pope concluded by asking God for "physical health" and "joy and serenity" for Cardinal Sodano, entrusting his person to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.


VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, during a ceremony held in the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father welcomed the staff of the Secretariat of State for the occasion of the appointment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of Genoa, Italy, as new secretary of State. He succeeds in that role Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

  Cardinal Sodano - who was appointed as secretary of State by John Paul II on December 1, 1990, succeeding Cardinal Agostino Casaroli - pronounced some words during the ceremony.

  "Today," he said addressing the Holy Father, "thanks should be given not so much to me as to those who helped me over the years. Particularly precious to me was the collaboration of successive substitutes for General Affairs: Archbishops Re and Sandri, and of secretaries for Relations with States: Archbishops Tauran and Lajolo. All together, we have managed to work as a team, with a great ecclesial sense that united us in service, first around the venerated John Paul II and now around you."

  Cardinal Sodano concluded his remarks by thanking his helpers in the Secretariat of State and members of pontifical representations in countries all over the world.

  In a brief greeting addressed to the Holy Father, Cardinal Bertone expressed the hope that his past experience would help him "to carry out the task I take on today. I am aware of the heavy responsibility that this brings, and of the gravity and complexity of the questions which, every day, I will have to face. My only ambition is that of putting into practice the motto of my episcopal service: 'fidem custodire, concordiam servare'."

  "The profound communion that binds us together in the shared commitment of service to the Church - and consequently to human dignity and peaceful coexistence between people - cannot but translate into loyal and faithful collaboration, reinforced for many of us by the priestly spirit and the pastoral charity that must always inspire us in our activities."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following declaration to journalists concerning the interpretation of certain passages of the address delivered by the Holy Father at the University of Regensburg on September 12.

  "Concerning the reaction of Muslim leaders to certain passages of the Holy Father's address at the University of Regensburg, it should be noted that what the Holy Father has to heart - and which emerges from an attentive reading of the text - is a clear and radical rejection of the religious motivation for violence.

  "It was certainly not the intention of the Holy Father to undertake a comprehensive study of the jihad and of Muslim ideas on the subject, still less to offend the sensibilities of Muslim faithful.

  "Quite the contrary, what emerges clearly from the Holy Father's discourses is a warning, addressed to Western culture, to avoid 'the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom.' A just consideration of the religious dimension is, in fact, an essential premise for fruitful dialogue with the great cultures and religions of the world. And indeed, in concluding his address in Regensburg, Benedict XVI affirmed how 'the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.'

  "What is clear then, is the Holy Father's desire to cultivate an attitude of respect and dialogue towards other religions and cultures, including, of course, Islam."

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