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Monday, October 2, 2006


VATICAN CITY, OCT 2, 2006 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Coutances, France, presented by Bishop Jacques Fihey, upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday, September 30, the Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation presented by Bishop Salvador Flores Huerta for the pastoral government of the diocese of Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, in conformity to canon 401 paragraph 2 of the CIC.

- Appointed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

- Appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State Emeritus and Dean of the College of Cardinals, as Pontifical Legate to the celebrations for Hungarian freedom, in response to the invitation from President of the Hungarian Republic and the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Cardinal Peter Erdo. These celebrations will take place in Budapest, Hungary on the 22 and 23 of October 2006.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 2, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences:

- James Alix Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles, and following.

- Five prelates from the Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops, Canada, on their "ad limina" visit:

  - Bishop Gerald William Wiesner, O.M.I., of Prince George.

  - Bishop Richard Joseph Gagnon, of Victoria.

  - Bishop Gary Gordon, of Whitehorse.

   - Bishop Denis Croteau, O.M.I., of MacKenzie-Fort Smith

  - Bishop Eugene Jerome Cooney, of Nelson.

  This evening, the Pope will receive Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

On Saturday, September 30, he received in separate audiences:

- His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans. Iraq.

- Jose Pablo Moran Val, Peruvian ambassador, on his farewell visit.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 2, 2006 (VIS) - Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, intervened today in Naples, Italy during the World Habitat Day, organized by the United Nations, its theme this year being "The City, Magnet of Hope". The Archbishop's speech was dedicated to the theme: "The City, Crossroads of Cultures and Multicultural Project".

  The Archbishop said: "The presence of persons from different cultures that live in the same territories is evermore frequent, due above all to the acceleration of the migratory phenomenon", as well as the industrial areas and the metropolis and "in general each nationality represents a culture so we find ourselves facing a cultural and religious pluralism never so fully experienced as today".

  The Prelate asked himself: "How is it possible then, in the city as crossroads of cultures, to develop an intercultural project, tightly connected with the humanization of society? (...) 'Individuals must seek the proper balance between respect for their own identity and recognition of that of others' (...) appreciating each one's values and recognizing that 'every culture, as a typically human and historically conditioned reality, necessarily has its limitations'".

   "At times, cultural relativism, provoked by the phenomenon of globalization, has often been the cause of (...) conflicts, creating fundamentalisms of all types. However, cultures, by their very nature, are not rigid, being the expression of the way a people acts in certain circumstances, capable therefore if interacting through mutual knowledge, confrontation, coexistence and the sharing of common values"  he said.

  "This is why interculturality is obligatory in today's society, to keep the human dimension safe in an evermore globalized world" and "is the privileged educational form. (...) Civil coexistence demands that each individual may easily have access to the cultural system of others, in the practice of 'negotiation' which does not mean renouncing one's own culture, but the search for points of convergence and encounter with respect for the legitimacy of each one".

  The second aspect taken into consideration by the Archbishop was that of the homeless, a problem his dicastery also deals with in the Pastoral Care of the Street.

  He said: "To live in the streets, contrary to what one may think, is not necessarily a choice. (...) The homeless live in conditions of great vulnerability" and this situation "becomes the beginning  of a progressive loss of rights. This makes it more difficult to get aid, almost impossible to find work, including the loss of having identifying papers".

  "The poor people (among which we find emigrants, retired persons, jobless and infirm) become a multitude without name and without a voice, often incapable of defending themselves and of finding resources to better their future. These are persons, living conditions of need and discomfort, whose dignity must always be considered, with all the relative consequences. (...) Therefore also the interventions for them must try to be innovative, breaking the circle of answering the need and (...) starting from the person's abilities and not deficiencies".
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 2, 2006 (VIS) - Today, a message from the Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, was published, in which he sends the Pope's greetings to the participants of the Continental Congress of Marian Pastoral being held in Mexico City.

  The Cardinal wrote that the reason for the encounter is "to promote Marian devotion in the Latin American countries and in the Caribbean, for a deeper conscience of what being a true disciple of Christ and witness of the Gospel means".

  He continued: "These dear countries are rich in sanctuaries and places dedicated to the Most Holy Virgin Mary, with different names, the meeting place of many persons who come in pilgrimage to show their love, to implore her help and consolation for the various tribulations of life and to feel closer to her protection in personal, family and social problems. Mary is certainly in each person's heart, no matter their situation, and this shows the deep religious meaning to which the Church is called to give special pastoral attention".

  Cardinal Bertone also writes that: "Marian devotion is joined also to the art with which Mary guided and continues to guide her children towards Jesus", like in the Wedding in Cana. "It is like a pedagogy of faith in Christ, full of sweetness, of the intimate knowledge of Jesus and human nature, as well as the proper and particular mission she has in the Divine Plan of Salvation. For this, the Most Holy Virgin (...) has been called 'the Star of New Evangelization' because of her ability to attract, orient and encourage those who wish to know about Jesus and who also wish to be his faithful disciples in the mission of the growth of the Kingdom of God".


VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of October is: "That all those who are baptized may mature in their faith and manifest it through clear, coherent and courageous choices in life".

  His mission intention is: "That the celebration of World Missionary Day may everywhere increase the spirit of missionary animation and cooperation".
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2006 (VIS) - After reading the Angelus at noon today at Castelgandolfo, the Pope said that he was happy in having met His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, "who informed me of the tragic reality that the population of Iraq faces daily, a country where Christians and Muslims have lived together for fourteen years and as children of the same land".

  The Holy Father continued: "I hope these bonds of brotherhood may never diminish, while, with my spiritual closeness, I invite all to join with me in asking the Omnipotent God for the gift of peace and understanding in this tormented land".

  Benedict XVI reminded that tomorrow would be the World "Habitat" Day, promoted by the United Nations and dedicated this year to the theme: "Cities, Magnets of Hope".

  "The management of the rapid process of urbanization, the consequence also of the evermore relevant migration towards cities, represents one of the most serious problems that humanity of the XXIst Century is called to face". With this in mind, the Pope encouraged "all those, who on a local as well as international level, work towards ensuring that persons living in slum areas be given dignified living conditions, the satisfaction of their basic needs and the possibility of achieving their aspirations, in particular their family expectations and a peaceful social co-habitation".
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2006 (VIS) - The Rosary and the missions, two characteristics of the month of October, were the themes of Benedict XVI's reflections, in the last Angelus prayer by the Pope from the Apostolic Palace in Castelgandolfo, before returning to Rome.

  The Pope said: "Next Saturday, October 7, we will celebrate the feast day of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, and it is as if, every year, the Virgin invites us to rediscover the beauty of this prayer, so simple and so deep". After saying this, he reminded that John Paul II was a "great apostle of the Rosary" and mentioned the Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae", dedicated to this prayer.

  He continued: "The Rosary is a contemplative and Christo-centric prayer, inseparable from the Holy Scriptures. It is the prayer of the Christian advancing in his pilgrimage of faith, in the following of Jesus, preceded by Mary". The Pope invited all to recite the Rosary during this month "in the family, in the community and in the parishes for the Pope's intentions, for the mission of the Church  and for world peace".

  The Holy Father also spoke about the World Missionary Day, which will be celebrated on October 22, asserting that "the Church is by its nature missionary" and her mission is "the continuation of Christ's mission: to bring God's love to all, proclaiming it with words and the concrete testimony of charity. In the Message for the next World Missionary Day I presented charity as the 'soul of the mission'".

  In concluding, Benedict XVI recalled the two patrons of the missions, Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, "Carmelite virgin and doctor of the Church", whose feast day is celebrated today. "May she, who showed the 'simple' way to holiness is through abandoning oneself in trust to the love of God, help us in being believable witnesses of the Gospel of Charity".
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2006 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, announced the theme chosen by Benedict XVI for the 41st World Communication Day: "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education".

  Archbishop Foley said that the theme "underlines the need for parents and educators to realize the important formative influence of the media in the lives of children".

  The "World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council", as can be found in the document "Inter Mirifica", 1963, is marked in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost", which will fall on May 20 in 2007.

  "The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers, on January 24, to allow bishops' conferences, diocesan offices and communications organizations sufficient time to prepare audiovisual and other materials for national and local celebrations".


VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2006 (VIS) - The members of the International Theological Commission will hold their annual plenary session from October 2 to October 6 in the Vatican and presided by Cardinal William Joseph Levada. The general secretary, Father Luis Ladaria, S.I., will direct the work reunions.

  According to a message made public today, the participants will reflect on the themes that were decided upon at the beginning of the actual five year period (2004 - 2008), and in particular, the project for a document about the fate of children dying unbaptized, in the context of the universal salvific design of God, the uniqueness of Christ's mediation and the sacramentality of the Church as to salvation.

  The first draft of a document on the theme of the identity of nature and the method of theology as "scientia fidei" will also be studied. There will also be an exchange of opinions on the foundations of natural moral law in the light of the teachings of John Paul II's encyclicals "Veritatis splendor" and "Fides et ratio".

  At the end of the Plenary Session, a Eucharistic concelebration will be held in the Chapel "Redemptoris Mater" in the Vatican, presided by the Holy Father.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2006 (VIS) - Today, a letter written by the Pope in Latin and signed September 8 was published, in which he appoints Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Divine Cult and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as special envoy to the closing ceremonies of the Plenary Council of Venezuela, which will be celebrated in Caracas on October 7.

  Monsignor Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Caracas, and Father Amador Merino, S.D.B., will accompany the Cardinal.


VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father sent a telegram to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, Canada, on hearing of yesterday's demise of Cardinal Louis-Albert Vachon, Emeritus of this archdiocese.

  Benedict XVI wrote: "I wish to express my union with you in prayer with the Archdiocese of Quebec and the family of the deceased. I pray that the Lord welcome this zealous shepherd, who consecrated his life at the service of Christ and the Church, into the Kingdom of Peace and Light. A man of faith and culture, all through his ministry, he tried to strengthen the quality of the Christian life of those people he was in charge of and to have his missionary spirit grow. As a sign of comfort, Cardinal, I give you my apostolic blessing, as well to your auxiliaries, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, the faithful of the archdiocese and all those who will participate in the funeral".
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2006 (VIS) - Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI bid his farewells to the Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano (diocese in which Castelgandolfo is located), the religious communities, the civil authorities and the personnel in charge of security during his stay in the summer residence.

  The Pope said, "A dear salutation to the Jesuits of the Vatican Specola and the religious and lay communities present in Castelgandolfo. During these months I have felt their spiritual closeness and give them my heartfelt thanks, with the wish that all may correspond with renewed generosity to God's call, using all energies for the service of the Gospel".

  Also, the Holy Father thanked the mayor and the municipal council and inhabitants of Castelgandolfo "who were so attentive to my person and to those who spent their summer with me". Benedict XVI also praised the "courtesy and hospitality (...) for the many pilgrims and visitors who came to see the Pope, especially for the Sunday Angelus".

  The Holy Father gave thankful appreciation to the doctors and to the personnel of the Vatican Governatorate who "with many sacrifices, ensured their presence and competent services" and to the members of the regular Italian forces, as well as the Vatican Gendarmerie and the Pontifical Swiss Guards, who ensured a serene and secure stay for myself and my collaborators".

  "I must not forget" - he continued - "the officers and the aviators of the XXXI squadron of the Military Airforce who made possible my travels with the helicopters".

  He said: "To each and everyone my most sincere thanks and the assurance of a constant memory in prayer for each of you as well as those dear to you".

  Benedict XVI continued by thanking the personnel of the Pontifical Residences "who in many ways are part of the Pope's 'family' when he stays at the Castle. (...) and the Director, Saverio Petrillo, always attentive and caring".

  He concluded by asking "God to recompense all for their dedication and faithfulness with which you accomplished the duties entrusted to you".
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