Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Monday, October 16, 2006


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Ciriaco Benavente Mateos of Coria-Caceres, Spain, as bishop of Albacete (area 14,926, population 379,448, Catholics 362,372, priests 180, permanent deacons 3, religious 365), Spain.
  On Saturday, October 14, it was made public that the Holy Father:

 - Erected the new diocese of Agboville (area 11,301, population 800,256, Catholics 400,000, priests 31, religious 14) Ivory Coast, with territory taken from the diocese of Yopougon, making it a suffragan of the archdiocese of Abidjan. He appointed Fr. Alexis Touably Youlo of the clergy of San Pedro-en-Cote d'Ivoire, pastor and vicar general, as first bishop of the new diocese.

 - Appointed Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Agra, India, as archbishop of Bombay (area 10,103, population 19,249,203, Catholics 504,265, priests 561, religious 1,882), India.

 - Appointed Fr. Gregor Maria Hanke O.S.B., abbot of the monastery of Plankstetten, Germany, as bishop of Eichstatt (area 6,025, population 890,000, Catholics 442,772, priests 376, permanent deacons 26, religious 753), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Elbersroth, Germany, in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1983.

 - Appointed Fr. John Ebebe Ayah of the clergy of the diocese of Ogoja, Nigeria, as bishop of the same diocese (area 12,557, population 1,500,000, Catholics 332,373, priests 67, religious 3). The bishop-elect was born in Buya, Nigeria in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1993.

 - Gave his consent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Church, meeting in Bkerke, Lebanon, from June 4 to 10, 2006, of Chorbishop Samir Nassar, protosincellus (vicar general) of the archeparchy of Antelias, Lebanon, and pastor of Maret-Sader, as archbishop of Damascus of the Maronites (Catholics 12,000, priests 4), Syria. The bishop-elect was born in Antelias in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1980.

 - Appointed Fr. Edgar Madi, pastor of Santa Teresa in Mansourieh and director of the "La Sagesse" School in the archeparchy of Beirut of the Maronites, Lebanon, as bishop of the eparchy of Nossa Senhora do Libano em Sao Paulo of the Maronites, (Catholics 468,000, priests 10, religious 5), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Beit-Mery, Lebanon, in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Mahfouz O.L.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 2 of the Code of Canon of the Eastern Churches.

 - Appointed Bishop Vincenzo Pelvi, auxiliary of Naples, Italy, as military ordinary for Italy, elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Naples in 1948, he was ordained a priest in 1973 and consecrated a bishop in 2000.

 - Appointed Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., as a member of the commission of cardinals overseeing the activities of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).

 - Appointed as members of the special councils of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as a member of the Special Council for Asia; Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand, as a member of the Special Council for Oceania; Bishop Fernando Antonio Figueiredo O.F.M., of Santo Amaro, Brazil, as a member of the Special Council for America.
ECE:NER:RE:NA/.../...                                VIS 20061016 (550)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Bishop William Stephen Skylstad of Spokane, U.S.A., Cardinal Francis Eugene George O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, U.S.A., and Msgr. David Malloy, respectively president, vice-president and secretary general of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 - Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, and president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, accompanied by Bishops Antonio Celso Queiroz of Catanduva, and Odilo Pedro Scherer, auxiliary of Sao Paulo, respectively vice president and secretary of the same conference.

 - Nine prelates from the Irish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Sean Baptist Brady of Armagh, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Clifford.

    - Bishop Colm O'Reilly of Ardagh.

    - Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher.

    - Bishop Seamus Hegarty of Derry, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Francis Lagan.

    - Bishop Patrick Joseph Walsh of Down and Connor, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Anthony Farquhar and Donal McKeown.

  On Saturday, October 14, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini S.J., archbishop emeritus of Milan, Italy.

 - Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

 - Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

 - Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de la Habana, Cuba.
AL/.../...                                        VIS 20061016 (300)


MSGR. ETTORE BALESTRERO, OFFICIAL OF THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE, spoke on October 12 in Warsaw, Poland, on the subject of "tolerance, dialogue of civilizations and the contribution of the Catholic Church." He was addressing the "Human Dimension Implementation Meeting," an annual gathering of the 56 participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe concerning commitments undertaken in the field of human rights, held in the Polish capital from October 2 to 13.

DURING THE 175th SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF UNESCO, the Holy See permanent observer to that organization, Msgr. Francesco Follo, spoke on "point 52, the creation of an observatory for women, sport and physical education." Msgr. Follo underlined the need for more profound reflection on the universal need to respect human beings, and especially women.

ARCHBISHOP SILVANO M. TOMASI C.S., HOLY SEE permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions at Geneva, spoke on October 5 before the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Archbishop Tomasi emphasized, among other things, how development strategies must recognize the fact that their true aim is to promote the value and dignity of all women and men, and is not just limited to the economic sphere.
.../IN BRIEF/...                                    VIS 20061016 (210)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the Feast of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which falls this year on October 21. The title of the message is: "Overcoming hatred with love."

  With Diwali, the cardinal writes in his English-language message, Hindus celebrate "the victory of truth over untruth, light over darkness, good over evil and life over death. ... The reality of love is closely connected to truth, light, goodness and life. I would like to reflect on this theme of love, through which believers of different religions are invited to overcome the evil of hatred and distrust in contemporary society.

  "The recent terrorist bomb attacks in Mumbai, India, are yet another example of these phenomena which so often end in brutal violence," adds the cardinal before recalling Benedict XVI's first Encyclical "Deus caritas est" and explaining how the Pope "wrote this letter convinced that his message is both timely and significant 'in a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence.'

  "The importance and demands of love can be best learned from God Who, the Christian faith professes, is Himself Love. ... God loves us all without exception and His love is unconditional. Our human response to God's love must be spelt out in concrete stewardship of God's creatures, especially to human beings. It is urgent and necessary that believers of different religions manifest jointly to the world that hatred can be overcome by love.

  "In today's complex societies, is it not possible for us to join hands and collaborate in seeking justice for all, working together on common projects, for the development of the downtrodden, the marginalized, the destitute, the ... weak? Moral and spiritual poverty, which are caused by breeding hatred in one's heart, can be eradicated by believers who are filled with love and compassion. Love creates trust, which in turn, promotes genuine relationships among believers of different religions."

  "Benedict XVI ends his letter, 'Deus caritas est,' with the following words: 'Love is the light - and in the end, the only light - that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working.' The Pope's words obviously refer to Jesus Christ Who is the Light of the world. However, these words can also draw your attention since for you the meaning of your feast, Diwali, is symbolized by light. May our love finally overcome the darkness of hatred in the world!
CON-DIR/DIWALI/POUPARD                        VIS 20061016 (510)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2006 (VIS) - In response to an invitation from Ahmet Necdet Sezer, president of Turkey, the Holy Father Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to that country from November 28 to December 1, 2006, visiting Ankara, Ephesus and Istanbul.
OP/TURKEY VISIT/...                                VIS 20061016 (60)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 15, 2006 (VIS) - During the Eucharistic celebration held this morning in St. Peter's Square, which was attended by around 30,000 people, the Pope canonized the following Blesseds: Rafael Guizar Valencia (1878-1938), Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923), Rosa Venerini (1656-1728), and Theodore Guerin, nee Anne-Therese (1798-1856).

  At the beginning of his homily, the Holy Father commented on the Gospel account of the rich young man, affirming how "a saint is that man or that woman who, responding with joy and generosity to the call of Christ, leaves everything to follow Him."

  "Earthly riches occupy and preoccupy the mind and the heart. Jesus does not say they are evil, but that they distance one from God if they are not, so to say, 'invested' for the kingdom of heaven, in other words used to help those who live in poverty."

  Benedict XVI then went on to refer in turn to each of the new saints. The Mexican, Rafael Guizar Valencia was, he said, "bishop of the poor." In his ministry as priest and later as bishop, in the diocese of Veracruz, he was a tireless preacher of popular missions - then the most effective way of evangelizing the people - using his "Catechism of Christian Doctrine." One of his priorities was the formation of priests, and he rebuilt a seminary which he considered "the apple of his eye."

  "May the example of St. Raphael Guizar Valencia," said the Pope, "be a call to brother bishops and priests to consider as a fundamental element of their pastoral projects - alongside the spirit of poverty and evangelization - the fomentation of priestly and religious vocations and their formation in accordance with Christ's heart."

   The Italian St. Filippo Smaldone, founder of the Institute of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, was, said Pope Benedict, "a priest with a great heart, nourished through constant prayer and Eucharistic adoration; he was above all a witness to and servant of charity which he displayed magnificently in serving the poor, especially the deaf, to whom he dedicated himself entirely."

  "In the deaf," the Pope went on, the saint "saw a reflection of the image of Jesus, and he used to repeat that, just as we prostrate ourselves before the Most Holy Sacrament, so must we kneel before the deaf."

  Speaking of the new Italian saint, Rosa Venerini, foundress of the Congregation of the "Maestre Pie Venerini," Benedict XVI pointed out how "she did not content herself with giving girls an adequate education, but made it her concern to ensure them a complete formation, with concrete reference to the doctrinal teaching of the Church. Even today her apostolic style continues to characterize the life" of the congregation she founded. "How important, even for modern society, is the service [the congregation] provides in the field of schooling, and especially in the formation of women."

  St. Theodore Guerin was a Frenchwoman who founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary "ad Nemus" (Saint Mary of the Woods) in the U.S.A. The Pope recalled a phrase she used shortly before her death as she noted how sisters from her congregation were running schools and orphanages all over the state of Indiana: "How much good has been accomplished by the Sisters of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods! How much more good they will be able to do if they remain faithful to their holy vocation!

  "Mother Guerin is a beautiful spiritual figure and a model of Christian life," he added. "She was always ready for the missions the Church asked of her, finding the strength and courage to put them into effect in the Eucharist, prayer and an infinite trust in Divine Providence. Her interior strength gave her a particular concern for the poor, and especially for children."

  After Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father met delegations from each of the countries of origin on the new saints, and greeted all the faithful who had attended the canonization ceremony.
HML/CANONIZATION/...                            VIS 20061016 (670)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 14, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Pope, written in Latin and dated September 23, in which he appoints Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, as pontifical legate to celebrations marking the freedom of Hungary, due to be held in Bucharest from October 22 to 23, 2006.

  Cardinal Sodano will be accompanied on his mission by Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, apostolic nuncio to Hungary, Msgr. Piero Pioppo, nunciature counsellor at the secretariat of State, and Msgr. Gerard Miles, secretary at the nunciature to Hungary.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 14, 2006 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Square at midday today, Benedict XVI met with 30,000 people from Italy and other countries who have come together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the foundation, by St. Pio of Pietrelcina, of the hospital, "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza" (House for Relief of Suffering).

  Among those present were the Capuchin Fathers of the Shrine of St. Mary of Grace and of the new church dedicated to St. Pio, located in San Giovanni Rotondo in southern Italy, as well as directors, doctors and nurses of the hospital, and members of various prayer groups.

  In his address to them, the Pope called on the Capuchin Fathers, "spurred on and supported by the example of Padre Pio and by his intercession," to make every effort "to imitate him and help everyone to live a profound spiritual experience focussed on the contemplation of the Crucified Christ, Who reveals and mediates the merciful love of the heavenly Father.

  "From the heart of Padre Pio, which burned with charity, arose the House for Relief of Suffering," he added. The saint "chose to call it 'house' so that sick people, especially the poor, might feel at ease there, ... and might find 'relief' from their suffering ... thanks to two converging forces: prayer and science. ... Faith in God and scientific research work together towards the same aim, that can best be expressed in Jesus' own words: 'that they may have life, and have it abundantly.' Yes, God is life, and wants man to be healed from all of the evils of the body and of the spirit."

  The Holy Father then went on to recall how the prayer groups came into being following a call to pray for peace made by Pope Pius XII in 1942 during World War II. "Padre Pio," he said, "encouraged his spiritual children to give a prompt response to the appeal of the Vicar of Christ."

  "The prayer groups have spread to parishes, convents and hospitals, and today number more than 3,000 with a presence on all the continents. ... Your prayer, as it says in your Statutes, is 'with the Church, through the Church and in the Church,' to be experienced always in full accordance with the Magisterium, with ready obedience to the Pope and the bishops, under the guidance of a priest appointed by the bishop. The Statues also prescribe another vital commitment of the prayer groups: 'effective and assiduous charity to bring relief to the suffering and the needy as a practical demonstration of charity towards God.' Here again is the combination prayer and charity, God and our fellow man."

  Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by thanking the faithful for "the support you give me with your prayers. May the Lord repay you! At the same time, for the community of the House for Relief of Suffering I ask the special grace of remaining ever faithful to the spirit and project of Padre Pio."
AC/ST. PIO/...                                    VIS 20061016 (510)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service