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Thursday, December 21, 2006


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Carlo Chenis S.D.B., secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, as bishop of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia (area 876, population 85,000, Catholics 82,750, priests 68, permanent deacons 10, religious 182), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Turin, Italy in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1984. He succeeds Bishop Girolamo Grillo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NER:RE/.../CHENIS:GRILLO                            VIS 20061221 (90)


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

 - Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
AP/.../...                                        VIS 20061221 (50)


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2006 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released by the Polish Episcopal Conference, and of another released by the Holy See Press Office, both concerning the recent appointment of Bishop Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus of Plock, Poland as the new metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw.

  Communique from the Polish Episcopal Conference:

  "On the subject of the accusations launched by the Polish media against Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, the presidency of the Polish Episcopal Conference draws attention to the public injury that has been inflicted against a specific person's right to a good reputation.

  "The situation that has been created provokes even greater unease because it is a clear example of 'wildcat lustration' (lustration being a technical term to refer to the procedure for attributing responsibility of collaborating with the security services of the communist regime). Such a situation is particularly offensive in the case of an ecclesiastic. In fact, the simple fact of a conversation taking place between a priest and members of the communist security services cannot of itself prove immoral collaboration; especially because, not infrequently, such conversations were of an administrative nature, or had to be undertaken for pastoral reasons or to study, and with the consent of the bishop.

  "We thus request that respect be shown for the decision of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, who has expressed his faith in the person appointed, entrusting him with the office of metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw.

  "Expressing our solidarity with Archbishop Wielgus, we entrust his person and the task he has been given to God.

  "We trust that the media storm that has been created will not ruin the religious and family atmosphere that accompanies the Feast of Christmas."

  Communique from the Holy See Press Office:

  "The Holy See, in choosing to appoint the new metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw, took into consideration all the circumstances of his life, including those regarding his past. This means that the Holy Father nourishes complete trust in Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus and, in full awareness, has entrusted him with the mission of pastor of the archdiocese of Warsaw."
OP/ARCHBISHOP WARSAW/WIELGUS                    VIS 20061221 (360)


VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2006 (VIS) - In a traditional meeting for this time of year, the Pope today received a group of children from Italian Catholic Action, who came to the Vatican to wish him a happy Christmas.

  Addressing the young people, the Holy Father made reference to the slogan - "Beautiful. True" - they had chosen for their formative journey this year. "Christmas," he said, "is the great mystery of the Truth and Beauty of God Who came among us for everyone's salvation. The birth of Jesus is not a fable, it is a story that really happened, in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Faith brings us to recognize in that little Child born of the Virgin Mary, the true Son of God Who, out of love, chose to become man."

  "In the face of the little Jesus," the Holy Father proceeded, "we contemplate the face of God, which is not revealed through force or power, but in weakness and the fragile constitution of a child. This 'Divine Child' ... demonstrates the faithfulness and tenderness of the boundless love with which God surrounds each of us. For this reason we rejoice at Christmas, reliving the same experience as the shepherds of Bethlehem."

  "The wonder we feel before the enchantment of Christmas" is, said Benedict XVI, in some way reflected in the birth of all children, "and it invites us to recognize the Infant Jesus in all babies, who are the joy of the Church and the hope of the world."

  The Pope assured the children of his trust in them and called upon them "to be friends and witnesses of Jesus, Who came among us in Bethlehem. Is it not a beautiful thing to make Him better known among your friends, in cities, in parishes and in your families? The Church needs you in order to be close to all the children and young people who live in Italy. Bear witness to the fact that Jesus takes away nothing of your joy, but makes you more human, more true, more beautiful."
AC/CHRISTMAS/CATHOLIC ACTION                    VIS 20061221 (360)

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