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Thursday, January 11, 2007


VATICAN CITY, JAN 11, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Kurian Valiakandathil of the clergy of the diocese of Bhagalpur, India, pastor of Leela, as bishop of the same diocese (area 40,000, population 8,247,236, Catholics 76,940, priests 94, religious 306). The bishop-elect was born in Elanjy, India in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1977.

 - Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, apostolic nuncio to Mexico, as apostolic nuncio to Italy.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 11, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Piero Marrazzo, president of the Region of Lazio, Italy.

 - Walter Veltroni, mayor of the City of Rome.

 - Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome.

 - Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Seminaries and Educational Institutions).

 - Ahamad Abdulkareem Al-Ibrahim, ambassador of Kuwait, on his farewell visit.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

 - Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 11, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received Piero Marrazzo, president of the Region of Lazio, Italy; Walter Veltroni, mayor of the City of Rome; and Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome, each accompanied by an entourage, for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings.

  Addressing them, the Holy Father expressed his satisfaction at the long-standing collaboration between their administrations and ecclesial bodies; a collaboration that aims "to alleviate the many forms of poverty - economic poverty, but also poverty in terms of human relationships - that afflict a considerable number of individuals and families, especially among immigrants."

  On the subject of healthcare, Benedict XVI stressed the fact that "the Church and Catholic organizations are happy to offer their help, in the light of the great principles of the sacredness of human life from conception to natural end, and of the central importance of sick people." On this subject, he expressed his hope that the administrators would "favor a form of collaboration that brings definite benefits to the entire population."

  Turning to the question of the family, the Pope said that the "intrinsic value and authentic motivations" of marriage and the family, "need today to be better understood. To this end, the Church's pastoral commitment is great and must grow further. But equally necessary are polices of the family and for the family," that translate into initiatives to help young couples form a family, have children and educate them. Such policies must involve "favoring the occupation of the young, containing as far as possible the cost of housing, and increasing the number of nursery schools and kindergartens.

  "However," he added, "projects that aim to attribute to other forms of union inappropriate legal recognition appear dangerous and counterproductive," because they inevitably end up "weakening and destabilizing the legitimate family based on marriage."

  After pointing out that "the education of new generations is the pastoral priority of the diocese of Rome," the Holy Father told his audience of his gratitude for the support "you give to certain forms of educational activity in the Church, in particular the oratories. I trust that, also in this field, we can further develop our fruitful collaboration, while respecting the nature and duties of each of the parties involved."
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