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Friday, January 12, 2007


VATICAN CITY, JAN 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Orlando Antonio Corrales Garcia of Palmira, Colombia, as metropolitan archbishop of Santa Fe de Antioquia (area 11,803, population 255,183, Catholics 230,000, priests 93, permanent deacons 3, religious 135), Colombia. The archbishop-elect was born in Abejorral, Colombia in 1947, he was ordained a priest in 1971, and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He succeeds Archbishop Ignacio Gomez Aristizabal, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the Italian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Filippo Iannone O. Carm.

    - Archbishop Andrea Mugione of Benevento.

    - Bishop Giovanni D'Alise of Ariano Irpino-Lacedonia.

    - Bishop Francesco Marino of Avellino.

    - Bishop Michele De Rosa of Cerreto Sannita-Telese-Sant'Agata dei Goti.

    - Archbishop Francesco Alfano of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi-Conza-Nusco-Bisaccia.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 12, 2007 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today, Fr. David Gutierrez Gutierrez, director of the press office of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), briefed journalists on the forthcoming Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting will be held in Aparecida, Brazil from May 13 to 31.

  Fr. Gutierrez affirmed that the conference - which will have as its theme "Disciples and missionaries in Jesus Christ, that in Him our peoples may have life ('I am the way and the truth and the life')" - will be inaugurated by Benedict XVI on May 13. The Pope will preside at a Mass, concelebrated with representatives of all Latin American bishops, and will pronounce an address during the opening session.

  A group of experts is currently selecting the themes from proposals being put forward by the various episcopal conferences. They will prepare a summary and, at the end of February, publish a preparatory document for the conference.

  The presidents of the 22 episcopal conferences of CELAM will attend the Aparecida meeting, as will groups representing the prelates in each episcopal conference, for a total of 176, also including bishops from Canada, U.S.A., Spain and Portugal. Also present will be 24 priests, 23 male and female religious, and 17 lay people, as well as six ecumenical representatives.

  The novelty of this conference with respect to the previous four held in 1955, 1968 1979 and 1992, said Fr. Gutierrez, is that on the closing day, when the final document is published, a "great continental mission" will begin.

  Fr. Gutierrez also explained that the original intention had been to hold the meeting in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, but the idea was abandoned because the city lies at an altitude of nearly 5,000 meters and there were fears this might affect the health of the delegates, particularly the more elderly. Benedict XVI had then asked for the meeting to be celebrated at a Marian shrine, and Aparecida was chosen, a site that can hold 35,000 faithful and is visited annually by eight million pilgrims.


VATICAN CITY, JAN 12, 2007 (VIS) - In keeping with an annual tradition, Benedict XVI today received members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, to whom he expressed his "appreciation and recognition" for their service.

  "I well know, also from personal experience, how important for pilgrims and tourists is your discreet presence in the places that constitute the heart of Christian Rome," said the Pope. Many of the people "who visit St. Peter's Basilica or pause under Bernini's imposing colonnade see your faces and not infrequently avail themselves of your help."

  "You have the task of protecting and overseeing sites that have inestimable value for the memory and faith of millions of pilgrims, places that contain great treasures of history and art; above all places where, by some inscrutable mystery, the living encounter of the faithful with the Lord Jesus takes place. The People of God, pilgrims, all people understand, as they pass by you, that they enjoy a special and reassuring protection."

  The Holy Father concluded with a reflection which, he said, applies to us all: "we are called to be the guardians of our fellows. The Lord will call us to account for the responsibilities entrusted to us, for the good and bad we have done to our brothers and sisters; whether we accompanied them carefully on the daily journey, sharing the anguish and joys of their hearts; whether we stayed beside them discreetly but constantly, helping and supporting them when the path became more difficult and tiring."
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