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Thursday, February 15, 2007


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received in audience Roh Moo-hyun, president of the Republic of Korea, accompanied by his wife and an entourage, according to a communique released today by the Holy See Press Office.

  "The president" the communique reads, "then went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. During their discussions, mention was made of the cordial relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Korea, as well as of the understanding and cooperation that exist between the Catholic Church and the civil authorities.

  "Attention turned to the political and social situation of eastern Asia and, in particular, to the evolution of the process of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula and to the respect and promotion of human rights in that region."
OP/VISIT KOREAN PRESIDENT/...                VIS 20070215 (150)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2007 (VIS) - During the course of his meeting today in the Vatican with Roh Moo-hyun, president of the Republic of Korea, the Pope gave his guest a Letter, written in English, in which he affirms that the visit "serves to strengthen the good relations that exist between [Korea] and the Holy See," and that it "is also a clear sign of [the president's] esteem for the Catholic Church.

  "I would ask you," the Holy Father adds, "to convey my affectionate greetings to the people of Korea, and to assure them of my prayers for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and throughout the region.

  "For over fifty years, the Korean people have suffered the consequences of division. Families have been split, close relatives have been separated from one another. ... I pray for a speedy solution to the problem which impedes so many from communicating with one another."

  Pope Benedict's Letter continues: "Sadly, the modem world is marked by an increasing number of threats to the dignity of human life. I wish therefore to commend all those in your country who work to uphold and defend the sanctity of life, marriage and the family, areas in which, as you know, the Catholic Church in Korea is particularly active.

  "The risk of a nuclear arms race in the region is a further source of concern, fully shared by the Holy See. I urge all interested parties to make every effort to resolve the present tensions through peaceful means and to refrain from any gesture or initiative that might endanger the negotiations, while ensuring that the most vulnerable part of the North Korean population has access to humanitarian aid."

  "Your country," the Holy Father concludes, "has experienced remarkable economic growth in recent times. ... At the same time, I am conscious that not all citizens are yet able to benefit fully from this increased prosperity. I therefore urge your government to work in harmony with all those who seek to promote the common good and social justice."
AC/KOREA/MOO-HYUN                        VIS 20070215 (350)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2007 (VIS) - At 4.30 p.m. on February 21, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, Benedict XVI will preside at a moment of prayer in the church of St. Anselm on Rome's Aventine Hill. There will follow a penitential procession to the basilica of Santa Sabina attended by cardinals, archbishops, bishops, the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican Fathers of Santa Sabina and lay faithful.

  Following the procession, the Pope will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the basilica of Santa Sabina, with the traditional rite of blessing and the imposition of the ashes.
OP/ASH WEDNESDAY/SANTA SABINA            VIS 20070215 (120)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2007 (VIS) - From February 15 to 17, a meeting of pontifical representatives to Latin America will be held in the Vatican. The gathering has been called by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., in view of the Fifth General Assembly of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), due to be celebrated in Aparecida, Brazil from May 13 to 31.

  According to a communique made public today, following an introduction by Cardinal Bertone, the 20 pontifical representatives, together with Archbishops Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, and Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, will exchange information and reflect upon the social, religious and ecclesial situation in Latin America.

  Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, will speak upon the fifth general assembly of CELAM. Cardinal Re is one of three cardinals appointed by the Pope to preside at the forthcoming CELAM meeting, the other two being Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile, and Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, who are also due to speak at the current meeting.

  For his part Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will present some reflections on the situation of the clergy and sects. Moreover the pontifical representatives will have the opportunity to study materials prepared by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Congregation for Catholic Education, and by the Pontifical Councils for the Family, "Justice and Peace," and for Promoting Christian Unity.

  The meeting will come to an end on Saturday, when the participants will be received in audience by the Pope.
OP/LATIN AMERICA:CELAM/...                    VIS 20070215 (310)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Three prelates from the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Luigi Conti of Fermo.

    - Archbishop Gianni Danzi, prelate of Loreto, pontifical delegate to the shrine of Loreto.

    - Bishop Silvano Montevecchi of Ascoli Piceno.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
AL:AP/.../...                                VIS 20070215 (80)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, auxiliary of Milan, Italy, as president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in St. Giuliano Milanese, Italy in 1938, he was ordained a priest in 1962 and consecrated a bishop in 1993. He succeeds Cardinal Julian Herranz Casado, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Bruno Bertagna, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and auditor general of the Apostolic Camera, as vice president of the same pontifical council, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Tiedoli di Borgo Val di Taro, Italy in 1935, he was ordained a priest in 1959 and consecrated a bishop in 1991.

 - Appointed Msgr. Juan Igancio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru of the personal prelature of Opus Dei, as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

 - Appointed Fr. Jean Claude Randrianarisoa of the clergy of the archdiocese of Antananarivo, Madagascar, rector of the inter-diocesan seminary of theology of Faliarivo, as bishop of Miarinarivo (area 18,000, population 445,284, Catholics 247,000, priests 43, religious 71), Madagascar. The bishop-elect was born in Nandihizana Carion, Madagascar in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1991. He succeeds Bishop Raymond Razakarinvony, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NA:NER:RE/.../...                            VIS 20070215 (260)

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