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Thursday, March 22, 2007


VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2007 (VIS) - The following prelates died recently:

 - Bishop Miguel Angel Lecumberri Erburu O.C.D., former apostolic vicar of Tumaco, Colombia, on March 14, at the age of 82.

 - Bishop Carlos Ambrosio Lewis S.V.D., coadjutor emeritus of David, Panama, on November 29, 2004, at the age of 86.

 - Bishop Jose Ivo Lorscheiter, emeritus of Santa Maria, Brazil, on March 5, at the age of 79.

 - Bishop Abdul-Ahad Sana, emeritus of Alquoch of the Chaldeans, Iraq, on March 2, 2007, at the age of 84.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Freetown and Bo, Sierra Leone, presented by Bishop Joseph Henry Ganda, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to Uganda, as apostolic nuncio to Mexico.

 - Appointed Bishop Richard William Smith of Pembroke, Canada, as metropolitan archbishop of Edmonton (area 81,151, population 1,439,572, Catholics 353,545, priests 175, permanent deacons 1, religious 449), Canada. The archbishop-elect was born in Halifax, Canada in 1959, he was ordained a priest in 1987, and consecrated a bishop in 2002.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

    - Archbishop Giuseppe Mani of Cagliari, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Mose Marcia.

    - Bishop Antioco Piseddu of Lanusei.

    - Bishop Pietro Meloni of Nuoro.

    - Archbishop Ignazio Sanna of Oristano.

    - Bishop Giovanni Dettori of Ales-Terralba, accompanied by Bishop-elect Paolo Zedda of Iglesias and by Bishop Antonino Orru, emeritus of Ales-Terralba.

 - Archbishop Leo Boccardi, apostolic nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea, accompanied by members of his family.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2007 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI is due to make a pastoral visit to the Italian towns of Vigevano and Pavia on April 21 and 22.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican , Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care. The council is presided by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan.

  In his talk to them, the Pope affirmed that "health pastoral care is, in fact, an evangelical field par excellence that immediately calls to mind the work of Jesus, the Good Samaritan of humankind ... Who always accompanied His preaching with the signs He worked upon the sick."

  "The health of man, of all of man, was the sign that Jesus chose to express the proximity of God and His merciful love that heals the spirit, the soul and the body," said the Holy Father.

  The Pope called on healthcare workers, in all their activities, to recollect Christ, Who is presented by the Gospels as the "divine doctor," and he added: "Helping human beings is a duty, both as a response to a fundamental right ... and because the cure of individuals works for the benefit of the community as a whole.

  "Modern science progresses in as much as it accepts the constant discussion of diagnoses and treatment methods, on the supposition that existing data and supposed limits can be overcome," he added. "Moreover, respect for and faith in healthcare workers is proportional to the conviction that these defenders of life will never despise a human existence, however handicapped it may be, and will always ... encourage attempts at a cure.

  "The commitment to treatment must, then, be extended to all human beings. ... This ethical perspective, based on the dignity of the human person and on the fundamental rights and duties connected thereto, is confirmed and strengthened by the commandment to love, the heart of the Christian message."

  "Charity as a duty of the Church," said Pope Benedict, "has a particularly significant application in the care of the sick. The history of the Church bears witness to this with innumerable cases of men and women ... who have worked in this field."

  Benedict XVI completed his talk by recalling the importance of the Eucharist, from which healthcare ministry can draw "the strength to help man effectively and promote him in accordance with his dignity. ... The Eucharist, administered decorously and prayerfully to the sick, is a vital lymph that comforts them and gives their souls the interior light necessary to live their infirmity and suffering with faith and hope."
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