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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


VATICAN CITY, APR 24, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Msgr. Konrad Zdarsa, vicar general of the diocese of Dresden-Meissen, Germany, as bishop of Gorlitz (area 9,700, population 792,824, Catholics 32,203, priests 59, permanent deacons 4, religious 84), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Hainichen, Germany in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1974.

 - Bishop John Clayton Nienstedt of New Ulm, U.S.A., as coadjutor archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (area 17,225, population 3,027,000, Catholics 837,000, priests 514, permanent deacons 221, religious 1,206), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in Detroit, U.S.A., in 1947, he was ordained a priest in 1974, and consecrated a bishop in 1996.
NER:NEC/.../ZDARSA:NIENSTEDT                VIS 20070424 (120)


VATICAN CITY, APR 24, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of a talk delivered by Msgr. Franco Follo before the executive council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on April 20.

  Msgr. Follo, Holy See permanent observer to UNESCO, dwelt on the importance of the authentic promotion of the dignity of women and of their participation in social life.

  "Christian faith," said the permanent observer, "nourishes the conviction that no human being, man or woman, can be denied the intrinsic value that God granted to each person," a value "that cannot be alienated. At the same time, this original dignity reminds us that all human beings must be treated as people and not as objects."

  Msgr. Follo highlighted how political and social, national and international organizations "have the duty to do everything possible to ensure that such dignity is always respected, in all the stages of a person's life. In this context, greater attention must be given to ensuring respect for women and girls, especially as concerns their physical integrity, their free decision to choose a husband, and the need for them to access education and social life."

  "Thanks to women, whose often humble and unseen activities must be supported, it will be possible to promote the family more effectively as a basic social cell, young people will learn to integrate into social networks, peace will be sought with greater intensity, and dialogue and human relationships will become factors for fraternity and solidarity at the local level. In other words," he concluded, "all of society will benefit from the vocation, the activity and the genius of women."
DELSS/DIGNITY WOMEN/UNESCO:FOLLO            VIS 20070424 (290)


VATICAN CITY, APR 24, 2007 (VIS) - On April 29, fourth Sunday of Easter and 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Pope is due to preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica during which he will confer priestly ordination upon 22 deacons from the diocese of Rome.
OCL/PRIESTLY ORDINATIONS/...                VIS 20070424 (70)


VATICAN CITY, APR 24, 2007 (VIS) - Late this morning, the Holy See Press Office published the following communique on the Pope's audience with Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), president of the Palestinian Authority.

  "This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, accompanied by his entourage. President Abbas then went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "In the course of the cordial discussions, attention turned to the situation in the Middle East. Particular appreciation was expressed for the commitment - thanks also to the help of the international community - to relaunch the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Talks also dwelt upon the internal Palestinian situation with reference, among other things, to the difficulties faced by Catholics, and the value of their contribution to that society."
OP/PALESTINE/MAZEN                        VIS 20070424 (160)


VATICAN CITY, APR 24, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was the Message of Benedict XVI for the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which is due to be celebrated on April 29, the fourth Sunday of Easter, and which has as its theme this year: "The vocation to the service of the Church as communion."

  The Message is dated February 10 and has been published in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Polish. Extracts from the text are given below:

  "The first Christian community was built, in its original core, when some fishermen of Galilee, having met Jesus, ... accepted His pressing invitation: 'Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men!'

  "In fact, God has always chosen some individuals to work with Him in a more direct way, in order to accomplish His plan of salvation. In the Old Testament, in the beginning, He called Abraham to form a 'great nation;' afterwards, He called Moses to free Israel from the slavery of Egypt. ... In the New Testament, Jesus, the promised Messiah, invited each of the Apostles to be with Him and to share His mission. ... The mission of the Church, therefore, is founded on an intimate and faithful communion with God.

  "The Vatican Council II Constitution 'Lumen gentium' describes the Church as 'a people made one with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,' in which is reflected the very mystery of God. This means that the love of the Trinity is reflected in her. Moreover, thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, all the members of the Church form 'one body and one spirit' in Christ. This people, organically structured under the guidance of its pastors, lives the mystery of communion with God and with the brethren, especially when it gathers for the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source of that ecclesial unity for which Jesus prayed on the eve of His passion."

  "This intense communion favors the growth of generous vocations at the service of the Church: the heart of the believer, filled with divine love, is moved to dedicate itself wholly to the cause of the Kingdom. In order to foster vocations, therefore, it is important that pastoral activity be attentive to the mystery of the Church as communion; because whoever lives in an ecclesial community that is harmonious, co-responsible and conscientious, certainly learns more easily to discern the call of the Lord.

  "The care of vocations, therefore, demands a constant 'education' for listening to the voice of God. ... Now, docile and faithful listening can only take place in a climate of intimate communion with God which is realized principally in prayer. According to the explicit command of the Lord, we must implore the gift of vocations, in the first place by praying untiringly and together to the 'Lord of the harvest.' The invitation is in the plural. ... The Good Shepherd, therefore, invites us to pray to the heavenly Father, to pray unitedly and insistently, that He may send vocations for the service of the Church as communion."

  "It is indispensable that, within the Christian people, every ministry and charism be directed to full communion; and it is the duty of the bishop and priests to promote this communion in harmony with every other Church vocation and service. The consecrated life, too, of its very nature, is at the service of this communion."

  "Dear brothers and sisters whom the Lord calls to particular vocations in the Church: I would like to entrust you in a special way to Mary, so that she, who more than anyone else understood the meaning of the words of Jesus: 'My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it.' ... May she help you to say with your lives: 'Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God'."
MESS/DAY PRAYER VOCATIONS/...                VIS 20070424 (660)

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