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Friday, October 12, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Donald James Reece, of Saint John's-Basseterre, Antigua and Barbuda, as coadjutor archbishop of Kingston in Jamaica (area 3,267, population 1,405,000, Catholics 56,200, priests 57, permanent deacons 19, religious 287), Jamaica. The archbishop-elect was born in Kingston in Jamaica in 1934, he was ordained a priest in 1971 and consecrated a bishop in 1981.

 - Appointed Fr. Joseph Dang Duc Ngan, vicar general of the archdiocese of Hanoi, Vietnam, and pastor of the cathedral, as bishop of Lang Son et Cao Bang (area 14,945, population 1,618,000, Catholics 6,135, priests 5, religious 10), Vietnam. The bishop-elect was born in Hanoi in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1987.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 12, 2007 (VIS) - This evening, the Holy Father is due to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 12, 2007 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue today published a brief comment on a recent letter by 138 Muslim scholars to the Pope and other Christian leaders.

  "It is a very interesting letter," said the cardinal, indicating that it is "a new document because it comes from both Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims." It is also "a non-polemical document with numerous quotes from both the Old Testament and the New Testament," he added.

  Cardinal Tauran then considered what religious leaders must do to prevent the fusion of violence and religion underlining the need "to invite the followers [of religions] to share the three convictions contained in the letter: that God is One; that God loves us and we must love Him; that God calls us to love our neighbor. I would say that this represents a very encouraging sign because it shows that good will and dialogue are capable of overcoming prejudices, This is a spiritual approach to inter-religious dialogue which I would call dialogue of spirituality. Muslims and Christians must respond to one question: in your life, is God truly One?"
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a Letter to Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, for the occasion of the designation of the archdiocese of Mexico as the location of the 6th World Meeting of Families, which is due to take place from January 16 to 18, 2009. The theme of the gathering will be: "The family, educator in human and Christian values."

  "As the first school of life and of faith, and as a 'domestic church'," writes the Pope in his Letter, "the family is called to educate new generations in human and Christian values so as to forge in them - guiding their lives according to the model of Christ - a well-balanced personality. In such a vital task ... it is important to have the support of the school, of the parish and of the various ecclesial groups that favor the integral education of human beings."

  "At a time in which there is often an apparent disassociation between what people claim to believe and the way they live and behave, this forthcoming World Meeting of Families aims to encourage Christian homes in the formation of an upright moral conscience."

  "I ask the Lord that the period of preparation and the celebration of this event ... may be for families ... a special occasion joyfully to experience their vocation and mission."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 12, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy Father inaugurated the "Portone di Bronzo" (Bronze Door), the principal entrance to the Vatican Apostolic Palace which is returning to service following almost two years of restoration work.

  In his remarks, the Holy Father recalled how the door "was built by Giovanni Battista Soria and Orazio Censore during the pontificate of Paul V who, between 1617 and 1619, ordered the complete refurbishment of the entire structure of the 'Porta Palatii.' In 1663, following the colossal architectural modifications ... of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the door was moved to its current position ... between the colonnade of St. Peter's Square and the Constantine Wing."

  The intention had been to restore the door for the Great Jubilee 2000, but work could only begin in the year 2006. "Now," said the Pope, "it has returned to its place and function, under the beautiful mosaic of the Madonna and Child with Sts. Peter and Paul."

  Benedict XVI went on: "Precisely because it marks the point of access to the house of the person called by the Lord to guide, as father and pastor, the entire People of God, this door assumes a symbolic and spiritual significance. Those who come to meet Peter's Successor pass through here. Pilgrims and visitors to the various offices of the Apostolic Palace cross this threshold." In this context, he voiced the hope that "those who enter through the Bronze Door may feel ... they are welcomed by the Pope's embrace. The house of the Pope is open to everyone."

  Benedict XVI then thanked the people who collaborated in the restoration work: "the technical services of the Governorate of Vatican City State and the restoration laboratories of the Vatican Museums." In closing, he also expressed his gratitude for "the generous financial support of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the 'Credito Artigiano' Bank."
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