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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - As members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: Cardinals Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and Leonardo Sandri, president of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - As consultors of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum:" Archbishop Douglas Young S.V.D. of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea; Fr. Manfred Ertl, Germany; Silverio Agea Rodriguez, Spain and Henrietta Tambunting de Villa, Philippines.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2007 (VIS) - A communique was made public today concerning the 12th meeting of the special council for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. The council was held from October 12 to 13.

  Under the presidency of Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, the meeting was attended by four cardinals and by eight archbishops and bishops.

  The participants reflected upon the current social and ecclesial situation in the various countries of the American continent, bearing in mind John Paul II's 1999 post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in America."

  According to the communique, released by the secretariat of the Synod, "migratory movements are one of the aspects of greatest concern," with the situation of immigrants who are deported back to their countries of origin being "particularly delicate."

  Participants in the meeting particularly highlighted questions such as "the production and trafficking of drugs, violence and political corruption, and the promotion of a series of laws contrary to ethical norms (concerning abortion and euthanasia)." They also noted how, from a social point of view, "a current of thought continues to develop, often of neo-Marxist inspiration, which creates imbalances in international relations and in the internal affairs of States, and seeks to ignore the Catholic Church and to ignore her as a partner in social dialogue."

  In the ecclesial field, says the communique, "the increase in vocations to the priesthood is a cause of consolation." Moreover, "the Fifth General Assembly of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, celebrated in Brazil from May 13 to 31, gave rise to considerable hope."

  On the subject of Benedict XVI's 2007 post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Sacramentum caritatis," the communique noted the "positive repercussions" on the American continent of the document "which has given renewed energy to the celebration and adoration of the Eucharistic Mystery."

  The next meeting of the special council for America is due to take place on November 18 and 19, 2008.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2007 (VIS) - On Sunday, October 21, Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to the Italian city of Naples where he will meet with the heads of delegations participating in the International Meeting for Peace, an annual initiative promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community, being held this year from October 21 to 23.

  The Pope will depart from the Vatican by helicopter at 8.15 a.m., landing at 9.15 a.m. on an esplanade in the port area of the city. From there he will travel by popemobile to Piazza del Plebiscito.

  At 10 a.m. he will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration in Piazza del Plebiscito, then pray the Angelus. At 12.15 p.m. he is due to travel to the archiepiscopal seminary of Capodimonte where he will meet with the heads of delegations participating in the International Meeting for Peace.

  After lunching with cardinals and bishops of the Campania region of Italy, and with participants in the International Meeting for Peace, at 4 p.m. the Holy Father will travel by popemobile to the cathedral of Naples where, at 4.30 p.m., he will pray before the Blessed Sacrament and venerate the relics of Naples' patron saint, St Gennaro, in the chapel dedicated to him.

  At 5.30 p.m. Benedict XVI will board his helicopter in the port area of Naples for the return flight to the Vatican, where he is due to arrive at 6.30 p.m.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Message to Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the occasion of World Food Day, an annual event organized by the FAO every October 16.

  With the theme chosen for this year's Day, "the right to food," writes the Holy Father in his message, the FAO "is inviting the international community to face up to one of the most serious challenges of our time: freeing from hunger millions of human beings, whose lives are in danger because of a lack of daily bread."

  "We must realize that the efforts made thus far do not seem to have significantly diminished the number of hungry people in the world," the Pope observes, "despite the fact that everyone recognizes that food is a primary right. ... The available data shows that the lack of fulfillment of the right to food is due not only to natural causes but, above all, to situations provoked by human behavior which lead to a generalized social, economic and human deterioration."

  The Pope goes on to recall how "an ever greater number of people - because of poverty or bloody conflicts - find themselves obliged to abandon their homes and their loved ones in order to seek sustenance outside their own lands, Despite international agreements, many of them are rejected" he adds, highlighting the "pressing" need for a concrete undertaking in which "all members of society, both in the individual and the international spheres, feel committed to cooperating in order to make the right to food possible." The lack of fulfillment of this right, he says, "constitutes an evident violation of human dignity and of the rights deriving therefrom."

  The Holy Father then goes on to praise the FAO's expert understanding of "the problems of the agricultural world and of food insecurity, and its proven capacity to present plans and programs for their solution" as well as the organization's "acute sensitivity to the aspirations of those calling for more human living conditions."

  "The Catholic Church," he concludes, "feels closely involved ... in this task and, through her various institutions, wishes to continue collaboration in order to support the desires and hopes of those individuals and peoples towards whom the activity of the FAO is directed."
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