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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2007 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a telegram sent by the Holy Father, via Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., to Viktor Yushchenko, president of the Republic of Ukraine, for a recent explosion in the country's Zasyadko mine which killed 88 people:

  "Having learned of the disaster in the Zasyadko mine in eastern Ukraine, the Supreme Pontiff wishes to express his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the government authorities and to the entire nation. While giving assurances of his fervent prayers for the souls of the deceased, he calls upon the Lord of heaven to grant consolation to the injured and to those suffering from the dramatic loss of their loved ones."


VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of a document published by the Congregation for Catholic Education, entitled: "Educating Together in Catholic Schools. A Shared Mission between Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful."

  Participating in the press conference were Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, respectively prefect and under-secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Roberto Zappala, rector of the high schools of the Gonzaga Institute in Milan, Italy.

  In his talk, Cardinal Grocholewski expressed the view that globalization "favors meeting and exchange between peoples, but it can also produce dangerous cultural homologies, a sort of cultural colonialism."

  The cardinal went on to note that "a profound malady is affecting the educational world, especially in the West." Professors "feel a lack of motivation and have to witness the frustration of their educational duties. Among the worrying signs are the increase of violence in schools and among adolescents, and the difficulties faced by families which, it as well to recall, have the prime responsibility for the education of their children" and must play "an active part in the school community."

  Msgr. Zani provided a number of statistics illustrating the presence of Catholic schools in various areas of the globe.

  "In the world today," he said, "there are some 250,000 Catholic educational institutes frequented by slightly fewer than 42 million pupils, distributed over the continents as follows: ten million in Africa, twelve million in the Americas, ten million in Asia, nine million in Europe, and 800,000 in Oceania. Teachers in Catholic schools number around three and a half million."

  Msgr. Zani continued: "Catholic schools operate in all geographical areas, including those in which religious liberty does not exist or that are socially and economically disadvantaged," and have "an amazing capacity to respond to emergencies and to formative needs."

  To illustrate this point, Msgr. Zani quoted the examples of Lebanon, where "the program of Catholic schools has as its principal aim that of leading young people to dialogue and collaboration between Muslims and Christians," and of Bosnia where, "in the midst of the Balkans war, the archdiocese of Sarajevo founded three schools called 'Schools for Europe,' ... to welcome Serbs, Croats and Muslims."

  "Special mention must be made," he continued, "of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. There the collapse of communism unblocked a situation which had persisted for many years, enabling a rediscovery of the value of the individual and of freedom, also in the formative process. In many of those countries educational laws have been greatly revised and now also include recognition and economic support for Catholic schools."

  Professor Zappala indicated that the document, 26 pages long and published in English, French, Spanish and Italian, "wishes to contribute to reflections on three fundamental aspects concerning the collaboration between lay faithful and consecrated people in Catholic schools."

  To this end, the professor explained, the text of the document is divided into three sections. The first section, "communion in the mission of education, ... focuses on the theological and anthropological roots of communion." In the second section, "a journey of formation for educating together," it is made clear that "to educate in communion and for communion a specific formation is necessary;" thus this section considers the aspects of professional formation, theological and spiritual formation, and communion for education.

  As for the third section, "communion for opening oneself towards others," Professor Zappala quoted from the document, saying: "Educating in communion and for communion means directing students to grow authentically as persons who 'gradually learn to open themselves up to life as it is, and to create in themselves a definite attitude to life' that will help them to open their views and their hearts to the world that surrounds them, able to see things critically, with a sense of responsibility and a desire for constructive commitment."


VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Brendan Kelly of the diocese of Galway and Kilmacduagh, Ireland, vicar general, as bishop of Achonry (area 1,450, population 37,464, Catholics 35,752, priests 48, religious 87), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Ballinakill, Ireland in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971. He succeeds Bishop Thomas Flynn, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Michael W. Warfel of Juneau, U.S.A., as bishop of Great Falls-Billings (area 241,276, population 391,360, Catholics 51,629, priests 74, permanent deacons 6, religious 81), USA.

 - Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue: Archbishops Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; and Bishops Thomas Dabre of Vasai, India; Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, auxiliary of Kwangju, Korea, and Christopher Charles Prowse, auxiliary of Melbourne, Australia.

 - Appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue: Bishops Paul Hinder O.F.M. Cap., apostolic vicar of Arabia, U.A.E.; George Frendo O.P., auxiliary of Tirane-Durres, Albania, and Janusz Kaleta, apostolic administrator of Atyrau, Kazakhstan; Msgrs. Paolo Selvadagi, professor at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, and Peter D. Fleetwood, adjunct secretary of the CCEE, Great Britain; Frs. Wilybard Lagho, head of dialogue with Islam for the archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya; James Massa, secretary of the commission for ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Fernando Giannetti, pastor of "Nuestra Senora de la Misericordia" in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Jean-Marc Aveline, director of the "Institut de Science et de Theologie des Religions" of Marseille, France; Hector Michael Ortega, spiritual director of the "community of philosophy" of the diocesan seminary of Colma, Mexico; Jurandyr Araujo S.D.B., delegate for Afro-Brazilian religions of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference; Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.I., president of Rome's Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies; Joseph Ellul O.P., professor at Malta's Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas; Benedict Kanakapalli O.C.D., professor at India's Pontifical Urban University; Lorenzo Piretto O.P., vicar delegate, apostolic vicar of Istanbul, Turkey, and Benoit Vermander S.J., academic director of the Ricci Institute of Taipei, Taiwan; Sr. Gertrud Veronika de Jesus Wiedmann, superior general of the Fraternity of the Little Sisters of Jesus, Germany; and Professor Teresa de Jesus Osorio Dias Goncalves, former official of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
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