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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 26 FEB 2008 (VIS) - At 11 a.m. on Saturday, 1 March, in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, an Ordinary Public Consistory will be held for the canonisation of the following Blesseds:

- Blessed Gaetano Errico, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (1791-1860).

 - Blessed Maria Bernarda Butler (nee Verena), Swiss foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (1848-1924).

- Blessed Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception (nee: Anna Muttathupandathu), Indian professed sister of the Congregation of Poor Clares of the Third Order of St. Francis (1910-1946).

- Blessed Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran, Ecuadorian lay woman (1833-1869).
OCL/CONSISTORY CANONISATION/...                VIS 20080226 (130)


VATICAN CITY, 26 FEB 2008 (VIS) - The Special Council for Oceania of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops held its ninth meeting in Rome on 14 and 15 February, according to a communique made public yesterday afternoon.

  Under the presidency of Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, the meeting was attended by two cardinals, five archbishops and one bishop, most of them from the continent of Oceania.

  "The particular Churches on this continent have an unquestionable vitality", says the communique. A vitality "sustained by the 2001 Apostolic Exhortation 'Ecclesia in Oceania' which has been reprinted and translated into various local languages".

  "The entire continent is being mobilised - both in the more socially advanced areas and in less developed regions - to prepare" for World Youth Day 2008, which is due to be held in Sydney, Australia, in July. Various economic initiatives have been organised to help young people from the poorest areas of the continent to participate in the event. "The Day", the communique proceeds, "is considered as one of the most important events in the history of Australia, and interest is growing in the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, as an event of special grace".

  On the subject of the other theme examined during the meeting, that of the inculturation of the Gospel message, the communique recalls how "this is one of the great pastoral concerns of the Church in Oceania. It is a gradual process by which the Gospel enters the various cultures, transforming or purifying certain values so they can find their place within a genuine Christian culture, without undermining due respect either for the Gospel or for the cultures themselves.

  "In this dynamic process", the communique adds in conclusion, "the joint efforts of pastors, priests, deacons and catechists are indispensable. Of particular importance are Catholic schools of all levels, which safeguard Catholic identity and remain as vital instruments of evangelical witness in the modern world, which is so often secularised".
SE/SYNOD OCEANIA/ETEROVIC                VIS 20080226 (340)


VATICAN CITY, 26 FEB 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy See Press Office released the following communique:

  "From 2 to 9 March, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. will - at the invitation of the religious and civil authorities - make a visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the course of which he will have the opportunity to express the closeness of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to the Catholic faithful in those countries.

  "The cardinal will meet the government authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  "During his stay in Armenia from 2 to 6 March, Cardinal Bertone will be received by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, to whom he will consign a Letter signed by Pope Benedict XVI. In the Letter, the Holy Father expresses his regards and his desire for the Catholic Church to continue the ecumenical journey alongside the Armenian Apostolic Church.

  "From 6 to 9 March, Cardinal Bertone will visit Azerbaijan where he will meet Sheikh Allashukur Pashazade, head of Muslims in the Caucasus, and other religious leaders, to tell them of the Catholic Church's desire to collaborate in the joint commitment to peace, harmony between peoples and the good of the human family. In Baku, Cardinal Bertone will attend the inauguration of a new Catholic church built on land donated to Servant of God John Paul II by President Heydar Aliyev, father of the current head of State".


VATICAN CITY, 26 FEB 2008 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" has, in the Holy Father's name, sent a first consignment of emergency economic aid to the 11 Ecuadorian dioceses affected by recent flooding, according to a communique made public at midday today.

  During the Angelus of Sunday 24 February, Benedict XVI launched an appeal for Ecuador "inviting everyone to show fraternal solidarity so that the people of these areas - who are experiencing moments of anguish and tribulation in the wake of devastating floods and the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano - may, as soon a possible, return to the normality of everyday life".
CON-CU/ECONOMIC AID/ECUADOR                VIS 20080226 (120)

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