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Thursday, April 3, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 3 APR 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Dieter Althaus, minister-president of the Free State of Thuringen, Germany, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, archbishop emeritus of Tokyo, Japan.

 - Six prelates from the Antilles Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Michel Meranville of Fort-de-France, Martinique.

    - Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne, French Guyana.

    - Archbishop Lawrence Aloysius Burke S.J. of Kingston in Jamaica, Jamaica, accompanied by Coadjutor Archbishop Donald James Reece.

    - Bishop Dorick McGowan Wright of Belize City-Belmopan, Belize.

    - Bishop Charles Henry Dufour of Montego Bay, Jamaica, apostolic administrator of Mandeville, Jamaica.

  On Wednesday 2 April, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland, and Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, coadjutor of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine.
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VATICAN CITY, 3 APR 2008 (VIS) - At 5.20 p.m. on Monday 7 April, the Pope will make a visit to the memorial to witnesses of the faith of the 20th and 21st centuries, which is located in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Rome's Isola Tiberina.

  This visit marks the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Sant'Egidio Community, which Servant of God John Paul II entrusted with the construction of the memorial in the basilica.

  A communique released by the Sant'Egidio Community explains that the Basilica of St. Bartholomew is "one of the oldest places of worship in the capital. It contains memorials and relics of many witnesses of our time, from the martyr Bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, to Cardinal Posadas Ocampo who was killed by drug traffickers at Guadalajara, Mexico; from the evangelical pastor Paul Schneider ... who opposed Nazism as a contentious objector and witness of the faith, to Fr. Andrea Santoro, a Roman priest killed recently in Trabzon, Turkey".


VATICAN CITY, 3 APR 2008 (VIS) - "The presence and witness of grandparents in families" is the theme of the 18th plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. More than 300 people will participate in the event, which begins today in the Vatican and will last to 5 April.

  This morning, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute of the Secretariat of State, addressed the gathering on the subject of the role of the elderly in the Church and in society.

  Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, will preside at the first two Eucharistic celebrations.

  Among the lay participants who have been invited to bear witness to the role of grandparents in modern society are the Italian politicians Marcello Pera and Giulio Andreotti, as well as a large number of experts from five continents.

  Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture will talk about grandparents as they appear in the Bible, whereas "the figure of grandparents in immigrant families" will be the subject of the contribution from Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. For his part, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, will speak on Pope Paul VI's Encyclical "Humanae vitae" forty years after its publication.

  Finally, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, will inform the gathering on preparations for the 6th World Meeting of Families, which is due be held in Mexico City in 2009.

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