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Wednesday, April 23, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Msgr. Dimitrios Salachas of the clergy of the apostolic exarchate for Greek Catholics of Byzantine Rite, Greece, as apostolic exarch of the same exarchate (Catholics 2,300, priests 10, religious 14). The bishop-elect was born in Athens, Greece in 1939 and ordained a priest in 1964. He succeeds Bishop Anarghyros Printesis, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same exarchate the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

 - Appointed Fr. Jacques Danka Longa of the clergy of the diocese of Kara, Togo, rector of the John Paul II major seminary, as coadjutor of the same diocese (area 10,590, population 920,000, Catholics 123,288, priests 67, religious 94). The bishop-elect was born in Sokode, Togo in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1992.

 - Appointed Fr. Lazlo Nemet SVD, secretary of the Hungarian Catholic Bishops' Conference, as bishop of Zrenjanin (area 9,387, population 560,809, Catholics 65,746, priests 25, permanent deacons 1, religious 16), Serbia. The bishop-elect was born in Odzaci, Serbia in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983.
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VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2008 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI pronounced a homily following the funeral Mass for the late Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who died on Saturday 19 April at the age of 72.

  The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.

  The Holy Father traced the biography of the youngest cardinal created by John Paul II in the consistory of 1983, recalling his priestly ordination in 1960, his work as auxiliary bishop of Bogota in the 1970s, as president of the Latin American Episcopal Council from 1979 to 1983, as president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia from 1987 to 1990, and his appointment as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family in 1990.

  The Pope highlighted "the zeal and passion" with which the cardinal worked over the last 18 years, "his tireless activity in safeguarding and promoting the family and Christian marriage" as well as "the courage with which he defended the non-negotiable values of human life".

  Among the late cardinal's achievements, the Pope mentioned "the 'Lexicon', which is a valuable formational text for pastoral care workers and an instrument for dialogue with the modern world on the fundamental themes of Christian ethics. We cannot", he added, "but be grateful for the tenacious battle he fought to defend the truth of familial love and to spread the gospel of the family".

  "The late cardinal drew his love for the truth about mankind and for the gospel of the family from the belief that each human being and each family reflects the mystery of God Who is Love", said the Pope. He also recalled the Synod of 1997 during which the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family "proposed a highly effective form of spirituality for those committed to realising the divine plan for the family; and he highlighted the fact that if science does not dedicate itself to understanding life and to educating for life, it will lose the most important battles in the fascinating and mysterious field of genetic engineering".

  Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, whose motto was "Veritas in caritate", dedicated "his entire life to affirming the truth", said the Pope. This, he explained, was because "the truth of love" always remained the bedrock of the cardinal's life. While still in Colombia, he sought "to discover the significance of genuine liberation in the area of theology" and later, in Rome, he dedicated himself to "proclaiming and spreading the gospel of life and the gospel of the family, as a collaborator of the Holy Father".

  "May the generosity of the lamented cardinal - which translated into multiple works of charity, especially in support of children in various parts of the globe - encourage us to use all our own physical and spiritual resources for the Gospel, may it spur us on to work in defence of human life, and help us to look constantly to the goal of our earthly pilgrimage".
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