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Tuesday, May 6, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 6 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a telegram, in the Pope's name, to Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay, and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar, for the cyclone which struck the country recently, leaving thousands of victims in its wake. The text of the English-language telegram is given below:

  "Deeply saddened by news of the tragic aftermath of the recent cyclone, the Holy Father expresses his heartfelt sympathy. With prayers for the victims and their families, he invokes God's peace upon the dead and divine strength and comfort upon the homeless and all who are suffering. Confident that the international community will respond with generous and effective relief to the needs of your countrymen, His Holiness asks you to convey his solidarity and concern to the civil authorities and to all the beloved people of Myanmar".


VATICAN CITY, 6 MAY 2008 (VIS) - His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, will make an official visit to the Church of Rome and to the Holy Father from 6 to 9 May.

  According to a communique released by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the patriarch will be accompanied by 18 bishops of the Catholicosate of all Armenians and by a group of 75 Armenian Apostolic faithful, from Armenia and other countries in east and west. They will participate in the main events of the visit.

  Karekin II, who was elected as the 132nd Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians in October 1999, is due to arrive in Rome this evening.

  Tomorrow, 7 May, having prayed at the tomb of St. Peter and visited the statue of St. Gregory the Illuminator, patron saint of Armenia, which is located in the north patio of the Vatican Basilica, the Pope will welcome him at the beginning of the general audience in St. Peter's Square. In the afternoon, the Catholicos is to receive a doctorate "honoris causa" in "the theology of youth pastoral care" from the Pontifical Salesian University.

  On Thursday 8 May, the Patriarch will visit the Pontifical Armenian College and, during the afternoon, participate in an academic congress being held at the Pontifical Oriental Institute on "holy sacrifice in the Armenian tradition".

  On the morning of Friday 9 May, His Holiness Karekin II and his entourage will visit the offices of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, after which Benedict XVI will receive the Catholicos in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. Following a private meeting between the two, the Pope will also receive the bishops accompanying the Patriarch. A celebration of the Word is due to take place, jointly presided by the Pope and Karekin II, at which the Armenian Apostolic faithful of the Patriarch's entourage will also participate.

  On the evening of 9 May, the Catholicos and his entourage will participate in the celebration of Vespers at the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, the final event of the Patriarch's visit to Rome.

  In November 2000, scarcely a year after his election, His Holiness Karekin II visited the Church of Rome and John Paul II. During that visit the Pope and the Patriarch presided at a Liturgy of the Word in the Vatican Basilica during which John Paul II gave the Catholicos a relic of St. Gregory the Illuminator which had been conserved for many years at the Convent of St. Gregory the Armenian in Naples, Italy.

  In September 2001, John Paul II made a visit to Armenia and to the See of Etchmiadzin where the Catholicos resides. The Patriarch also came to Rome for the Polish Pontiff's funeral on 8 April 2005.

  The communique concludes by explaining that, on the occasions of the various meetings between Bishops of Rome and the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, joint declarations have been signed on questions of great ecumenical importance in the historical, theological and pastoral fields.
OP/VISIT POPE ROME/KAREKIN II                VIS 20080506 (520)


VATICAN CITY, 6 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.
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VATICAN CITY, 6 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - As members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts: Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain; Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India; William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Archbishops John Joseph Myers of Newark, U.S.A., and Raymond Leo Burke of Saint Louis, U.S.A.

 - As members of the Congregation for the Clergy: Cardinals Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada, and Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela; Archbishops Tomash Peta of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan; Raymond Leo Burke of Saint Louis, U.S.A., and Willem Jacobus Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands.
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VATICAN CITY, 6 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The following prelates died recently:

 - Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, on 19 April at the age of 72.

- Bishop Alphonsus Maria H. A. Castermans, former auxiliary of Roermond, Netherlands, on 21 April at the age of 84.

- Bishop Benedito Domingos Coscia O.F.M., emeritus of Jatai, Brazil, on 30 April at the age of 85.

- Bishop Lucien Monsi-Agboka, emeritus of Abomey, Benin, on 27 April at the age of 81.

- Bishop Paul Marie Nguyen Minh Nhat, emeritus of Xuan Loc, Vietnam, on 17 January 2007 at the age of 80.
.../DEATHS/...                            VIS 20080506 (110)

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