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Tuesday, July 1, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Tomorrow afternoon, Benedict XVI is due to travel to his summer residence at Castelgandolfo, located some 30 kilometres south of Rome.

  During the summer period, all private and special audiences will be suspended, says a communique released today by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household.

  On Sunday 6 July and Sunday 27 July, the Pope will pray the Angelus from the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo.

  The Wednesday general audiences of 9, 16, 23 and 30 July are suspended.

  From 12 to 21 July, the Holy Father will travel to Australia for the 23rd World Youth Day.

  On 21 July, Benedict XVI will return to Castelgandolfo. Then, from 28 July to 11 August, he will spend a period of vacation at the seminary of Bressanone, a small city of 20,000 inhabitants located in the Italian province of Bolzano, in the Alpine region of Trentino-Alto Adige. During this period, the Holy Father is scheduled to hold just two public meetings: on Sunday 3 August and Sunday 10 August, when he will pray the Angelus from that location.

  General audiences will resume again regularly from Wednesday 13 August.

  On Sundays and Solemnities over the summer, the Pope will pray the Angelus from the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.
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VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2008 (VIS) - "Combating poverty. Building peace" is the theme chosen by Benedict XVI for his Message for the 42nd World Day of Peace, due to be celebrated on 1 January 2009.

  "The theme chosen by the Holy Father", says a communique published today, "highlights the need for the human family to find an urgent response to the serious question of poverty, seen as a material problem but above all as a moral and spiritual one".

  The communique recalls how the Pope - in a Message addressed to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation on 2 June - denounced the scandal of world poverty in the following terms: "Poverty and malnutrition are not a simple fatality, provoked by adverse environmental situations or by disastrous natural calamities. ... Purely technical and economic considerations must not prevail over the duties of justice towards people suffering from hunger".

  The communique continues: "The scandal of poverty reveals the inadequacy of current systems of human coexistence in promoting the realisation of the common good. This imposes the need for reflection on the deep roots of material poverty and, consequently, also on spiritual poverty which makes man indifferent to the suffering of others. The answer, then, is to be sought first and foremost in the conversion of the human heart to the God of charity, so as to achieve poverty of spirit in the terms of the Message of salvation announced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is: "That there may be an increase in the number of those who, as volunteers, offer their services to the Christian community with generous and prompt availability".

  His mission intention is: "That the World Youth Day held in Sydney, Australia, may awaken the fire of divine love in young people and make them sowers of hope for a new humanity".
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