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Friday, July 25, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 25 JUL 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - As members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of San Antonio, U.S.A.

 - As members of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Fr. Marian Subocz, director general of "Caritas Polska"; Fr. Oscar Arias Bravo, executive co-ordinator of "Caritas Mexico - CEPS"; Francois Soulage, national president of "Secours Catholique", and Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary general of "Caritas Internationalis".

 - As members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences: Onorato Bucci, professor of institutions of Roman law at the University of Molise, Italy; Paolo Nardi, professor of the history of medieval and modern law at the University of Siena, Italy, and Elisabeth Kieven, professor of the history of architecture at the University of Tubingen, Germany.
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VATICAN CITY, 25 JUL 2008 (VIS) - On Monday 28 July, the Holy Father is due to travel to Bressanone, a small city of 20,000 inhabitants located in the Italian alpine region of Alto Adige, where he will spend a period of vacation in the local seminary, until 11 August.

  The fact that the Pope has chosen to go to Bressanone "represents a novelty with respect to earlier years" when he went to Les Combes in Valle d'Aosta and Lorenzago di Cadore, explained Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. in an interview. "The place is associated with many memories of Pope Benedict's life", said Fr. Lombardi "and has particular value for its German-language culture. What we call Alto Adige and in German is known as Sudtirol is, in fact, a fundamental area for German-language culture and the Pope, as a highly cultured man, will certainly feel at home there".

  The director of the Holy See Press Office went on to point out that during his fortnight in the mountains "the Pope has no scheduled appointments, apart from his traditional meeting with priests from the diocese and the surrounding areas" which this year will take place on 6 August, and the praying of the Angelus on Sunday 3 August and Sunday 10 August.

  After his return to Castelgandolfo on 11 August, the Holy Father will begin to prepare his forthcoming trips: to the Italian city of Cagliari on 7 September, and to Paris and Lourdes in France from 12 to 15 September. In October, the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God will meet "and the Pope is already preparing himself. It is possible that he may dedicate time - if he is well-rested and able to work - to the second part of his book on Jesus or to completing his social Encyclical, which we have been expecting for some time. Or who knows", Fr. Lombardi concluded, "but that he may have something else in mind: last year he gave us his Encyclical on hope which, in a certain sense, we were not expecting".
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VATICAN CITY, 25 JUL 2008 (VIS) - The following communique was released this morning by the Holy See Press Office:

  "Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki, prime minister of the Republic of Iraq. The prime minister had earlier met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "The discussions, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, provided an opportunity to examine a number of fundamental aspects of the situation in Iraq, also taking into account the regional situation. Particular attention was given to the question of the many Iraqi refugees, both inside and outside the country, who are in need of assistance, also with a view to their hoped-for return.

  "Renewed condemnation was expressed for the violence that continues to hit various parts of the country almost daily, not sparing the Christian communities which strongly feel the need for greater security.

  "The hope was expressed that Iraq may definitively discover the road to peace and development through dialogue and co-operation among all ethnic and religious groups, including minorities, which, while respecting their respective identities and in a spirit of reconciliation and of searching for the common good, together undertake the moral and civil reconstruction of the country. In this context, the importance of inter-religious dialogue was reiterated, as a way to religious understanding and civil coexistence. The prime minister invited the Holy Father to visit Iraq.
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