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Thursday, September 18, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2008 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Cardinal Antonio Innocenti, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, on 6 September at the age of 93.

 - Bishop Jose Antonio Dammert Bellindo, emeritus of Cajamarca, Peru, on 10 September at the age of 91.

 - Bishop Daniel Gil Zorrilla S.J., emeritus of Salto, Uruguay, on 7 September at the age of 78.

 - Bishop Joseph Mukwaya, emeritus of Kiyinda-Mityana, Uganda, on 5 September at the age of 77.
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VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Panama, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Jose Dimas Cedeno Delgado of Panama, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Pablo Varela Server and Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta O.S.A.

    - Bishop Fernando Torres Duran of Chitre.

    - Bishop Audilio Aguilar Aguilar of Colon - Kuna Yala.

    - Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan O.A.R. of David.
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VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2008 (VIS) - At midday today in Castelgandolfo, the Pope met participants in a symposium on the life and the pastoral and humanitarian work of Pius XII. The symposium was promoted by the Pave the Way Foundation, the president of which is Gary Krupp.

  Having mentioned the fact that 50 years have passed since the death, on 9 October 1958, of Servant of God Pius XII, the Holy Father pointed out that although "so much has been written and said of him during these last five decades, ... not all of the genuine facets of his diverse pastoral activity have been examined in a just light.

  "The aim of your symposium", he added continuing his English-language talk, "has been precisely to address some of these deficiencies, conducting a careful and documented examination of many of his interventions, especially those in favour of the Jews who in those years were being targeted all over Europe, in accordance with the criminal plan of those who wanted to eliminate them from the face of the earth.

  "When one draws close to this noble Pope, ... one can come to appreciate the human wisdom and pastoral intensity which guided him in his long years of ministry, especially in providing organised assistance to the Jewish people.

  "Thanks to the vast quantity of documented material which you have gathered, supported by many authoritative testimonies, your symposium offers to the public forum the possibility of knowing more fully what Pius XII achieved for the Jews persecuted by the Nazi and fascist regimes", said the Holy Father.

  He then highlighted how the work of the symposium had drawn attention to Pope Pius' "many interventions, made secretly and silently, precisely because, given the concrete situation of that difficult historical moment, only in this way was it possible to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews. This courageous and paternal dedication was recognised and appreciated during and after the terrible world conflict by Jewish communities and individuals who showed their gratitude for what the Pope had done for them".

  Pope Benedict thanked the Pave the Way Foundation "for its ongoing activity in promoting relationships and dialogue between religions, as witnesses of peace, charity and reconciliation.

  "It is my great hope", he concluded, "that this year, which marks the 50th anniversary of my venerated predecessor's death, will provide the opportunity to promote in-depth studies of various aspects of his life and his works in order to come to know the historical truth, overcoming every remaining prejudice.
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VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Jasna Krivosic-Prpic, the new ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Holy See.

  Addressing the diplomat in English, the Pope recalled how Bosnia and Herzegovina "contains a rich mix of cultures and precious patrimonies. Tragically, however, cultural and ethnic differences throughout history have not infrequently been a source of misunderstanding and friction, ... as each of the three constitutive peoples that make up your country know only too well".

  "No person wishes for war", he went on. "No civic or religious group should ever resort to violence or oppression. Yet, so many families in your land have been subjected to the suffering which results from these calamities. Listening to the voice of reason, however, and prompted by the hope that we all desire for ourselves and the generations which follow, every individual can find the strength to overcome past divisions".

  The Holy Father acknowledged "the progress being made to consolidate gestures of reconciliation", and he encouraged the international community "to continue its efforts to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina to this end. I trust that, in accepting the facts of regional history and the grave lessons to be learnt from recent years, the courage will be found to build a future with a healthy sense of solidarity.

  "A State's spirit is shaped at many levels", he added. "The family home is where children learn the essential values of responsibility and harmonious coexistence. It is here too that prejudices are either born or broken. Every parent therefore has the grave duty to instil in their children, through example, respect for the dignity that marks every person irrespective of ethnicity, religion or social grouping".

  "Good schooling not only attends to the cognitive development of children but to the civic and spiritual as well. Teachers ... can do much to discredit any false anthropological ideologies that contain seeds of hostility and to foster an appreciation of cultural and religious diversity in the life of a country".

  The communications media, the Pope insisted, "can do much to overcome lingering attitudes of distrust by ensuring that they do not become tools of prejudice but rather transcend particular interests and promote broad-based and inclusive civic goals, thus becoming instruments at the service of greater justice and solidarity".

  At the same time, the State "is called to pursue with vigour its responsibility to strengthen the institutions and extol the principles which lie at the heart of all democracies. ... I am sure that the constitutional reforms which your government is currently studying will address the legitimate aspirations of all citizens, guaranteeing both the rights of individuals and social groups", he said.

  "For her part the Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina", Pope Benedict concluded, "will continue to assist in the attainment of the goals of reconciliation, peace and prosperity. ... She exercises her mission of universal charity in its threefold form: material, intellectual and spiritual. ... The promotion of spiritual and moral values ... not only forms part of the transmission of religious traditions but also nourishes the wider culture, motivating men and women of goodwill to strengthen ties of solidarity and to manifest how a united society can indeed arise from a plurality of peoples".

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