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Thursday, January 15, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted:

 - The resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mansa, Zambia, presented by Andrew Aaron Chisha, upon having reached the age limit.

 - The resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Saint-Denis, France, presented by Bishop Olivier de Berranger, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences four prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Iran, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Nechan Karakeheyan, patriarchal administrator of Ispahan of the Armenians, apostolic administrator of the ordinariate for Catholics of Armenian rite resident in Greece, and ordinary for Armenian Catholics of Eastern Europe.

    - Archbishop Thomas Meram of Urmya of the Chaldeans, bishop of Salmas of the Chaldeans.

    - Archbishop Ignazio Bedini S.D.B. of Ispahan of the Latins.

    - Archbishop Ramzi Garmou of Tehran of the Chaldeans, patriarchal administrator of Ahwaz of the Chaldeans.
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VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2009 (VIS) - On Monday 12 January, an Agreement was signed in Kiel, Germany, between the Holy See and Schleswig-Holstein, regulating relations between the Catholic Church and that German Land.

  Signing for the Holy See as plenipotentiary was Archbishop Jean-Claude Perisset, apostolic nuncio to Germany and, for Schleswig-Holstein, Peter Harry Carstensen, minister-president.

  According to a communique made public yesterday afternoon "the Agreement, which includes 24 articles, regulates the juridical position of the Catholic Church in the Land of Schleswig-Holstein. Among other things it establishes norms for the teaching of Catholic religion in State schools; State recognition of Church-run schools; university education; Church activity in the fields of pastoral care, social work, healthcare and charity; ecclesiastical tax and the maintenance of church buildings which have the status of monuments. In brief, the role of the Catholic Church in the society of Schleswig-Holstein is recognised".


VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2009 (VIS) - A communique made public today announces that "the Holy Father Benedict XVI, moved by his pastoral solicitude for the Syriac Catholic Church and in view of Canon 72 para. 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, has called a Synod of bishops of the Syriac Catholic Church, to take place in Rome from 17 to 23 January, in order to elect a new patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians and of All the East.

  "The Synod will begin with two days of prayer and reflection and will be presided by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches".


VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2009 (VIS) - In a traditional meeting that takes place every year in January, Benedict XVI today received members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security in the Vatican.

  In his remarks the Pope referred to the sacrifices their activities involve, sacrifices that also affect their families "because of the shift-work required in order to maintain constant watch over the area around St. Peter's Square and the Vatican".

  He went on: "A new year is beginning and we have many expectations and hopes. Yet we cannot hide the fact that many threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon. We must not, however, lose heart, rather we must keep the flame of hope alive in our hearts. For us as Christians the true hope is Christ, the Father's gift to humanity. ... Only Christ can help us build a world in which justice and love reign".

  Benedict XVI told the members of the Inspectorate that their work "can be experienced as a mission; a service to others through order and security and, at the same time, a form of individual asceticism; what we may call constant internal vigilance which requires harmony between discipline and cordiality, between self-control and attentive welcome of the pilgrims and tourists who come to the Vatican.

  "If undertaken with love", he added, "such service becomes prayer, a prayer even more welcome to God when your work is thankless, monotonous and tiring, especially during the night and in bad weather. It is by doing their duty well", he concluded, "that each of the baptised achieves his or her vocation of sanctity".
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