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Friday, February 6, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 6 FEB 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Martin Dada Abejide Olorunmolu of Lokoja.

    - Bishop Athanasius Atule Usuh of Makurdi, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop William Avenya.

    - Bishop Michael Ekwoy Apochi of Otukpo.

    - Archbishop Joseph Edra Ukpo of Calabar.

    - Bishop Camillus Archibong Etokudoh of Ikot Ekpene.

    - Bishop John Ebebe Ayah of Ogoja.
AL/.../...                                VIS 20090206 (80)


VATICAN CITY, 6 FEB 2009 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. today released the following declaration denying a claim made by the Italian newspaper "La Stampa" that Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had spoken by telephone concerning the suspension of tube hydration and feeding to Eluana Englaro, an Italian woman who has been in a coma since 1992:

  "We categorically deny the report published this morning, with such emphasis, by an Italian daily newspaper, concerning a supposed telephone conversation between Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The news is completely unfounded".
OP/DENIAL/BERLUSCONI:BERTONE                VIS 20090206 (120)


VATICAN CITY, 6 FEB 2009 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, yesterday addressed the 47th session of the Economic and Social Council's Commission for Social Development.

  Speaking English the archbishop turned his attention to the question of social integration, underlining how a recent report on that subject from the U.N. secretary general "states that the absence of social integration, resulting in social exclusion, is pervasive in developing and developed regions alike and has common causes, namely poverty, inequality and discrimination at all levels".

  The framework for development, he went on, "is marked by the conviction that the logic of solidarity and subsidiarity is the most apt and instrumental to overcome poverty and ensure the participation of every person and social group at the social, economic, civil and cultural levels.

  "A broad consensus around the commitment to promote development has been revealed in this last decade in the fight against poverty and in fostering the inclusion and the participation of all persons and social groups", he added.

  "The pursuit of the goals and, in the end, of development and social cohesion requires not only financial aid, but the effective involvement of people", said Archbishop Migliore, going on to recall the words of Benedict XVI in his Message for the World Day of Peace 2009: "The problems of development, aid and international co-operation are sometimes addressed without any real attention to the human element, but as merely technical questions - limited, that is, to establishing structures, setting up trade agreements, and allocating funding impersonally. What the fight against poverty really needs are men and women who live in a profoundly fraternal way and are able to accompany individuals, families and communities on journeys of authentic human development".

  The permanent observer concluded his remarks by insisting that "the needs of families, women, youth, the uneducated and unemployed, the indigenous, the elderly, migrants and all other groups more vulnerable to social exclusion must be addressed through the appropriate legal, social and institutional structures".

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