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Monday, April 6, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 6 APR 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Paul J. Bradley, auxiliary of the diocese of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., as bishop of Kalamazoo (area 13,817, population 965,000, Catholics 107,700, priests 76, permanent deacons 36, religious 245), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop James A. Murray, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday 4 April, it was made public that he:

 - Appointed Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the 1700th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Quirinus, due to take place in Krk, Croatia, on 4 June.

 - Appointed Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as his special envoy to preside at the election of the new minister general of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor. The ceremony is due to take place during the Order's general chapter in Assisi, Italy, on 4 June.

 - Appointed Fr. Silvio Siripong Charatsri, vicar general of Ratchaburi, Thailand, as bishop of Chanthaburi (area 34,000, population 4,454,615, Catholics 38,918, priests 112, religious 215), Thailand. The bishop-elect was born in Ban Nok Kwaek, Thailand in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1987. He succeeds Bishop Lawrence Thienchai Samanchit, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. James Wainaina Kungu of the clergy of Nyahururu, Kenya, rector of the major seminary of Christ the King in the archdiocese of Nyeri, Kenya, as bishop of Muranga (area 4,016, population 1,522,000, Catholics 716,950, priests 99, religious 120), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in Ngenya, Kenya in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1984.

 - Appointed Bishop Thomas Dabre of Vasai, India, as bishop of Poona (area 49,678, population 25,271,000, Catholics 71,236, priests 205, religious 1,220), India. He succeeds Bishop Valerian D'Souza, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Edmund Woga C.Ss.R., administrator of the diocese of Weetebula, Indonesia, as bishop of the same diocese (area 11,052, population 706,000, Catholics 135,107, priests 85, religious 78). The bishop-elect was born in Hewokloang, Indonesia in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1977.

 - Appointed Bishop Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo, auxiliary of Bomadi, Nigeria, as apostolic vicar of the same apostolic vicariate (area 18,000, population 2,884,000, Catholics 22,266, priests 19, religious 7). He succeeds Bishop Joseph O. Egerega, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same apostolic vicariate the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Fr. Manlio Sodi S.D.B., professor at the faculty of theology of the Pontifical Salesian University and ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for Theology, as president of the same academy.
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VATICAN CITY, 4 APR 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

 - Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

 - Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.

 - Archbishop Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Syria.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 APR 2009 (VIS) - Young people from all over the world, including a 7,000-strong delegation from the archdiocese of Madrid, Spain where Word Youth Day is due to be celebrated in 2011, participated in the Palm Sunday Eucharistic celebration presided by the Pope in St. Peter's Square this morning. Today also marks 24th World Youth Day, celebrated this year at a diocesan level on the theme: "We have set our hope on the living God".

  Before Mass, Benedict XVI blessed the palms and olive branches by the obelisk in the square then led the procession to the altar.

  In his homily the Holy Father remarked that Christ, with His death on the cross, demonstrated once again "the fundamental law of human existence: 'Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life'.

  "Those who wish to keep their lives for themselves", he added, "to live only for themselves, to keep everything for themselves and exploit every possibility; those people lose their lives. They become empty and boring. Only by abandoning ourselves, only in the disinterested giving of 'I' in favour of 'you', only in the 'yes' to the greater life, which is of God, do our own lives become broader and greater".

  "Love", Benedict XVI explained, "means the abandoning of self, the giving of self, not wishing to possess oneself but becoming free of self; not closing in on oneself (what will become of me?) but looking ahead towards others: towards God and towards the people He sends me".

  "In reality, however, it is not a question of simply recognising a principle but of living its truth, the truth of the cross and the resurrection. Hence, it is not enough to make one single great decision. It is certainly important to dare to make the great fundamental decision, to dare to say the great 'yes' which the Lord asks of us at a certain moment in our lives", yet this must then be "constantly renewed in our everyday lives in which, ever and anew, we must abandon our own self and place ourselves at the disposal of others".

  The Pope went on: "Sacrifice and denial are part of a just life. Those who promise a life without this ever-new gift of self, are deluding others. Without sacrifice, there can be no fulfilling life". In this context he also explained how in his own experience "the times in which I said 'yes' to a sacrifice were the greatest and most important moments of my life".

  "The glory of God, His lordship, His will, these are always more important and truer than my thoughts, than my will. What is essential is ... to learn this just ordering of reality and accept it intimately, trusting in God and believing that He is doing the right thing, that His will is truth and love, that my life becomes good if I learn to adhere to this order. For us the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are the guarantee that we can truly trust God. It is in this way that His Kingdom is realised".

  The cross "travels from one end of the earth to the other, from sea to sea, and we accompany it. We travel with it on its path and thus we discover our own path.

  "When we touch the cross, when, indeed, we carry it, we touch the mystery of God, the mystery of Jesus Christ", the Pope added. "But we also touch the fundamental law, the basic norm of our lives: the fact that without the 'yes' to the cross, without walking in communion with Christ day after day, life can have no success".

  Benedict XVI concluded his homily by again emphasising how "those who wish to keep their life for themselves lose it. Those who give their life (in the small everyday actions that are part of the great decision), those people find it. This is the truth, a demanding but beautiful and liberating truth in which, little by little, we wish to enter as the cross journeys across the continents".
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VATICAN CITY, 5 APR 2009 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass and before praying the Angelus, a brief ceremony took place during which a group of young Australians handed the World Youth Day cross and icon to a group of Spanish youth.

  First, however, the Holy Father reminded those present how the United Nations has designated 4 April as the Day "to raise awareness about the problem of anti-personnel mines. Nearly ten years since the convention banning this form of ordnance came into force, and following recent openings with the signing of the convention banning cluster munitions, I wish to encourage countries that have not already done so to sign without delay these important instruments of international humanitarian law, to which the Holy See has always given its backing. At the same time I express my support for all measures that seek to guarantee the victims of such devastating arms the assistance they need".

  "With great anguish", Benedict XVI also recalled, "our African brothers and sisters who a few days ago met with death in the Mediterranean as they sought to reach Europe. We cannot resign ourselves to such tragedies which have, unfortunately, been happening for some time. The size of the phenomenon makes it ever more important to co-ordinate strategies between the European Union and African countries, and to adopt adequate humanitarian measures to prevent migrants turning to unscrupulous traffickers. As I pray for the victims, that the Lord may welcome them into His peace, I would like to note that this problem, further aggravated by the global crisis, will find a solution only when the people of Africa, with the help of the international community, are able to free themselves from poverty and wars".

  Turning then to the 150 delegates (bishops, priests and lay people) who have been participating in an international meeting on World Youth Days organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pope noted: "Thus begin the preparations for the next world gathering of young people, which will take place in 2011 in Madrid, Spain, and for which I have already indicated the theme: 'Rooted and built in Christ, established in the faith' (Col 2, 7).

  "As is traditional", he added, "the young Australians will soon consign the World Youth Day cross to young Spaniards, the 'pilgrim cross' which carries the message of Christ's love to all the young people of the world. This handing-over ceremony has a highly symbolic value with which we express our immense gratitude to God for the gifts received at the great meeting of Sydney, and for those He will grant us at the gathering in Madrid".

  The Holy Father concluded his remarks by noting how tomorrow the WYD cross, accompanied by the icon of the Virgin Mary, will depart for the Spanish capital where it will be present at the Good Friday procession. It will them begin a long pilgrimage across the dioceses of Spain, returning to Madrid for summer 2011. "May this cross and this icon of Mary be for everyone a sign of the invincible love of Christ and of His - and our - Mother!"
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VATICAN CITY, 6 APR 2009 (VIS) - Seven thousand young people from the archdiocese of Madrid, Spain, who have come to Rome to collect the World Youth Day cross for 2011, were received in audience this morning by the Pope.

  Speaking of the cross, the Holy Father encouraged the young people to discover therein "the infinite measure of Christ's love. ... You too must respond to the love of Christ", he told them, "offering your own lives to Him with love. In this way preparations for World Youth Day, which you have begun with great enthusiasm and dedication, will be repaid with the hoped-for fruits of those events: renewal and strengthening of the experience of meeting Christ, Who died and rose again for us".

  "Follow Christ's footsteps! He is your goal, your path and your prize. In the theme I chose for WYD Madrid, St. Paul invites us to live 'rooted and built in Christ, established in the faith'", said the Pope.

  He then invited the young people to "form yourselves in the faith which gives meaning to your lives, and strengthen your convictions in order to remain firm in the face of the difficulties of everyday life. I also exhort you, as you journey towards Christ, to draw in your young friends, companions of study or work, that they too may recognise and confess Him as the Lord of their lives. In order to do this, let the power of the Most High that is within you - the Holy Spirit - reveal Himself in all His beauty".

  "Young people today", he went on, "need to discover the new life that comes from God, to quench themselves in the truth that has its source in Christ Who died and rose again, and that the Church received as a treasure for all mankind".

  Referring then to World Youth Days, the Pope expressed the view that "they reveal the dynamism of the Church and her eternal youth". In this context he pointed out that "those who love Christ love the Church with the same passion, because she enables us to live close to the Lord".

  "Cultivate, then, initiatives that enable young people to feel they are members of the Church, in full communion with her pastors and with Peter's Successor. Pray together, opening the doors of your parishes, associations and movements so that everyone may feel in the Church as in their own home, where they are loved with the love of God. Celebrate and live your faith with immense joy, which is the gift of the Spirit".

  The Holy Father explained that on the cross "Christ defeated sin and death by the total giving of Himself. For this reason", he concluded, "we must embrace and adore the Lord's cross, make it our own, accept its weight as Simon of Cyrene did, in order to participate in the only thing that can redeem all of humanity. ... Become ever more worthy of the cross and you will never be ashamed of this supreme sign of love".
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VATICAN CITY, 6 APR 2009 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a telegram, in the Pope's name, to Archbishop Giuseppe Molinari of L'Aquila, Italy, for the earthquake that struck the city and province in the early hours of this morning provoking scores of deaths and injuries.

  "The dramatic news of the violent earthquake which struck the territory of the archdiocese has filled the Supreme Pontiff's heart with consternation, and he charges Your Excellency to pass on the expression of his heartfelt participation in the suffering of the beloved people affected by the tragic event. Giving assurances of his fervent prayers for the victims, especially the children, His Holiness asks the Lord to bring comfort to their families and, while giving affectionate words of encouragement to the survivors and the people who in various ways are helping in the rescue operations, he sends everyone his special apostolic blessing".
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