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Thursday, May 7, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 7 MAY 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Winona, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Bernard J. Harrington, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop John M. Quinn.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Butuan, Philippines, presented by Bishop Zacharias C. Jimenez, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Fr. Lawrence Subrata Howlader C.S.C., master of novices of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Barisal, as auxiliary of the diocese of Chittagong (area 39,247, population 32,110,000, Catholics 35,238, priests 36, religious 126), Bangladesh. The bishop-elect was born in Noborgram, Bangladesh in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1994.

- Appointed Msgr. Jesus Antonio Lerma Nolasco, vicar general of Tepic, Mexico, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Mexico (area 1,429, population 8,705,000, Catholics 7,777,583, priests 1,734, permanent deacons 154, religious 7,260), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Xalisco, Mexico in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1971.

- Appointed Fr. Cyril Vasil S.J., rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, as Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Kosice, Slovakia in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1987.
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VATICAN CITY, 7 MAY 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the thirty-two new Swiss Guards who were sworn in as members of the corps in a ceremony held yesterday afternoon. The guards were accompanied in their meeting with the Pope by members of their families.

Addressing the new recruits in French, Italian and German, the Pope reminded them that one of their missions is "to watch over the home of the Pope, the Apostolic Palace, ... yet not only over the building itself and its celebrated rooms, but particularly over the people you will meet and to whom you will demonstrate your courtesy and concern: ... over the Pope himself, over the people who live with him, and over his collaborators and guests in the Palace. And your task also touches the life you share with your comrades in arms, who ... have the same duty to serve the Supreme Pontiff 'faithfully, loyally and in good faith' and to give, if necessary, their lives for him".

Turning his attention to the city of Rome, the Pope highlighted its "rich history and culture", at the same time noting how "faith and prayer have over the centuries been transformed into stones and buildings. This is the environment in which we live and that inspires us to take as our model the countless saints who have also lived here, and who help us to progress in our life of faith".

Pope Benedict pointed out that "the centre of the Universal Church" is located in Rome. Here, he continued, "we encounter Christians from all over the globe. The Catholic Church is international. Yet in her multiplicity she is nonetheless one Church, expressing the same confession of faith and tangibly united by her bond to Peter and his Successor, the Pope.

"The Church brings together men and women from very different cultures", he added in conclusion. "They form a community in which people live and believe together and, in the essential things of life, understand once another. This is a very important experience which the Church wishes to pass on to you so that you can make it your own and communicate it to others: the experience that through faith in Jesus Christ and in His love for mankind, even such different worlds can become a single unit, creating bridges of peace and solidarity between peoples".
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VATICAN CITY, 7 MAY 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

"This morning, Thursday 7 May, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Elias Antonio Saca Gonzalez, president of the Republic of El Salvador. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

"In the course of the cordial discussions, attention focused on various questions concerning internal issues and the current international situation noting, among other things, the country's commitment to promoting co-operation in the area of trade, to the struggle against organised crime, to the field of education and emigration, and to social promotion.

"Finally, the good relations between Church and State were highlighted, and the hope expressed that they may grow stronger in order to favour spiritual progress, pacification and national development".
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