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Monday, June 8, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 6 JUN 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received the rector, priests and seminarians of Rome's Pontifical French Seminary. The institution, having been run for 150 years by the Holy Ghost Fathers, is now to pass under the aegis of the Conference of Bishops of France.

Having given thanks to God "for the work accomplished by this institution, founded in 1853, where some 5,000 seminarians have been prepared for their future vocations", the Holy Father highlighted how "the task of forming priests is a delicate mission. ... Future priests require many aptitudes: human maturity, spiritual qualities, apostolic zeal and intellectual rigour", he said.

"Those whose duty it is to discern and form [seminarians] must remember that the hope they place in others is, first and foremost, a duty they themselves must shoulder".

Benedict XVI then went on to recall that the change of administration "coincides with the beginning of the Year for Priests", due to be inaugurated on 19 June. "This", he said, "is a grace for the new team of priest formators from the Conference of Bishops of France".

In closing his remarks, the Pope expressed the hope that "during the period they spend in Rome, the seminarians may familiarise themselves with the history of the Church, discovering the true dimensions of her catholicity and her living unity around Peter's Successor, and always maintaining love for the Church alive in their hearts".


VATICAN CITY, 6 JUN 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI will spend a period of rest from 13 to 29 July at the residence of Les Combes at Introd, in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta.

This is the third time the Pope has chosen to spend the first weeks of his summer break in Valle d'Aosta, having also been there in 2005 and 2006. Last year he went to Bressanone in the Italian alpine region of Alto Adige, and in 2007 to Lorenzago di Cadore in the Italian Dolomites.

A communique released by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household announces that at midday on Sunday 19 July the Holy Father will pray the Angelus at Piazza Ruggia in front of the parish church of Sts. Peter and Solutor at Romano Canavese in the diocese of Ivrea.

On Sunday 26 July he will pray the Angelus at his residence in Les Combes.

The Wednesday general audiences of 15, 22 and 29 July are suspended.

Following his return from Valle d'Aosta, the Pope will go to the Pontifical Palace at Castelgandolfo.

Over the summer all private and special audiences will be suspended. General audiences will resume regularly from Wednesday 5 August.

On Sundays and feast days over the summer, the Holy Father will pray the Angelus from the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.


VATICAN CITY, 6 JUN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

"Yesterday, Friday 5 June, His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabian minister for foreign affairs, accompanied by a delegation, visited the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue where he was welcomed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of that dicastery, Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary, Msgr. Andrew Vissanu Thanya-anan, and Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, head officer for Islam.

"During the meeting ideas were exchanged concerning the best way to follow up on the Madrid Conference of 16-18 July 2008 which, at the initiative of King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, brought together leaders of the main religions of the world".


VATICAN CITY, 7 JUN 2009 (VIS) - In his remarks preceding today's Angelus, the Holy Father spoke of the three Solemnities celebrated after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday which falls today, Corpus Christi on Thursday and the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday of next week.

"Each of these liturgical feasts", the Holy Father told the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, "focuses on an aspect that embraces the entire mystery of the Christian faith, respectively: the reality of the One Triune God, the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the divine-human centre of the Person of Christ. In truth, these are all aspects of the one mystery of salvation" and "comprehend the entire span of Jesus' revelation from incarnation to death and resurrection, unto His ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit".

Today, Benedict XVI went on, we contemplate the Holy Trinity "just as Jesus revealed it to us. He showed us that God is love 'not in the unity of a single person, but in the Trinity of a single substance'". Thus He is "Creator and merciful Father; only-begotten Son, eternal Wisdom incarnate Who died and rose again for us; and finally, Holy Spirit Who moves everything, universe and history, towards the final recapitulation.

"Three Persons Who are one God", the Pope added, "because the Father is love, the Son is love and the Spirit is love. God is entirely and only love, pure love, infinite and eternal. He does not live in splendid solitude, rather He is the never-ending source of life Who incessantly gives and communicates Himself. We may get some idea of this by observing both the macro universe (our earth, the planets, the stars and galaxies) and the micro universe (cells, atoms, elementary particles). In a certain way the 'name' of the Holy Trinity is engraved on everything that exists, because all being, down to the smallest particle, exists in relation to others". Thus we see the "God of relation", thus in the final instance we see "creative Love. Everything comes from love, tends towards love and moves impelled by love, though naturally with differing degrees of awareness and freedom".

"The strongest proof that we are made in the image and likeness of the Trinity is this: only love can make us happy, because we live in relation to others, we live to love and to be loved. Using an analogy taken from biology we could say that the human beings carry in their 'genomes' the profound traces of the Trinity, of God-Love", the Holy Father concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 8 JUN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela who have just completed their "ad limina" visit:

"The challenges you have to face in your pastoral work", the Pope told the prelates, "are increasingly numerous and difficult, and have recently been further augmented by a serious worldwide economic crisis. Nonetheless, the present moment also offers many authentic reasons for hope" because, "just as He did with the disciples of Emmaus, the risen Lord also walks at our side infusing us with His Spirit of love and strength, that we may open our hearts to a future of hope and eternal life".

The Holy Father reminded the bishops that they are facing an "exhilarating task of evangelisation", recalling in this context how they have begun the Mission for Venezuela in keeping with the Continental Mission promoted by the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in the Brazilian city of Aparecida. "I therefore encourage you", he said, "to increase initiatives that aim to make the figure and message of Jesus Christ known in all their fullness and beauty. To this end, apart from sound doctrinal formation of the People of God, it is important to encourage lives of profound faith and prayer".

The Pope went on to highlight "the importance of bishops' own spiritual lives" so that, "fully moulded by the Sacrament of Holy Orders to Christ the Head, they in some way become the visible sign of the Lord Jesus for the Church entrusted to their care". For this reason they must show everyone "the vital importance of faith, as well as the need to give priority of place to the vocation of sanctity".

"In order to carry out fruitful pastoral activity it is indispensable that there be close affective and effective communion among the pastors of the People of God", the Holy Father observed. "Such unity, which today as always must be visibly promoted and expressed, will be a source of consolation and of apostolic effectiveness in the ministry with which you have been entrusted", he said. In this context, Benedict XVI invited his audience to pay particular attention to their clergy and "to redouble efforts to encourage pastoral zeal among priests, and especially during this forthcoming Year for Priests".

Finally the Holy Father spoke of the need for a "mature laity that bears staunch witness to its faith and feels the joy of belonging to the Body of Christ, to which they must offer, among other things, adequate knowledge of the Social Doctrine of the Church. In this context, I appreciate your commitment to bring the light of the Gospel to shine on the most important events affecting your country, having no other interest than that of spreading the most genuine Christian values, also with a view to favouring the search for the common good, harmonious coexistence and social stability".

"In a special way, I entrust those in need to your care", Pope Benedict concluded. "Continue to support the many charitable initiatives of the Church in Venezuela so that our poorest brothers and sisters may experience the presence of He Who gave His life on the cross for all mankind".
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VATICAN CITY, 8 JUN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences ten prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela on their "ad limina" visit:

- Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Saul Figueroa Albornoz, Luis Armando Tineo Rivera, and Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate Salas, and by former Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Nicolas Bermudez Villamizar C.I.M.

- Bishop Ramiro Diaz Sanchez O.M.I., apostolic vicar of Machiques.

- Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala of El Vigia - San Carlos del Zulia.

- Bishop Tomas Jesus Zarraga Colmenares of San Carlos de Venezuela.

- Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Luis Alfonso Marquez Molina C.I.M.

On Saturday 6 June he received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Three prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Georges Kahhale Zouhairaty B.A., apostolic exarch for Greek Melkite faithful resident in Venezuela.

- Bishop Rafael Ramon Conde Alfonzo of Maracay.

- Bishop Jose Angel Divasson Cilvetti S.D.B., apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho.
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VATICAN CITY, 8 JUN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Msgr. Timothy C. Senior of the clergy of the archdiocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., archdiocesan vicar for the clergy, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 5,652, population 3,885,395, Catholics 1,460,758, priests 1,008, permanent deacons 220, religious 3,433). The bishop-elect was born in Philadelphia in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1985.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the territorial prelature of Trondheim, Norway, presented by Bishop Georg Muller SS.CC., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

On Saturday 6 June it was made public that he appointed:

- Fr. Oliver Dashe Doeme of the clergy of Shendam, Nigeria, pastor of St. Michael's Church at Anguldi, as bishop of Maiduguri (area 132,000, population 5,890,000, Catholics 201,622, priests 43, religious 37), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Kwanoeng, Nigeria in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1997.

- Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice chamberlain of Holy Roman Church, and apostolic nuncio with special duties, as pro-patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
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