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Thursday, November 5, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 5 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica the Pope presided at the traditional November Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died over the course of the year. Members of the College of Cardinals concelebrated with the Holy Father.

  At the beginning of his homily, Benedict XVI recalled the names of the cardinals who passed away during the last twelve months: Avery Dulles, Pio Laghi, Stephanos II Ghattas, Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung, Umberto Betti, and Jean Margeot, expressing his affection for them and for the many archbishops and bishops who also died this year.

  "In these our venerated brothers we like to recognise the servants of whom the gospel parable speaks", said the Pope in his homily, "faithful servants whom the master, returning from the wedding banquet, finds watchful and alert; pastors who have served the Church, assuring the necessary care for Christ's flock, witnesses of the Gospel who, in their variety of gifts and tasks, gave proof of assiduous vigilance, of generous dedication to the cause of the Kingdom of God".

  Separation from loved ones is painful, observed the Holy Father, and death "is an enigma charged with anxiety". Yet, "for believers, however it comes, it is always illuminated by the 'hope of immortality'. The faith sustains us in these moments full of human sadness and distress".

  Commenting then on the First Letter of St. Peter, the second reading of today's Mass, Benedict XVI noted how it encourages us "during our earthly pilgrimage to maintain the prospect of hope, a 'living hope', alive in our hearts, ... because God in His great mercy has regenerated us 'through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead'.

  "This", he added, "is the reason we must be 'full of joy', even if we are afflicted by suffering. If, indeed, we persevere in goodness, then our faith, purified by many trials, will one day shine forth in all its splendour and resound to our praise, glory and honour when Jesus appears in His glory".

  And the Holy Father concluded: "Here is the reason for our hope, which already brings us to exult 'with an indescribable and glorious joy' as we journey towards the goal of our faith: the salvation of souls".
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VATICAN CITY, 5 NOV 2009 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, and Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, held a press conference to present Benedict XVI's forthcoming meeting with artists, due to take place on 21 November in the Sistine Chapel.

  Archbishop Ravasi recalled how the meeting, promoted by his dicastery, is to be celebrated on the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's Letter to Artists of 4 April 1999, and the forty-fifth anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists of 7 May 1964.

  "The event", he explained, "is not like a general audience of the Holy Father, open to any artist or exclusively to Christian-inspired artists, rather it aims to be representative of the desire for dialogue between the Church and the world of the arts, a dialogue which must necessarily develop over various stages and using various means".

  The 255 artists who have accepted the invitation to attend come from various continents and are divided into five categories: painting and sculpture; architecture; literature and poetry; music and song; cinema, theatre, dance and photography.

  The Sistine Chapel Choir will sing at the beginning and end of the 21 November meeting and, before the Pope's address, extracts of John Paul II's Letter to Artists will be read out to the assembly. After the meeting, a reception will be held in the "Braccio Nuovo" of the Vatican Museums during which the artists will receive a medal in the Pope's name to commemorate the event.


VATICAN CITY, 5 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The "Church and Sport" section, founded by John Paul II in 2004 as part of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has announced its third study seminar which is to have as its theme: "Sport, education and faith: a new season for Catholic sport associations". The aim of the event is to explore the relationship between sporting activity, the formation of the human person, and faith, within the field of Catholic sport associations.

  The seminar, according to a communique published today, will take place on 6 and 7 November in the Villa Aurelia Conference Centre in Rome. It is due to be attended by representatives of sport and youth ministry from episcopal conferences, presidents of Catholic associations at the national and international level, and personalities from the worlds of professional and amateur sport.

  The morning of 6 November will be dedicated to the Church's mission within the world of youth sports. After the reading of a Message from Benedict XVI and some opening remarks from Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, attention will turn to the role of sport associations in the Catholic world, in the light of Church teaching. Afterwards Mike McNamee, professor at Swansea University in Wales, will deliver a lecture on a possible correlation between sports and human virtue.

  The afternoon will see a panel discussion in which professional sportspeople will discus what it means to be a champion, "that is to say, to offer an idea of success that is not limited to mere fame or victory but is rather defined by virtuous behaviour that is lived both on and off the field". The day will conclude with an analysis of the relationship between sport and spiritual life, offered by Susan Saint Sing, former U.S. Olympic rower.

  The second day of the conference will begin with a contribution on new approaches and educational strategies in sports environments, delivered by Edio Costantini, president of the John Paul II Sports Foundation. Afterwards a panel discussion will explore the opportunities offered by Catholic sport associations for bearing witness to Christ "through the work of evangelisation, the exercise of Christian charity, or in ecumenical and inter-cultural dialogue". The conference will conclude with an address by Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Seville, Spain, presented by Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo O.F.M., upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina.

 - Appointed Archbishop Eliseo Antonio Ariotti, apostolic nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, as apostolic nuncio to Paraguay.

 - Appointed Msgr. Orazio Pepe, official at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as bureau chief at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

 - Appointed Fr. Vladimir Fekete S.D.B. as ecclesiastical superior of the "sui iuris" mission to Baku, Azerbaijan. He succeeds Fr. Jan Capla S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same "sui iuris" mission was accepted by the Holy Father.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Francis Baldacchino O.F.M. Cap. of Malindi, Kenya, on 9 October at the age of 73.

 - Bishop Antonio do Carmo Cheuiche O.C.D., former auxiliary of Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 14 October at the age of 82.

 - Archbishop-bishop Joan Marti Alanis, emeritus of Urgell, Spain, on 11 October at the age of 80.

 - Bishop Hermann Raich S.V.D., emeritus of Wabag, Papua New Guinea, on 9 October at the age of 75.

 - Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli, emeritus of Wilmington, U.S.A., on 8 October at the age of 77.

 - Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil O.C.D. of Verapoly, India, on 26 October at the age of 70.

 - Bishop Lazaro Perez Jimenez of Celaya, Mexico, on 25 October at the age of 66.

 - Archbishop Marian Przykucki, emeritus of Szczecin-Kamien, Poland, on 16 October at the age of 85.

 - Bishop Vasile Louis Puscas, emeritus of Saint George in Canton of the Romanians, U.S.A., on 3 October at the age of 94.

 - Bishop Libero Tresoldi, emeritus of Crema, Italy, on 22 October at the age of 88.

 - Bishop George Patrick Ziemann, emeritus of Santa Rosa, U.S.A., on 22 October at the age of 68.
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