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Monday, February 1, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Erected the new diocese of Maliana (area 3,646, population 210,000, Catholics 206,597, priests 31, religious 108) East Timor, with territory taken from the diocese of Dili. He appointed Fr. Norberto Do Amaral, chancellor of the diocese of Dili, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Ainaro, East Timor in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1988.

 - Appointed Fr. Calogero Peri O.F.M. Cap., minister provincial of the Capuchin Friars in Palermo, Italy and vice principal of the "San Giovanni Battista" Pontifical Theological Faculty, as bishop of Caltagirone (area 1,551, population 153,038, Catholics 149,827, priests 91, permanent deacons 10, religious 143), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Mazara del Vallo, Italy in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1978.
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VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his private study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

  The Holy Father mentioned the readings of today's liturgy, one of which was the so-called "hymn to charity" from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, which he described as "one of the most beautiful passages of the New Testament, and of the entire Bible".

  "Charity", the Pope explained, "is the 'greatest' gift, which gives value to all the others. ... In the end, when we find ourselves face to face with God, all other gifts will fail and all that will be left to last for eternity is love, because God is love and we will be like unto Him, in perfect communion with Him.

  "For now", he added, "as long as we are in this world, charity is the distinctive mark of Christians. It is the synthesis of all their lives, of what they believe and what they do". In this context he recalled his first Encyclical, dedicated to the subject of Christian love, "Deus Caritas est", which, he said, is made up of two parts "corresponding to the two aspects of charity: its significance and its practical implementation".

  The Holy Father went on: "Love is God's very essence, it is the meaning of creation and history, it is the light that gives goodness and beauty to the existence of each man and woman. At the same time love is, so to say, the 'style' of God and of believers, it is the behaviour of those who, responding to the love of God, order their lives as a gift of self to God and to neighbour".

  "If we think of the saints, we recognise the variety of their spiritual gifts and their human characters. But the life of each one of them is a hymn to charity, a living canticle to the love of God".

  Benedict XVI concluded by recalling how today marks the Feast of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Family and patron saint of the young. And he called for the saint's intercession during this Year for Priests, that "the clergy may always be educators and fathers to the young; and that, experiencing this pastoral charity, many young people may accept the call to give their lives for Christ and the Gospel".
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VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2010 (VIS) - Following today's Angelus prayer, the Holy Father made some remarks about the World Day of Leprosy, which falls on the last Sunday of January. In this context he mentioned St. Damian de Veuster, who "gave his life for our brothers and sisters who suffer leprosy", and entrusted to that saint's care the people who still suffer leprosy today and those who work to eradicate the disease.

  He went on: "Today also marks the second Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land. In communion with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the Custodian of the Holy Land, I spiritually join the prayers of so many Christians all over the world, and give a heartfelt greeting to those who have come here for that occasion".

  Finally the Pope also referred to "the economic crisis which is causing the loss of many jobs, a situation which calls for a great sense of responsibility to be shown by everyone: managers, workers and politicians".

  In this context he specifically mentioned two Italian cases, that of the car factory of Termini Imerese in Sicily which employs 3000 workers and has announced its closure for 2012, and the aluminium factory of Portovesme in Sardinia where the workers, some of whom were present in St. Peter's Square, are being made redundant.

  "I echo the call made by the Italian Episcopal Conference, which has appealed for everything possible to be done to protect and increase employment, ensuring people have jobs that are dignified and adequate to maintain a family".

  After then greeting the faithful in various languages the Pope, assisted by two children from Catholic Action in the diocese of Rome, released two doves as a symbol of peace. The gesture marked the closure of the "Caravan for peace" initiative which Catholic Action has been celebrating during the course of the last month. One of the two doves flew back into the his study causing Pope Benedict to smile in amusement before he eventually managed to release it.
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VATICAN CITY, 1 FEB 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI received prelates from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  The Pope noted how, "even amid the pressures of a secular age, there are many signs of living faith and devotion among the Catholics of England and Wales" in which context he mentioned "the enthusiasm generated by the visit of the relics of St. Therese, the interest aroused by the prospect of Cardinal Newman's beatification and the eagerness of young people to take part in pilgrimages and World Youth Days.

  "On the occasion of my forthcoming apostolic visit to Great Britain", he added, "I shall be able to witness that faith for myself and, as Successor of Peter, to strengthen and confirm it. During the months of preparation that lie ahead, be sure to encourage the Catholics of England and Wales in their devotion, and assure them that the Pope constantly remembers them in his prayers and holds them in his heart.

  "Your country", the Pope told the bishops, "is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet", he noted, "the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs".

  The Holy Father also urged the prelates "to ensure that the Church's moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others; on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth".

  "If the full saving message of Christ is to be presented effectively and convincingly to the world, the Catholic community in your country needs to speak with a united voice".

  "It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church's Magisterium that sets us free", Benedict XVI explained. "Cardinal Newman realised this, and he left us an outstanding example of faithfulness to revealed truth by following that 'kindly light' wherever it led him, even at considerable personal cost. Great writers and communicators of his stature and integrity are needed in the Church today, and it is my hope that devotion to him will inspire many to follow in his footsteps.

  "In this 'Annus Sacerdotalis', I urge you to hold up to your priests his example of dedication to prayer, pastoral sensitivity towards the needs of his flock, and passion for preaching the Gospel. You yourselves should set a similar example. Be close to your priests, and rekindle their sense of the enormous privilege and joy of standing among the people of God as 'alter Christus'".

  And he went on: "Encourage the lay faithful to express their appreciation of the priests who serve them, and to recognise the difficulties they sometimes face on account of their declining numbers and increasing pressures. ... Help them to avoid any temptation to view the clergy as mere functionaries but rather to rejoice in the gift of priestly ministry, a gift that can never be taken for granted".

  The Pope concluded by referring to ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, calling for generosity "in implementing the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus', so as to assist those groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, such groups will be a blessing for the entire Church".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 FEB 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for February is: "That by means of sincere search for the truth scholars and intellectuals may arrive at an understanding of the one true God".

  His mission intention is: "That the Church, aware of her own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 FEB 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Seven prelates from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop John Hine, administrator of the archdiocese of Southwark, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Patrick K. Lynch SS.CC. and Paul Hendricks.

    - Bishop Michael Charles Evans of East Anglia.

    - Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton.

    - Bishop Malcolm Patrick McMahon of Nottingham.

    - Bishop Hlib Lonchyna M.S.U., apostolic administrator of the apostolic exarchate for Ukrainian faithful of Byzantine rite resident in Great Britain.

  On Saturday 31 January he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia.

 - Seven prelates from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops David Christopher McGough and William Kenney C.P.

    - Bishop Kieran Thomas Conry of Arundel and Brighton.

    - Bishop Hugh Christopher Budd of Plymouth.

    - Bishop Roger Francis Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth.

    - Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood.

 - Archbishop Petar Rajic, apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, and apostolic delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, accompanied by members of his family.

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