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Tuesday, May 4, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Pope has sent a telegram of condolence for the death of Cardinal Luigi Poggi, archivist and librarian emeritus of Holy Roman Church. The cardinal died in Rome this morning at the age of 92.

  In the telegram, addressed to the late cardinal's brother and sister, the Holy Father recalls his "many years of solicitous collaboration with the Holy See, especially as nuncio in various countries, then as archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church, always and everywhere giving a much-appreciated example of fervent priestly zeal and faithfulness to the Gospel".

  At the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica at 5.30 p.m. on Friday 7 May Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at the funeral Mass with other members of the college.

  At the end of the ceremony, the Pope will address those present and administer the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and of "Valedictio".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a message of congratulation to Elio Toaff, former rabbi of Rome, for his ninety-fifth birthday, which fell yesterday 3 May. The Message was read out by Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, personal secretary of the Pope, in the course of the inaugural ceremony of the Elio Toaff Foundation for Hebrew Culture.

  "I think", the Holy Father writes, "using the expressions of the Psalm, how the Lord restored your soul, leading you along the right path, even through the darkest valley, at the time of the persecution and extermination of the Jewish People. The Lord, in His mysterious plans, wished you to have a unique experience of His salvation, becoming a sign of hope for the rebirth of many of your brothers and sisters.

  "I am particularly happy to recall", the Pope adds, "your commitment to promoting fraternal relations between Catholics and Jews, and the sincere friendship that bound you to my venerated predecessor Pope John Paul II".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The pre-synodal council of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East met in Rome from 23 to 24 April, according to a communique released yesterday.

  The meeting was attended by: His Beatitude Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon; Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; His Beatitude Antonios Naguib, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt; His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon; His Beatitude Gregoire III Laham B.S., patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, Syria; His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon; His Beatitude Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins; Archbishop Ramzi Garmou of Tehran of the Chaldeans and president of the Iranian Episcopal Conference, and Bishop Luigi Padovese O.F.M. Cap., apostolic vicar of Anatolia, Turkey. His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, was unable to participate.

  Following a greeting and introductory talk by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, the work focused on the reports of the individual members concerning the situation of the Church in the social and political context of the Middle East, and especially on the preparation of the "Instrumentum laboris", the working document of the Special Assembly which is due to take place from 10 to 24 October on the theme: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East. Communion and Witness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul".

  "The Special Assembly for the Middle East has a dual objective", reads the communique: "confirming and strengthening Christians in their identity through the Word of God and the Sacraments, and fomenting ecclesial communion between the particular Churches in order to enable them to offer authentic Christian witness in their contacts with other Churches and ecclesial communities. Hence the urgent need for a convinced ecumenical commitment 'that they may be one, that the world may believe'.

  "The forthcoming Synod will also be a precious opportunity to examine the religious and social situation, in order to give Christians a clear sense of being active witnesses of Christ in the context of a Muslim-majority society. This will involve profound reflection on the current situation, a situation rendered difficult by conflicts and instability which cause the exodus of people, including no small number of Christians".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2010 (VIS) - In the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace at 5 p.m. on Thursday 6 May, thirty new recruits will be sworn in as members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in the presence of members of the Roman Curia, diplomatic representatives, and civil and religious authorities from Switzerland. William Kloter, the new major of the Swiss Guard, will also be taking the oath.

  The day will start at 7.30 a.m. with Mass for the Swiss Guards, their families and friends celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. in St. Peter's Basilica. At 8.30 a.m. Daniel Rudolf Anrig, commander of the Swiss Guard, will place a laurel wreath at the monument in the courtyard of the Swiss Guard barracks commemorating the 147 members of the corps who lost their lives protecting Pope Clement VII from the onslaught of the troops of Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, will then confer military decorations on certain members of the Guard.

  Among those present at this year's swearing-in ceremony will be Doris Leuthard, president of the Swiss Confederation, and Peter Stutz, chief-of-staff, who will represent the Swiss army. Also participating as guest of honour will be the council of the Canton of San Gallen. The town band of the city of Uzwil will play a concert in the courtyard of the barracks on 7 May.

  The swearing-in ceremony is celebrated every year on 6 May to commemorate the death of the 147 Swiss Guards who died during the Sack of Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed as members of the Academic Council of the Holy See's Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties (AVEPRO): Fr. Slwomir Nowosad, vice-rector for research and international relations, and professor of moral theology at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland; John L. Davies, professor emeritus of the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, England; Peter Jonkers, professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of Tilburg, Netherlands; Donald McQuillan, former director of the Irish Universities Quality Board, and Emanuela Stefani, director of the Conference of Italian University Rectors.

  On Saturday 1 May it was made public that the Holy Father elevated the apostolic administration of Comores (area 2,033, population 800,000, Catholics 6,000, priests 6, religious 14) to the rank of apostolic vicariate, with the new name of Archipelago of the Comores and the same territorial configuration as before. He appointed Fr. Charles Mahuza Yava S.D.S., provincial superior of the Salvatorian province of Africa, as the first apostolic vicar of the new vicariate. The bishop-elect was born in Sandoa, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1993.
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B., president emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, on 30 April at the age of 98.

 - Cardinal Tomas Spidlik S.J. on 6 April at the age of 90.

 - Archbishop William Donald Borders, emeritus of Baltimore, U.S.A., on 19 April at the age of 96.

 - Bishop Edmund Joseph Fitzgibbon S.P.S., emeritus of Warri, Nigeria, on 17 April at the age of 85.

 - Bishop Norman Francis McFarland, emeritus of Orange in California, U.S.A., on 16 April at the age of 88.
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