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Thursday, February 17, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 17 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "Today, 17 February 2011, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Dimitry Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation. Subsequently the president, accompanied by Sergei Lavrov, minister for foreign affairs, went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "In the course of the cordial discussions, the parties expressed their pleasure at the good state of bilateral relations and highlighted their desire to strengthen them, also in the wake of the establishment of full diplomatic relations. The broad-ranging collaboration between the Holy See and the Russian Federation was recognised, both in the promotion of specifically human and Christian values, and in the cultural and social field. Subsequently, emphasis was given to the positive contribution inter-religious dialogue can make to society. Finally, attention turned to the international situation, with particular reference to the Middle East".
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VATICAN CITY, 17 FEB 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present an assessment of the Pauline Year (which took place from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009). The occasion was also be used to present the book "L'Anno Paolino" by Graziano Motta.

  The conference will be presented by Cardinal Francesco Monterisi and Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, respectively archpriest and archpriest emeritus of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls; Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, and Gianfranco Morelli, vice director and editor-in-chief for Rome of the Italian newspaper "Avvenire".

  Cardinal Lanza di Montezemolo affirmed that the Pauline Year "was a year of grace which went beyond all expectations", focusing on the many initiatives that took place, including the restoration of part of the basilica, new services for pilgrims, an area set aside for the Sacrament of Penance, etc. Moreover, he noted, for the first time pilgrims and visitors were able for to see the sarcophagus of the Apostle Paul.

  Cardinal Monterisi highlighted the "spiritual influence" of the Pauline Year, not only within the Catholic Church but also in other Christian confessions. At the closing of the Year, the Holy Father expressed the hope that "the fruits of this time will continue to develop, especially in the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls", the cardinal said.

  Gianfranco Morelli highlighted how observers "agreed on the fact that the Pauline Year provided, perhaps as never before, a concentration of extraordinary ecumenical moments, ... especially the many experiences lived with and in the Orthodox world". In this context he also mentioned "the three visits to Rome made during the Year by His Holiness Bartholomew I Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople".
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VATICAN CITY, 17 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See met in the Vatican on 15 and 16 February, under the presidency of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

  Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, outlined the Holy See's consolidated budget for 2011, as well as the consolidated budget of the Governorate of Vatican City State for the same year.

  "The area of consolidation", reads a communique on the meeting, "concerns the offices of the Roman Curia, the Apostolic Camera, and the 'media' institutions of the Holy See: Vatican Radio, the Vatican Press, the 'Osservatore Romano', the Vatican Television Centre and the Vatican Publishing House.

  "The Governorate, the administration of which is independent from the Holy See and from other institutions, supervises the economic requirements and territorial administration of the State, supplying the necessary support structures to the Apostolic See and its activities.

  "The overall picture emerging from these budgets, though showing clear signs of improvement, is still marked by the uncertainty of the global economic system and by increased administrative costs. This is evident above all as regards the Holy See, which receives indispensable subsidisation from the free offerings of the faithful. The members of the council expressed their profound gratitude for the support people give, often anonymously, to the universal ministry of the Holy Father, and exhorted them to continue this good work.

  "As usual, the budgets will be submitted for verification to the Prefecture for Economic Affairs".
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VATICAN CITY, 17 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
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