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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Thursday, February 24, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "Today in the Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Michel Sleiman, president of the Republic of Lebanon. The president subsequently 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.

  "The cordial discussions served to highlight how Lebanon, because of the presence of various Christian and Muslim communities there, stands as a message of freedom and respectful coexistence, not only for the region but for the whole world. In this context, it is increasingly necessary to promote collaboration and dialogue between religious confessions.

  "Attention then turned to the importance of civil and religious authorities being committed to educating consciences in peace and reconciliation, and the hope was expressed that the formation of the new government may favour the desired stability of the nation, which is called to face important internal and international challenges.

  "The talks then dwelt on the situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to recent events in certain Arab States, with the parties expressing their shared conviction that it is vital to resolve the ongoing conflicts in the region.

  "Finally, particular attention was given to the delicate situation of Christians in the entire region, and to the contribution they can make for the good of society as a whole".
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VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The programme of Benedict XVI's forthcoming pastoral visit to the diocese of San Marino - Montefeltro has been published. The event is due to take place on Sunday 19 June.

  The Pope will depart from the Vatican by helicopter at 8 a.m., landing at Torraccia airport in the Republic of San Marino at 9.15 a.m. At 10 a.m. he will preside at a concelebration of the Eucharist then pray the Angelus in the Olympic stadium of Serravalle.

  The Holy Father will then travel to Valdragone where he will have lunch with the organisers of his visit and with members of the "John Paul II" International Foundation.

  That afternoon he will begin his official visit to the Republic, travelling to San Marino's Piazza della Liberta where he will be greeted by Captains Regent Giovanni Francesco Ugolini and Andrea Zafferani.

  He will then go on to meet with members of the government, the congress and the diplomatic corps, to whom he will deliver an address. Finally the Pope will visit the basilica of San Marino to venerate the relics of St. Marinus.

  At 6.30 p.m. the Holy Father will travel by helicopter to Pennabilli in the Italian province of Rimini where he will visit the cathedral and meet with young people of the diocese.

  Finally, the Pope will return by helicopter to the Vatican, where he is due to land at 9 p.m.
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VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista of Boac.

    - Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico of Gumaca.

    - Bishop Rolando Joven T. Tirona O.C.D., prelate of Infanta.

    - Bishop Julius S. Tonel of Ipil.

    - Bishop Martin S. Jumoad, prelate of Isabela.

    - Bishop Elenito R. Galido of Iligan.

    - Bishop Emilio Z. Marquez of Lucena.
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VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Berlin, Germany, presented by Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, also as military ordinary for Germany.

 - Appointed Fr. Helmut Dieser of the clergy of the diocese of Trier, Germany, pastor of Adenau, Dumpelfeld, Kaltenborn and Kaltenborn-Herschbach, as auxiliary of Trier (area 12,870, population 2,484,000, Catholics 1,525,000, priests 1005, permanent deacons 166, religious 2,302). The bishop-elect was born in Neuwied, Germany in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989.

 - Appointed Fr. Eugenio Andres Lira Rugarcia of the clergy of the archdiocese of Puebla, Mexico, president of the archdiocesan commission for the pastoral care of communications; and Fr. Dagoberto Sosa Arriaga, episcopal vicar for pastoral care, as auxiliaries of Puebla (area 20,932, population 4,664,000, Catholics 4,339,000, priests 585, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,121). Bishop-elect Lira Rugarcia was born in Puebla in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1991. Bishop-elect Sosa Arriaga was born in La Loma, Mexico in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1983.
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