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Thursday, March 31, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for April is: "That through its compelling preaching of the Gospel, the Church may give young people new reasons for life and hope".

  His mission intention is: "That by proclamation of the Gospel and the witness of their lives, missionaries may bring Christ to those who do not yet know Him".
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VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was the annual Message to Buddhists for the Feast of Vesakh, issued by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. This year Vesakh, the most important Buddhist festivity, is celebrated on 8 April in Japan, on 10 May in Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore, and on 17 May in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

  The message, which is entitled "Seeking Truth in Freedom: Christians and Buddhists live in Peace", Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the pontifical council, note that "in the pursuit of authentic peace, a commitment to seek truth is a necessary condition. ... This human striving for truth offers a fruitful opportunity for the followers of the different religions to encounter one another in depth and to grow in appreciation of the gifts of each".

  The English-language text continues: "In today's world, marked by forms of secularism and fundamentalism that are often inimical to true freedom and spiritual values, inter-religious dialogue can be the alternative choice by which we find the 'golden way' to live in peace and work together for the good of all. ... Such dialogue is also a powerful stimulus to respect for the fundamental human rights of freedom of conscience and freedom of worship. Wherever religious freedom is effectively acknowledged, the dignity of the human person is respected at its root; by the sincere search for what is true and good, moral conscience and civil institutions are strengthened; and justice and peace are firmly established".
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VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine.

 - Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), accompanied by Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela, first vice president; Archbishop Andres Stanovnik O.F.M. Cap. of Corrientes, Argentina, second vice president, Bishop Emilio Aranguren Echeverria of Holgun, Cuba, president of the economic committee, and Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, auxiliary of Guadalajara, Mexico, secretary general.

 - Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, president of the German Episcopal Conference.

 - Bishop Mathew Arackal of Kanjirapally of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Palai of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop George Alencherry of Thuckalay of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Mathew Anikuzhikattil of Idukki, of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.
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VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Removed Bishop Jean-Claude Makaya Loemba from the pastoral care of the diocese of Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Papeete, Tahiti, presented by Archbishop Hubert Coppenrath, upon having reached the age limit.
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