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Friday, May 20, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Saturday 21 May, Benedict XVI will connect via satellite with the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) on the occasion of the space shuttle Endeavour's last mission.

  The connection will take place at 1:11pm (Rome time). The Pope will particularly address the two European astronauts of Italian nationality, Paolo Nespoli and Roberto Vittori.

  The event may be followed live on television as will as being streamed on the internet at the Vatican Radio-CTV site.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies of Amman, Jordan held their second Colloquium in Rome from 18 to 19 May. The meeting was presided over by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the pontifical council, and by Prof. Kamel Abu Jaber, director of the institute.

  The theme of the Colloquium was "Human and Religious Values Shared by Christians and Muslims for a Common Education".

  According to a communique made public today, the participants highlighted the following points:

  "1) Christians and Muslims share basic human values like the sacred character of human life, human dignity, and the fundamental inalienable rights deriving from it.

  2) As for the religious values, some of them are common to Christians and Muslims, meanwhile others are specific of each community. It is therefore important to point out commonalities and to identify differences. Respect for differences is in fact an important condition for an authentic dialogue.

  3) Education, religious in particular, should not form identities in antagonism or in conflict, but on the contrary, while helping the youth to be well rooted in their own religious identity, it should favor the formation of identities open to other identities.

  4) A privileged space of common education is that of the schools, institutions and universities, private and public, where Christian and Muslim children and youth study together. Such an experience is to be conserved and cherished, also because it gives the occasion to create strong and permanent friendships".

  The communique concluded with the information that the two parties agreed to meet again within two years and that a preparatory meeting will precede the colloquium.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - A General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis will take place from 22 to 27 May on the premises of the Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna Hotel in Rome. About 300 delegates will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the confederation. Participants will be received in an audience by the Pope and, on the assembly's opening day, the Cardinal Secretary of State will preside over a Eucharistic celebration.

  Caritas Internationalis gathers together 165 national Caritas groups and aims primarily at coordinating their intervention in emergencies and crises. It is currently chaired by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In 2004, Pope John Paul II granted the organization public canonical legal status both by reason of the nature of the national and diocesan Caritas organizations, which are the official organs of the bishops' charitable efforts, as well as in recognition of the great service that the confederation has expressed for decades for the good of the entire Church as well as for humanity.

  Granting the organization public canonical legal status entailed the need to adapt its statutes so that they would reflect the nature and purpose of Caritas Internationalis and its mission. The assembly will be an important moment for presenting its work carried out in that field and, under the new statues now in force, to proceed to renew the confederation's governing offices. Caritas Internationalis's plan of action for the next four years will also be reflected on during the meeting.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today, in separate audiences, the Holy Father received eight prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

 - Noel Fahey, the ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.

 - Eight prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

    - Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar with Emeritus Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, S.V.D.

    - Bishop Stephen M. Tiru of Khunti.

    - Bishop Aleixo das Neves Dias of Port Blair.

    - Bishop Vincent Barwa of Simdega.

    - Bishop Victor Henry Thakur of Bettiah.

    - Bishop Kurien Valiakandathil of Bhagalpur.

    - Bishop Sebastian Kallupura of Buxar.

  The Holy Father is scheduled to receive this afternoon Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Vincent Long Van Nguyen, O.F.M.Conv., as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne (area 27,194, population 3,844,000, Catholics 1,085,000, priests 561, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,737), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in 1961 in Dong Nai, Saigon, Vietnam and was ordained to the priesthood in 1989. He was previously assistant general of the Federation of Asian/Australian Minor Conventuals.
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