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Friday, June 10, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the superiors and students of the institution that trains candidates for the Holy See diplomatic service, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, with its president, Archbishop Beniamino Stella.

  Speaking of pontifical diplomacy, the Pope explained that it "has a very long tradition and its activities have contributed in no small part to shaping the very face of diplomatic relations between States in modern times".

  "Loyalty, coherence, and a profound humanity", he said, "are the fundamental virtues of any envoy, who is a called to put, not only their work and their qualities but, in some way, their entire person at the service of a word that is not their own".

  Speaking of the person and the actions of a diplomat of the Holy See, Benedict XVI emphasized that "he is first a priest, a bishop. ... He is a servant of the Word of God who, like every priest, has received a mission that cannot be carried out part time but that requires him to be, with his entire life, an echo of the message that has been entrusted to him, the Gospel message. It is precisely on the basis of this priestly identity, very clearly and deeply lived, that one is called to adopt, with a certain naturalness, this specific task of being the bearer of the word of the Pope; called to bring the universal horizon of his ministry and his pastoral charity to the particular churches and the institutions in which his sovereignty is legitimately exercised in the state sphere or that of international organizations".

  The Pope noted that "in the exercise of such a delicate ministry, the care of one's own spiritual life, the practice of human virtues, and the formation of a solid culture are interwoven and mutually sustained. They are dimensions that allow one to maintain a deep inner balance in a work that requires, among other things, the capacity of openness to others, an equanimity of judgement, a critical distance from personal opinions, sacrifice, patience, constancy, and, at times, even firmness in the dialogue with others".

  "On the other hand", he concluded, "the service of the person of the Successor of Peter ... allows one to live in constant and profound reference to the catholicity of the Church. Where there is openness to the objectivity of catholicity, there also exists a principle of true personalization: a life dedicated to the service of the Pope and ecclesial communion is, in this sense, extremely enriching".
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VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations, spoke at the 17th Ordinary Session of the Council of Human Rights, dedicated to children's rights, this past Monday, 6 June.

  The nuncio congratulated those engaged in preparing the draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to provide a communication procedure (OPC) that will represent "a word of hope and encouragement to those children and young people whose innocence and human dignity have been wounded by the cruelty that can be present in the world of adults".

  "The Holy See", he concluded, "looks at this new Optional Protocol ... as an opportune contribution to strengthening the human rights system. May it also bring us closer to our ultimate goal: the unconditional preservation and respect of the dignity of every single person, woman or man, adult or child".
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VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

  - Six prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Neethinathan Anthonisamy, of Chingleput,

    - Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse, of Coimbatore,

    - Bishop Amalraj Arulappan, of Ootacamund,

    - Bishop Soundaraj Periyanayagam, S.D.B., of Vellore,

    - Bishop Antony Pappusamy, of Dindigul, and

    - Bishop Peter Remigius, of Kottar.

  - Mr. Benjamin Konan Kouame, Ambassador of the Ivory Coast, and his wife, on his farewell visit.

  This afternoon, the Pope is scheduled to receive Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father:

  - appointed Msgr. Alfredo Zecca, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, as Metropolitan Archbishop of Tucuman (area 10,996, population 1,112,000, Catholics 1,034,201, priests 143, permanent deacons 10, religious 238), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was ordained a priest in 1976. He is currently a professor in the Faculty of Theology at the Catholic University of Argentina. He succeeds Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - erected the Chaldean eparchy of Canada with the name of Mar Addai of Toronto of the Chaldeans (38,000 Catholics, priests 4), Canada. He appointed Archbishop Hanna Zora, of Ahwaz of the Chaldeans, Iran, as first bishop of the new eparchy.

  - appointed Bishop Ernesto Mandara, auxiliary of the Diocese of Rome, as bishop of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto (area 918, population 187,351, Catholics 175,808, priests 109, permanent deacons 6, religious 234), Italy.

  - appointed Msgr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria, as bishop of Sokoto (area 109,507, population 14,133,000, Catholics 44,366, priests 39, religious 35), Nigeria. The bishop-elect, was born in 1952 in Kulu, Zango, Nigeria and was ordained a priest in 1976. He succeeds Bishop Kevin J. Aje, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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