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Thursday, October 25, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

"This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Demetris Christofias, president of the Republic of Cyprus. 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 discussions, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, served to highlight the good relations that exist between the Holy See and the Republic of Cyprus. Consideration was also given to issues of mutual interest, in particular the importance of dialogue and of respect for human rights, including the right to religious freedom.

"Since the Republic of Cyprus holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the parties also turned their attention to the situation in Europe. Finally, the hope was expressed that initiatives for dialogue and peace between the sides in conflict in the Middle East would achieve a positive outcome, with the contribution of the international community".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released today by the Secretariat of State.

"The sentence in the trial of Paolo Gabriele, which has now become final, puts a full stop to the end of a sad affair which has had very painful consequences.

"A personal offence was done to the Holy Father; the right to privacy of the many people who, by virtue of their office, addressed themselves to him was violated; the Holy See and a number of her institutions suffered prejudice; communications between the bishops of the world and the Holy See were hindered, and scandal was caused among the community of the faithful. Finally, for a period of many months the serenity of the working community which daily serves the Successor of Peter was disturbed.

"The accused admitted his guilt at the end of a judicial process which took place transparently and justly, and with full respect for the rights of the defence. The trial was able to ascertain the facts, showing that Mr Gabriele had carried our his criminal plans not at the instigation or incitement of third parties, but on the basis of his own personal convictions, which can in no way be shared. Various conjectures about the existence of plots or the involvement of other people have, in the light of the sentence, been shown to be false.

"Now that the sentence is final, Mr Gabriele will have to serve the prison term imposed upon him. He also faces a procedure for dismissal, as laid down in the Regulations of the Roman Curia.

"As regards the term of imprisonment, the possibility of pardon still remains which, as has been reiterated on a number of occasions, is a sovereign act on the part of the Holy Father. It does, however, reasonably presuppose repentance on the part of the accused, and a sincere request for pardon to the Supreme Pontiff and those who have been unjustly offended.

"In relation to the harm caused, the term inflicted appears both lenient and just, a fact due to the the specific nature of the legislative system from which it arises".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - "Since no appeals have been filed against the sentence passed on Paolo Gabriele on 6 October, that sentence has become final. Therefore, by mandate of the president of the Tribunal, the promoter of justice this morning ordered the guilty party be imprisoned, in enactment of the sentence. The order will be carried out during the course of the day", reads a declaration made today by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Three thousand knights and ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (a tenth of the the total membership) will make a pilgrimage to Rome in 2013 for the Year of Faith. The event, which is due to take place from 13 to 15 September, will coincide with the general assembly of the Order and will conclude with a celebration of the Eucharist presided by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Grand Magisterium of the Order held its autumnal session in Rome yesterday evening, under the presidency of Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, grand master of the Order. During the meeting attention turned, apart from to the pilgrimage, to the statutory commitments of the Order in the Holy Land, and in particular those concerning the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. His Beatitude Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins and grand prior of the Order, illustrated a number of projects in the field of education, He recalled how more than 18,000 students (around 2,500 in Israel, 5,700 in Palestine and 10,000 in Jordan), of whom 61 per cent are Christian, frequent the forty-two primary and secondary schools funded by contributions from the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

The patriarch also made reference to the religious and political situation, and to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, expressing his concern at the growth in fundamentalism in the region. He also noted how the importance of the Holy Land had been confirmed in two important events which took place this year: The World Congress of Families in Milan, Italy, which had focused on the Holy Family of Nazareth, and the International Eucharistic Congress of Dublin, Ireland which had dedicated particular attention to the Cenacle in Jerusalem.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, apostolic nuncio to Thailand and Cambodia, and apostolic delegate to Laos and Myanmar.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Victor Rene Rodriguez Gomez, auxiliary of Texcoco, Mexico, as bishop of Valle de Chalco (area 1,237, population 2,634,000, Catholics 1,321,000, priests 89, religious 94), Mexico.

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