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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of Vespers in the Sistine Chapel at 6 p.m. tomorrow, 31 October, to commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of the ceiling painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.

Pope Julius II, who entrusted the decoration of the vault (1100 square metres) to the sculptor of the Pieta, celebrated the completion of the work with the solemn rite of Vespers on All Saints' Day, 31 October 1512.


Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - A Mass is due to be celebrated this afternoon in Venice to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani, who was patriarch of that city from 1969 to 1978. The pontificate of John Paul I, who became known as "the Smiling Pope", lasted only 33 days from 26 August to 28 September 1978. The process for his beatification began in 2003.

The Venetian commemoration will consist of a Mass at 6 p.m. in Saint Mark's Basilica, presided by Patriarch Francesco Moraglia, who will concelebrate with bishops of the Triveneto Episcopal Conference. This will be followed at 8.30 p.m. by a concert of religious music organised by the Procurator of Saint Mark's Basilica, the Polish Institute in Rome and the "Capella Cracoviensis" of Krakow. During the intervals, there will be readings of texts by John Paul I.

The programme of the concert will be dedicated to two of the most important exponents of the Venetian school of the seventeenth century: Giovanni Gabrieli, composer, organist and choir master of Saint Mark's Basilica, the four-hundredth anniversary of whose death falls this year, and Mikolak Zielenski, composer, organist and choir master linked to the Collegiate of Lowicz, see of the Polish primate.


Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - "The Holy See and Croatia: twenty years of intense relations” was the theme of a conference held yesterday in the Vatican to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia.

Speaking at the event Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, recalled that “in the year 879, in the same month of June in which modern Croatia annually celebrates its independence, Pope John VIII addressed a letter to Prince Branimir informing him that he had raised prayers to the Lord in order that 'principatum terrenum, quem habes, prospere et securiter reggere possis'. … These strong ties between Croatia and the Holy See have not diminished over the centuries. On several occasions throughout history, and in difficult circumstances, Croatians have demonstrated their fidelity to the Gospel and to Peter's Successor”.

He remarked, “During Croatia's millennium-long history, the last twenty years have been among the most difficult and, at the same time, crucial for its future, especially those immediately following its independence. However the challenges persist, and today Croatians must ask themselves about the values upon which they intend to build their lives as individuals, and the life of the nation as a whole”.

“Although the Church and the political community work at different levels and are independent from one other, both serve the same people who are, at one and the same time, faithful members of the Church and citizens of the State. This means that there is ample space for dialogue and co-operation, in the service of the dignity of all men and women. At the heart of mutual co-operation, in fact, lies our shared commitment to the common good and to the promotion of spiritual and moral values, which give Croatian society its solid foundations.

"I wish to conclude by expressing the hope that the Republic of Croatia will continue to progress in both material and, above all, spiritual terms”, said the archbishop. "In particular I hope that, when Croatia's aspiration to full integration into the European Union is achieved, the country will reinforce its identity and thus act as leaven bringing good to other States”.


Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli on 20 September at the age of 77.

- Bishop Patrick Augustine Kalilombe, emeritus of Lilongwe, Malawi on 23 September at the age of 79.

- Bishop Michel Kuehn, emeritus of Chartres, France on 18 September at the age of 88.

- Bishop Albert Henry Ottenweller, emeritus of Steubenville, USA on 23 September at the age of 96.

- Bishop Michael Vincent Pascal Rowland, emeritus of Dundee, South Africa on 23 September at the age of 83.

- Archbishop Bruno Schettino of Capua, Italy on 21 September at the age of 71.

- Bishop Roman Danylak, apostolic administrator emeritus "sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Toronto of the Ukrainians, Canada, on 7 October at the age of 81.

- Archbishop Antonio Maria Mucciolo, emeritus of Botucatu, Brazil, on 29 September at the age of 89.

- Bishop Jose Rodrigues de Souza, emeritus of Juazeiro, Brazil, on 9 September at the age of 86.


Vatican City, 30 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Rodolfo Beltran, apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe, Philippines, as bishop of San Fernando de La Union (area 1,493, population 775,000, Catholics 667,000, priests 42, permanent deacons 5, religious 122), Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Guillermo Martin Abanto Guzman, auxiliary of Lima, Peru, as military ordinary of Peru.

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