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Thursday, December 6, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., accompanied by Msgr. Ettore Balastrero, under secretary for Relations with States.

The discussions highlighted the cordial nature of bilateral relations; attention was given to the Christian view of the person, as well as to the challenges currently posed by globalisation and the secularisation of society.

This was followed by a fruitful exchange of opinions on the international situation and the current economic crisis, especially in relation to its consequences in Europe, and the contribution that the Catholic Church may offer.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - On 11 December at the "Augustinianum" Patristic Institute the Vatican Publishing House will present a book by the Russian artist Natalia Tsarkova, "Il mistero di un piccolo stagno" ("The mystery of a little pond").

Msgr. Georg Ganswein, personal secretary to the Holy Father Benedict XVI, Professor Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, Saverio Petrillo, director of the Pontifical Villas at Castelgandolfo, and Fr. Giuseppe Costa S.D.B., director of the Vatican Publishing House, will participate in the presentation.

The author is the official portrait artist to the pontiff, and her book was inspired by a visit to the gardens of the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo. According to a communique from the Vatican Publishing House, it is "a fairy tale which offers a message of love, faith and hope, especially to children".

In "Il mistero del piccolo stagno" is the author's first work in which she communicates using words as well as images.


Vatican City,  (VIS) -  The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain.

- Archbishop Diego Causero, apostolic nuncio in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.


Vatican City,  (VIS) -  The Holy Father appointed:

- Fr. Rudolf Voderholzer of the clergy of Munich and Freising, Germany, as bishop of Regensburg (area 12,081, population 3,588,232, Catholics 1,772,434, priests 1,244, permanent deacons 243, religious 2,878), Germany.

The bishop-elect was born in Munich, Germany in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1987. He obtained his doctorate in dogmatic theology from the University of Munich in 1997, and in 2004 became president of the Department of Faith and Science of Religions and Philosophy of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Since 2005 he has been professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Trier, Germany, and since 2008, director of the "Pope Benedict XVI" Institute at Regensburg.

- Bishop Murray Chatlain of Mackenzie-Fort Smith as archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas (area 430,000, population 123,900, Catholics 46,490, priests 14, religious 18), Canada, and as apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the diocese of Mackenzie Fort-Smith.


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

- Bishop Pedro N. Bantigue, emeritus of San Pablo, Philippines on 20 November at the age of 92.

- Bishop Jose Song Sui-Wan S.D.B., emeritus of Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil on 13 November at the age of 71.

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