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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - A note released by the Governorate of Vatican City State announces the issue of the traditional commemorative envelope for Christmas 2012.

On the left side of the envelope there is a reproduction of the "Nativity and journey of the Three Kings", in tempera and gold leaf on board, of the Marchigian School (mid 15th century), on display in the Vatican Museums Picture Gallery.

The 60 cent stamp from the "Christmas 2012" series, issued on 6 November 2012, is franked with the special postmark in use on Christmas Day. The postmark is completed with the Latin phrase "Christus Natus est Alleluia" and the inscription "POSTE VATICANE. 25.12.2012". The serial code PV/78 is printed the back of the envelope in the lower right corner.

The commemorative envelope costs 3.50 Euros, or five Euros in a protective portfolio.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Olav Fykse Tveit, has addressed a traditional Christmas message to the faithful of the 349 communities that form this ecumenical fellowship. The text opens with two Biblical citations, the first from the Prophet Isaiah: "a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice", and the second from the Gospel of St. John: "What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it".

"What the Word has brought into being is life, and the life is the light of all people", writes Tveit. "In the coming year, the World Council of Churches will focus its witness and work around a simple prayer which serves as the theme of our tenth Assembly: 'God of life, lead us to justice and peace'".

This prayer will also be the theme of the tenth General Assembly of the WCC, which will take place in Busan, South Korea, from 30 October to 8 November 2013. The programme covers "five dimensions of being the church together in the world today – koinonia (one faith and fellowship in Christ), martyria (witness in the world), diakonia (serving justice and peace), ecumenical formation (for leadership) and inter-religious cooperation (a common context)".

"In the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, we are particularly aware of God’s gift of light revealed in the eternal Word who became flesh, and who dwells among us even now. This is the light that gives us hope for this present world in spite of disunity, abuse, hatred, violence, poverty, greed and corruption. Christ’s light is the lamp for our feet that shows us the way toward justice and peace. Even when our own wicks burn dimly, the Word of God withstands the darkness, faithfully bringing forth justice on our common way toward peace", concludes the secretary of the World Council of Churches.


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

- Daniela Leggio, official of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as head officer of the same dicastery.

- Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, currently apostolic nuncio in Guatemala, as apostolic nuncio in Australia.

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