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Saturday, December 22, 2012


Vatican City,  22 December 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the communiqué released this morning by the Secretariat of State:

"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI visited Paolo Gabriele in prison in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter. This constitutes a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years.

"Mr Gabriele was subsequently released from prison and has returned home. Since he cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City, the Holy See, trusting in his sincere repentance, wishes to offer him the possibility of returning to a serene family life".


Vatican City,  22 December 2012  (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.


Vatican City,  22 December 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today appointed:

- Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal James Michael Harvey; Archbishop Felix del Blanco Prieto, almoner emeritus of His Holiness; Archbishop Fabio Bernardo D'Onorio O.S.B. of Gaeta; Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia; and Bishop Paolino Schiavon, auxiliary of Rome, as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

- Bishop Alfonso Cortes Contreras of Cuernavaca, Mexico, as archbishop of Leon (area 8,110, population 2,866,000, Catholics 2,543,000, priests 355, permanent deacons 12, religious 882), Mexico. He succeeds Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Fr. Estanislau Marques Chindekasse S.V.D. as bishop of the diocese of Dundo (area 103,130, population 827,000, Catholics 269,000, priests 10, religious 23), Angola. The bishop-elect was born in Huambo, Angola in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1987. He has served as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as a professor at the major seminary of Luanda. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, and is currently General Counsellor of the Society of the Divine Word.

- Fr. Robert W. Oliver, assistant for canonical matters of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., as promoter of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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