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Friday, February 8, 2013


Vatican City, 8 February 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father sent a telegram of condolence to Bishop Francesco Ravinale of Asti, Italy for the death of Cardinal Giovanni Cheli, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. The cardinal died last night at the age of 94.

In the text the Pope recalls the cardinal's work "in the Secretary of State, as a representative of the Holy See to the United Nations, and as president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples". Benedict XVI affirmed that "he leaves behind the testimony of a life spent in consistent and generous adherence to his vocation as a priest concerned with the needs of the faithful and especially in the Christian formation of young persons."

Cardinal Cheli's funeral Mass, which will be celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will be held tomorrow afternoon, 9 February, at 5:00pm in St. Peter's Basilica.


Vatican City, 8 February 2013 (VIS) – On behalf of the Pope, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., greeted the conference organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty between France and Germany. The conference, organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University, had as its theme "Fifty Years of Friendship between France and Germany at the service of Europe: The European Union – A Model for Other Reconciliations?"

In the text, made public this morning by the Press Office of the Holy See, Cardinal Bertone said that "the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of an important milestone on the path to reconciliation and understanding between the French and German peoples also bring to mind the personal commitment of the authors of the Treaty, Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer. Even before the stipulation of the Treaty, the two main protagonists of postwar Europe, with their participation at the Reconciliation Mass in the cathedral of Rheims, emphasized that politics are based on principles that cannot be given to oneself."

"The natural moral law, inscribed by the Creator in the human heart, and the human values and rights that are shaped by the Gospel, constitute the basis of a politics that is truly at the service of justice and peace, as well as the progress of the human family. Political action will also have to be built upon this basis in the future so that what we have achieved together not be undermined by new challenges and myopic personal interests and not be abandoned. Peace is an enduring task that must always be accomplished anew."

At the end of the text Cardinal Bertone affirmed that the Holy Father invokes upon the entire French and German peoples, "God's protection and blessing for a future of peace and freedom in their own countries and throughout Europe."

Among the participants in yesterday's conference were Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Minister-President of the state of the Saarland, Germany and delegate for Franco-German cultural relations, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and Jacques Santer, former President of the European Commission.


Vatican City, 8 February 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Holland,

ten prelates from the Lazio region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi, military ordinary for Italy,
- Bishop Vincenzo Apicella of Velletri-Segni,
- Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano,
- Bishop Gino Reali of Porto-Santa Rufina,
- Bishop Ernesto Mandara of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto,
- Bishop Domenico Sigalini of Palestrina,
- Bishop Mauro Parmeggiani of Tivoli,
- Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati,
- Abbot Mauro Meacci, O.S.B., of Subiaco,
- Abbot Emiliano Fabbricatore, O.S.B.I., archimandrite of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata Abbey (Italo-Albanese), and

- Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.


Vatican City, 8 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Michele Pennisi as archbishop of Monreale (area 1,509, population 233,010, Catholics 229,892, priests 134, permanent deacons 7, religious 190), Italy. Archbishop Pennisi, previously bishop of Piazza Armerina, Italy, succeeds Archbishop Salvatore Di Cristina, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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