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Thursday, April 25, 2013


Vatican City, 25 April 2013 (VIS) – The Pope presided over Mass this morning, the feast of the Evangelist St. Mark, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Among those present were members of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, accompanied by their secretary general, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic.

Francis, noting that today's Gospel narrates Jesus' Ascension, emphasized that, before he was taken up into heaven, the Lord sent his Apostles to proclaim the Gospel “to the ends of the earth, not just in Jerusalem or in Galilee. … The horizon is wide and, as you can see, this is the nature of the Church's missionary action. The Church goes forward with this proclaiming to all, to all the world. But she does not go forward alone: she goes with Jesus. … The Lord works with all those who preach the Gospel.”

The Bishop of Rome also referenced the First Letter of Peter, which defines the Christian style of preaching; “humility, service, charity, fraternal love. But—'Lord, we have to conquer the world!' That word, 'conquer', doesn't belong. We have to preach to the world. The Christian cannot be like the soldiers who, when they win the battle, make a clean sweep of everything. The Christian announces the Gospel by his witness more than by his words, and this goes two ways...: a great spirit is not frightened by great things, of going forward toward unending horizons, and the humility of being aware of the little things.”


Vatican City, 25 April 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, around 6:00pm, the Holy Father Francis, of his own initiative, called the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, to thank him for his telegram of greetings and well wishes on the Pope's saint's day. The Pope expressed his appreciation with these words: “Mr. President, I called to thank you for your example. You have been an example for me. With your conduct, you have brought to life the fundamental principle of coexistence: that unity is greater than conflict. I am touched by your decision.”

Last week, Giorgio Napolitano, who is 87 years old, accepted the petition to be a candidate for the presidency of the Italian Republic owning to inconclusive general elections in February caused by the severe institutional crisis the country is undergoing. On Monday, 20 April, he became the first president of the Republic to be re-elected to a second term, a majority of votes in the Italian Parliament supporting his candidacy.


Vatican City, 25 April 2013 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Family, in a note issued today, declares that “there is no basis to the news, circulated by some press agencies, that a document on distributing communion to remarried divorced persons is being prepared.”


Vatican City, 25 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts,

six members of the presidency of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM):
    - Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, president,
    - Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia, first vice president,
    - Archbishop Dimas Lara Barbosa of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, second vice president,
    - Bishop Santiago Jaime Silva Retamales. auxiliary of Valparaiso, Chile, secretary general,
    - Bishop Carlos Maria Collazzi Irazabal, S.D.B., of Mercedes, Uruguay, president of the economic council, and
    - Fr. Leonidas Ortiz Losada, adjunct secretary general, and

- Rabbi Isaac Sacca, Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Community of Buenos Aires, Argentina and president of Menora (international youth organization), with his entourage.

This afternoon, the Holy Father is scheduled to receive Cardinal Franc Rode, C.M., prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.


Vatican City, 25 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Besancon, France, presented by Archbishop Andre Lacrampe, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Fr. Rafael Valdivieso Miranda as bishop of Chitre (area 6,146, population 203,000, Catholics 199,000, priests 28, permanent deacons 3, religious 37), Panama. The bishop-elect, previously rector of the San Jose Major Seminary of Panama, was born in David, Panama in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He succeeds Bishop Fernando Torres Duran, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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