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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received Shimon Peres, president of the State of Israel. President Peres then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial talks, the political and social situation in the Middle East—where more than a few conflicts persist—was addressed. A speedy resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is hoped for, so that, with the courageous decisions and availability of both sides as well as support from the international community, an agreement may be reached that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region. Reference to the important issue of the City of Jerusalem was not overlooked. Particular worry for the conflict that plagues Syria was expressed, for which a political solution is hoped for that privileges the logic of reconciliation and dialogue.

A number of issues concerning relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See and between state authorities and the local Catholic communities were also addressed. In conclusion, the significant progress made by the Bilateral Working Commission, which is preparing an agreement regarding issues of common interest, was appreciated and its rapid conclusion is foreseen.


Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning, in the Library of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis was presented with the stamps issued jointly between the Vatican City State and Argentina, which are dedicated to the beginning of his pontificate.

The four stamps in the set, which reproduce photographic images of the new pontiff, have the values of: €0.70 (for mail to Italy); €0.85 (Europe); €2.00 (Africa, Asia, the Americas); and €2.50 (Oceania). There will be 250,000 complete series printed.

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will issue, along with the stamp series, a stamp and coin card and an official collector's edition folder with the four stamps and a postcard of the first page of the extraordinary edition of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, from 13 March 2013 (the day of the new pontiff's election).


Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

   - appointed Bishop Audilio Aguilar Aguilar as bishop of Santiago de Veraguas (area 11,239, population 233,600, Catholics 211,343, priests 38, permanent deacons 2, religious 43), Panama. Bishop Aguilar, previously of Colon-Kuna Yala, Panama, has been vice-president of the Panamanian Bishops' Conference since 2010. He succeeds Bishop Oscar Mario Brown Jimenez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

   - appointed Bishop Salvatore Visco as archbishop of Capua (area 500, population 198,700, Catholics 190,700, priests 83, permanent deacons 10, religious 297), Italy. The archbishop-elect, previously of Isernia-Venafro, Italy, was born in Naples, Italy in 1948, was ordained to the priesthood in 1973, and received episcopal ordination in 2007. He is currently vice-president of the Abruzzo-Molise region of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

   - appointed Archbishop Guido Pozzo, almoner of His Holiness and titular archbishop of Balneoregium, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

   - appointed Fr. Jose Granados, D.C.J.M., vice dean of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, Italy, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


Vatican City, 30 April 2013 (VIS) – Tomorrow, Wednesday 1 May, feast of St. Joseph the Worker and a holiday in the Vatican, no VIS bulletin will be transmitted. Service will resume on Wednesday 2 May.
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