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Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father sent the following audio message to the Italian Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti) on the occasion of their summer program for around 75, mostly elderly, persons at their Le Torri Centre in Tirrenia, Italy, specializing in rehabilitation studies and vacations.

I know that … some of you wanted to come to Rome,” the Pope said. “Thanks to modern technology, I can come to you! Thank you for your appreciation, for your affection, and especially for your prayers.”

The Gospels tell us that Jesus had a particular care for the blind. Besides other sick persons, He healed many blind persons. But the healing of a visually impaired person has special symbolic meaning: it represents the gift of faith. It is a sign that concerns us all because we all need the light of faith to walk along the path of life. This is why Baptism, which is the first Sacrament of Faith, was also called 'illumination' in antiquity.”

I ask the Lord to renew the gift of faith in each of you, so that your spirits may alway have God's light, the light of love that makes sense of our lives, illuminates it, gives us hope, and makes us good and available to our brothers and sisters.”

I also wish the best for your association. … Always spread a culture of encounter, solidarity, and hospitality towards persons with disabilities, not just asking for the proper social services but also encouraging their active participation in society.”

I entrust you all to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother. I ask you to pray for me and for my service to the Church and I wholeheartedly bless you, together with your loved ones.”


Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – On Monday, 10 June, in the offices of the Government Palace in the capital city, Praia, in the presence of Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves, an Accord between the Holy See and the Republic of Cape Verde on the juridical status of the Catholic Church in Cape Verde was signed.

The signatories were: for the Holy See, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, and for the Republic of Cape Verde, Mr. Jorge Alberto da Silva Borges, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The agreement, taking note of the good relations that have developed between the Holy See and the Republic of Cape Verde in the last 37 years, defines and guarantees the legal status of the Catholic Church and regulates areas including canonical marriage, places of worship, Catholic institutions of instruction and education, the teaching of religion in schools, the Church's charitable care activities, pastoral care in the military and in penitential and health care facilities, and the property and taxation system. The agreement, which consists of a preamble and 30 articles, will enter into force on the thirtieth day after the exchange of instruments of ratification.


Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – Today, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued the following declaration:

As agreed at its third meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February 2012, the Vietnam - Holy See Joint Working Group will hold its fourth meeting in the Vatican on 13-14 June. The meeting will serve to strengthen and develop bilateral relations between Vietnam and the Holy See".


Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, addressed the 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council after the Holy See delegation had reviewed the UN Report on Access to Medicines. Archbishop Tomasi's statement points out an “insufficient attention to certain factors cited as 'key elements' by the Special Rapporteur”.

Instead of the legal factors that were the Report's main focus, “the Holy See Delegation found that the Report paid insufficient attention to basic needs of individuals and families, at all stages of the life cycle from conception to natural death.” In order to effectively provide access to medicines, “an integral human development approach that promotes just legal frameworks as well as international solidarity, not only among States, but also among and between all peoples” must be developed. The Holy See noted, with alarm, “the difficulties millions of people face as they seek to obtain minimal subsistence and the medicines they need to cure themselves” and called for “establishing true distributive justice which guarantees everyone adequate care on the basis of objective needs.”

While the prerequisite of States' responsibility in making medicines available is clear, “the strong engagement of non-governmental and religious organizations in providing both medicines and a wide range of treatment and preventive measures to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to health also should have been acknowledged.” Archbishop Tomasi concluded his address with the observation that “optimal facilitation of access to medicine is a complex endeavour and deserves comprehensive analysis and acknowledgement of all factors contributing to its promotion, rather than a more restricted analysis of legal, economic, and political frameworks.“


Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – The following prelates passed away between January and March of this year:

   - Bishop Moses Bosco Anderson, S.S.E., auxiliary emeritus of Detroit, Michigan, USA, on 1 January at the age of 84.

   - Archbishop Joseph-Aurele Plourde, emeritus of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on 5 January at the age of 98.

   - Bishop John Martin Darko, emeritus of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, on 12 January at the age of 67.

   - Bishop Michel Pollien, auxiliary emeritus of Paris, France, on 15 January at the age of 75.

   - Cardinal Jozef Glemp, archbishop emeritus of Warsaw, Poland, on 23 January at the age of 83.

   - Bishop Jean-Felix-Albert-Marie Vilnet, emeritus of Lille, France, on 23 January at the age of 90.

   - Bishop Reinhold Stecher, emeritus of Innsbruck, Austria, on 29 January at the age of 91.

   - Archbishop Joseph Cassidy, emeritus of Tuam, Ireland, on 31 January at the age of 79.

   - Bishop Jacques Nguyen Van Mau, emeritus of Vinh Long, Viet Nam, on 31 January at the age of 99.

   - Bishop John Michael D’Arcy, emeritus of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, USA, on 3 February at the age of 80.

   - Bishop Joseph O. Egerega, vicar apostolic emeritus of Bomadi, Nigeria, on 3 February at the age of 72.

   - Bishop Ignace Baguibassa Sambar-Talkena, emeritus of Kara, Togo, on 3 February at the age of 77.

   - Bishop Joseph Theophile Louis Marie Madec, emeritus of Frejus-Toulon, France, on 5 February at the age of 89.

   - Archbishop Arthe Guimond, emeritus of Grouard-McLennan, Alberta, Canada, on 6 February at the age of 81.

   - Bishop Douglas Joseph Warren, emeritus of Wilcannia-Forbes, Australia, on 6 February at the age of 93.

   - Bishop William Anthony Hughes, emeritus of Covington, Kentucky, USA, on 7 February at the age of 91.

   - Bishop Amedeus Msarikie, emeritus of Moshi, Tanzania, on 7 February at the age of 81.

   - Cardinal Giovanni Cheli, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, on 8 February at the age of 94.

   - Bishop Oswaldo Brenes Alvarez, emeritus of Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica, on 11 February at the age of 70.

   - Bishop Jesus Ramon Martinez de Ezquerecocha Suso, emeritus of Babahoyo, Ecuador, on 16 February at the age of 77.

   - Bishop Anthony Theodore Lobo, emeritus of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on 18 February at the age of 75.

   - Bishop Pedro Lisimaco de Jesus Vilchez Vilchez, emeritus of Jinotega, Nicaragua, on 19 February at the age of 83.

   - Bishop Norbert Mary Leonard James Dorsey, C.P., emeritus of Orlando, Florida, USA, on 21 February at the age of 83.

   - Bishop Jose Gustavo Angel Ramirez, M.X.Y., vicar apostolic emeritus of Mitu, Colombia, on 23 February at the age of 79.

   - Cardinal Julien Ries, cardinal deacon of Sant’Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia, on 23 February at the age of 92.

   - Bishop Giovanni D’Ascenzi, emeritus of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, Italy, on 26 February at the age of 93.

   - Cardinal Jean Marcel Honore, archbishop emeritus of Tours, France, on 28 February at the age of 92.

   - Bishop Julian Voronovsky, M.S.U., emeritus of Sambir-Drohobych of the Ukrainians, Ukraine, on 28 February at the age of 76.

   - Archbishop Gabriel Marie Etienne Vanel, emeritus of Auch, France, on 1 March at the age of 88.

   - Archbishop Cleto Bellucci, emeritus of Fermo, Italy, on 7 March at the age of 91.

   - Bishop Ignatius Anthony Catanello, auxiliary emeritus of Brooklyn, New York, USA, on 11 March at the age of 74.

   - Bishop Gerard Sithunywa Ndlovu, emeritus of Umzimkulu, South Africa, on 13 March at the age of 74.

   - Bishop Akio Johnson Mutek, of Torit, Sudan, on 18 March at the age of 55.

   - Bishop Orozimbo Fuenzalida y Fuenzalida, emeritus of San Bernardo, Chile, on 27 March at the age of 87.

   - Archbishop Charles Amarin Brand, emeritus of Strasbourg, France, on 31 March at the age of 92.


Vatican City, 10 June 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.


Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Alan Stephen Hopes as bishop of East Anglia (area 12,570, population 2,855,000, Catholics 99,200, priests 118, permanent deacons 36, religious 131), England. Bishop Hopes, previously auxiliary of Westminster, England, and titular of Cuncacestre, serves as chairman of the Liturgy Committee on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
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