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Thursday, June 13, 2013


Vatican City, 13 June 2013 (VIS) – In the Vatican Apostolic Palace this morning, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Her Excellency Ms. Alenka Bratusek. Prime Minister Bratusek subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State, accompanied by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.

During the course of the cordial conversations, the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Slovenia were evident and the common desire to pursue constructive dialogue on issues pertaining to bilateral relations between the ecclesial and civil communities was confirmed, with particular reference given to the Catholic Church’s historical contribution in the country’s life and to the importance that the protection of religious freedom has for the harmonious development of Slovenian society today.

As the talks continued, focus was placed on the challenges that the country must face in the current economic crisis and on the assistance that the Catholic community, in collaboration with state institutions, can provide for the social support of the population and for the education of the young. Finally, some challenges and problems of an international nature were briefly reviewed.


Vatican City, 13 June 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Pope received members of the 13th Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, gathered in Rome to help the pontiff choose the theme of the next Ordinary General Assembly.

The 13th assembly of the synod took place last October in the Vatican and was dedicated to “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. “There is a close connection,” the Pope said, “between these two elements: the transmission of the Christian faith is the purpose of the new evangelization and of all the Church's evangelizing work, which exists precisely for this. The expression 'New Evangelization', therefore, highlights the increasingly clear awareness that, even in countries with an ancient Christian tradition, a renewed proclamation of the Gospel is necessary to bring us back to the encounter with Christ that truly transforms our lives and that isn't superficial or marked by routine. This has consequences for pastoral activity.”

In this context, the Bishop of Rome quoted the words of Paul VI's address to the College of Cardinals in June of 1973: “The conditions of the society in which we live oblige all of us therefore to revise methods, to seek by every means to study how we can bring the Christian message to modern man. For it is only in the Christian message that modern man can find the answer to his questions and the energy for his commitment of human solidarity.”

I would like,” Pope Francis added, “to encourage the entire ecclesial community to be evangelizing, to not be afraid to 'go out' of themselves to proclaim, above all trusting in the merciful presence of God who guides us. The techniques are certainly important, but even the most advanced ones couldn't substitute the gentle but effective action of He who is the principal agent of evangelization: the Holy Spirit. It is necessary to let yourselves be led by him, even if He takes us along new paths. It is necessary to let yourselves be transformed by him so that our announcement might be made with words that are always accompanied by the simplicity of our lives, our spirit of prayer, and our charity towards all, especially the lowliest and poorest, by our humility and self-detachment, and by the holiness of our lives.”

The Synod of Bishops “has been one of the fruits of the Second Vatican Council. Thanks to God that, in these almost fifty years, we have been able to feel the benefits of this institution that, in a permanent way, is at the service of the Church's mission and communion as an expression of collegiality. … Open to the grace of the Holy Spirit, the soul of the Church, we are confident that the Synod of Bishops will know further developments to facilitate even more the dialogue and collaboration between the bishops and between them and the Bishop of Rome,” concluded the Holy Father.


Vatican City, 13 June 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

   - appointed Fr. Noel Antonio Londono Buitrago, C.Ss.R. As bishop of Jerico (area 3,000, population 256,000, Catholics 251,000, priests 86, permanent deacons 2, religious 122), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Quimbaya, Quindio Department, Colombia, in 1949 and was ordained a priest in 1973. Since ordination he has served in several academic and administrative roles, most recently, since 2011, as coordinator of the Redemptorist Missionaries of Latin America. He succeeds Bishop Jose Roberto Lopez Londono, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

   - appointed Fr. Jaya Rao Polimera as bishop of Eluru (area 6,800, population 8,300,000, Catholics 315,157, priests 226, religious 1,292), India. The bishop-elect was born in Dharmasagar, Andhra Pradesh, India, in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1992 for the Diocese of Warangal. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral roles, most recently, since 2009, as director of the Diocesan Youth Centre and a member of the College of Consultors for the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Tribunal.

   - appointed Bishop Franco Mulakkal as bishop of Jullundur (area 51,120, population 49,227,000, Catholics 139,897, priests 136, religious 802), India. Bishop Mulakkal was previously auxiliary of Delhi and titular of Chullu.

   - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado, USA presented by Bishop Fernando Isern, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

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