Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Vatican City, 16 July 2013 (VIS) – From 17 to 20 July the Austrian city of Graz will host the international interreligious conference “Com Unity Spirit”, organised by, among others, the Afro-Asiatic Institute founded by the Catholic Church in 1964 with the aim of encouraging interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue through research projects, study meetings and international conferences. The city has a long tradition of participation in city life by its various religious communities, and in 1997 hosted the European Ecumenical Assembly.

The conference proposes a further step in the dialogue between religions, with a view to drafting a final message in which it will indicate what the religious communities can and should do to make cities more welcoming and respectful towards human values, in order to promote the co-existence of different religions and cultures, fully respecting the freedom of every man and woman.

Over 150 representatives of religious communities will participate, from the orthodox Serbian Bishop Andrej to the Grand Mufti emeritus of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mustafa Ceric, from the rabbi Michael Jedwany, member of the Conference of European Rabbis, to the writer Karl Veitschegger of the diocese of Graz-Seckau. Scholars and experts in interreligious dialogue have been invited to take part in the conference to discuss and share a variety of opinions not only on how to proceed in the construction of peaceful co-existence between religions, but also the idea that Europe is experiencing a phase of particular importance for its future precisely because of the presence of so many religions and cultures, which represent an important resource for times to come.

The programme includes a series of public conferences and parallel sessions in which brief texts on experiences of research and dialogue will be presented and discussed. The inaugural session will be dedicated to the theme of the relationship between political and spiritual power in the light of Christian experience from the time of the first communities until the present day. The parallel sessions, which will consider how people of different religions can live together in the same cities in peace, will focus on the following themes: the relationship between religion and spirituality, the teaching of religion, religious freedom as a universal right, the causes of potential conflict between religious communities, the socio-political role and responsibility of religions in contemporary society, and cultural and artistic expressions of religious diversity.


Vatican City, 16 July 2013 (VIS) - “The family: path of hope for Cuba” was the theme of the first national meeting of the Pastoral of the Family promoted by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba and recently concluded in Havana.

The meeting, presided over by Bishop Arturo Gonzalez of Santa Clara, took place in the “San Juan Maria Vianney” priests' residence. The initiative was promoted also by Bishop Luis del Castillo, emeritus of Melo, Uruguay, who has collaborated with the Church in Cuba for many years. In his opening speech, Bishop Gonzalez recalled the words of Blessed John Paul II during his visit to the island: “Cuba: care for your families, in order to keep your heart pure!” and thanked the families participating in the meeting, emphasising that in spite of current difficulties, the family remains a source of great hope for the future.

The themes to be considered include: marriage and the family as God's plan for men and women, within which humanity finds its true path to happiness, the family in Cuba, with its needs, its values to be identified in the light of faith but also in dialogue with the various institutions with which it is linked, the education of children, family economics, the aging population, the breakdown of the family and domestic violence.

Prior to the meeting the Commission for the Family, with the contribution of the Jesuit priest Fr. Jorge Cela, president of the Conference of Latin American Provincials, carried out a survey of the island's population, entitled “Cubafamilia”, to investigate the current situation of families in Cuba.


Vatican City, 16 July 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Fr. Joseph Kollamparampil, C.M.I., as bishop of the eparchy of Jagdalpur of the Syro-Malabars (area 39,176, population 3,101,730, Catholics 8,483, priests 112, religious 451), India. The bishop-elect was born in Cherpunkal, India in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a doctorate in missiology from the Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including teacher and rector in a house of formation for aspiring vocations, and rector of the CMI Mission Theologate Samanvaya in Bhopal. He succeeds Bishop Simon Stock Palathara, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted in accordance with canon 210 para. 1-2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO).

- appointed Msgr. Fernando Filograna, of the clergy of Lecce, as bishop of Nardo-Gallipoli (area 587, population 212,980, Catholics 211,761, priests 133, permanent deacons 7, religious 126), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Lequile, Italy in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including spiritual father of the minor seminary of Lecce, notary of the diocesan Ecclesiastical Tribunal, vice-chancellor of the Curia, rector of the episcopal seminary, Lecce, director of the diocesan centre for vocations, archpriest of the parish Santa Maria Assunta in Trepuzzi, episcopal vicar for the clergy and the permanent diaconate, member of the College of Consultors, member of the Commission for the Clergy and Consecrated Life for the Episcopal Conference of Apulia, priest of the parish San Giovanni Maria Vianney and vicar general of Lecce.

- appointed Archbishop Brian Udaigwe, previously apostolic nuncio to Benin, as apostolic nuncio to Togo.
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service