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Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Vatican City, 8 April 2014 (VIS) – His Majesty the King Abdullah II bin Hussein of Jordan arrived in Vatican City shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday. Upon arrival at the Domus Sanctae Marthae he was received by the prefect of the Pontifical Household, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, and the head of Protocol, Msgr. Jose Avelino Bettencourt, and in the entry hall he was greeted by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

The Holy Father received His Majesty the King, accompanied by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammed, his advisor on religious affairs, at the entrance of the ground floor drawing room, where the meeting took place, attended also by a Vatican English-language interpreter. The conversation lasted for a total of just over forty minutes, and the atmosphere was cordial and informal.

The visit took place in the period preceding Pope Francis' trip to the Holy Land, where he will visit Jordan, and His Majesty reaffirmed the sentiments with which the people of Jordan are preparing to welcome the Pope and their open willingness to collaborate in the commitment for peace and interreligious dialogue.

Finally, the Holy Father also greeted the other members of the retinue, and the guests left the Vatican at around 4.45 p.m.


Vatican City, 8 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has written a message to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, on the occasion of the elevation to the episcopal order of Msgr. Fabio Fabene, under-secretary of the Synod.

“Almost fifty years have passed since the institution of the Synod of Bishops”, the Pope writes, “and aware that, for the exercise of the Petrine Ministry it is necessary, as never before, to further revive the close bond with all Pastors of the Church, I wish to enhance the value of this valuable conciliar legacy. In this regard, there is no doubt that the Bishop of Rome needs the presence of his brother Bishops, their counsel, their prudence and their experience. … Therefore, I am most grateful to those who, with generous, diligent and competent work throughout these years, have ensured that the Synod contributes to the indispensable dialogue between Peter and his brethren. … Now, in order to underline the valuable service that this Organ carries out in promoting episcopal collegiality with the Bishop of Rome, I have decided to confer the dignity of episcopal rank to the under-secretary.

“Thereby the under-secretary, who already collaborates with Your Eminence with regard to the development of synodal activity, by virtue of the episcopal Order will reflect the affective and effective that is the main objective of the Synod of Bishops. Also in coordinating work within the secretariat general, the under-secretary will be required to express the fertile and fruitful consequences of participation in the episcopal 'munus', a source of sanctification for those who surround it and the foundation of the hierarchical communion with the Bishop of Rome, and with the head and members of the Episcopal College”.


Vatican City, 8 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Bishop William Terrence McGrattan, auxiliary of Toronto, Canada, as bishop of Peterborough (area 25,900, population 437,300, priests 83, permanent deacons 8, religious 104), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- elevated Msgr. Fabio Febene, under secretary of the Synod of Bishops, to the dignity of bishop. The bishop-elect was born in Rome, Italy in 1959, and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Lateran Pontifical University. He has served in a number of pastoral, administrative roles, including priest of the parish of Santa Maria del Giglio in Montefiascone and episcopal chancellor; office head of the Congregation for Bishops; and external judge of the Tribunal of First Instance for causes of nullity of marriage for the Latium region, at the Ordinary Tribunal of the diocese of Rome. He was named Prelate of His Holiness in 2012, and was appointed as under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops in 2014.
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