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Friday, June 27, 2014


Vatican City, 27 June 2014 (VIS) – Today in Belgrade a framework Agreement was signed between the Holy See and the Republic of Serbia on collaboration in higher education, which confirms the principles and defines the arrangement of duties between both parties in the field of higher education. The Agreement was signed on behalf of the Holy See by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, and for the Republic of Serbia by the vice president of the government and minister of the Exterior, Ivica Dacic.

According to the terms of the Agreement, the Parties will undertake to collaborate in the sector of higher education and to promote direct contract between institutions of this type. Furthermore, they will undertake to standardise the questions regarding mutual recognition of academic qualifications and public documents attesting to higher instruction. To implement this agreement, the two Parties will subsequently stipulate related additional protocols, by which the activities, as well as the organisational and financial conditions of implementation, shall be defined. The Agreement also recognises the right of the Catholic Church in Serbia to establish and direct Institutions of higher education both for ecclesiastical disciplines and other subjects of higher study.

The Agreement will come into force on the date of receipt of the final information, by diplomatic means, pertaining to the fulfilment of all the requisites of the national legal systems of the two Parties for its implementation.


Vatican City, 27 June 2014 (VIS) – The first stage in the canonical trial against the former apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic, Josef Wesolowski, has been concluded with the laicisation of the prelate.

From this moment, the accused has two months in which to make an eventual appeal. The penal trial before the Vatican judicial authorities will continue as soon as the canonical sentence has been made definitive.

Finally, with reference to recent media reports, it is necessary to specify that until now Msgr. Wesolowski has been granted relative freedom of movement, as he awaits the verification by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith of the basis of these accusations made against him.

Considering the sentence passed by the aforementioned dicastery, all the necessary procedures will be adopted in relation to the former nuncio, in conformity with the gravity of the case.


Vatican City, 27 June 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”.

- Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.


Vatican City, 27 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Steven John Raica as bishop of Gaylord (area 28,932, population 546,000, Catholics 75,100, priests 80, permanent deacons 22, religious 33), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Munising, U.S.A. in 1952, and was ordained a priest in 1978. He has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Michigan State University, a master's degree in religious studies from the University of Detroit, and a licentiate and doctorate from the Gregorian Pontifical University of Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest of the “Holy Family Parish”, Ovid; co-rector of the St. Mary Cathedral, Lansing; priest of the “St. Mary Parish”, Charlotte; judge of the diocesan tribunal; diocesan consultor; member of the presbyteral council, priest of the “St. Ann Parish”, Bellevue; chaplain of the Olivet College, Olivet; and superior of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Rome. He is currently chancellor of the diocese of Lansing.

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