June 13, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin - 06-13-05

The following is a copyrighted release of the Vatican Information Service.

- Secretary of World Council of Churches to Visit Pope

- Pope to Hold Catechesis Encounter with Children October 15

- Audiences






VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2005 (VIS) - On Thursday June 16, Benedict XVI will receive Reverend Samuel Kobia, Methodist pastor and secretary general of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The June 12-16 visit to Rome by the WCC delegation was planned some months ago and is part of ongoing relations with this organization which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.


  A communique made public yesterday afternoon recalls that although the Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, she does continue a broad-based collaboration that began immediately after Vatican Council II ended in 1965.


  Reverend Kobia, who will be accompanied by his wife and by five other heads of the WCC, attended John Paul II's funeral on April 8. This official visit has a special significance, the communique says, because 2005 marks the 40th anniversary of the Mixed Working Group composed of members appointed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and representatives from the WCC.


  Following the papal audience of June 16, Reverend Kobia will meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano. He is also due to hold meetings with various dicasteries of the Roman Curia in order to discuss certain specific themes such as: the commitment to justice and peace, the challenges of inter-religious dialogue, and initiatives to achieve a joint commitment of Christians in the field of health care.


  Also on the agenda are a series of discussions concerning the spiritual commitment of the WCC's theological body, the Faith and Constitution Commission, in preparing and publicizing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25); the Catholic contribution to this commission, and the commitment of the WCC to ecumenical formation, also demonstrated by the presence of a Catholic professor at the WCC University Institute of Bossey, Switzerland.






VATICAN CITY, JUN 12, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict announced to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus today that on October 15 he will hold a catechesis encounter in the Vatican with children who made their First Communion this year, especially children from Rome and the region of Lazio.


  Noting that this event will occur during the Synod of Bishops and just before the conclusion of the Year of the Eucharist, the Pope said he wished to underline the importance of this sacrament and also of families attending Sunday Mass together. "This will be a fitting and beautiful occasion to repeat the essential role that the sacrament of the Eucharist plays in the formation and spiritual growth of children."


  The Holy Father pointed out that the Year of the Eucharist was "desired by our beloved Pope John Paul II to re-awaken ever more in the conscience of believers the sense of stupor towards this great sacrament. In this singular Eucharistic time, one of the recurring themes is Sunday, the Lord's Day, a theme also at the center of the recent Italian Eucharistic Congress in Bari" where "I underscored how participation in Sunday Mass must never be felt as an imposition or weight, but rather as a need and a joy. ... We Christians cannot live without Sundays."


  Following the Angelus Benedict XVI greeted "blood donors from throughout the world, especially those present today in St. Peter's Square who have come for World Day for Blood Donors which occurs the day after tomorrow. Dear brothers and sisters, I know you participated in Mass presided by Cardinal Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health. May Christ, Who redeemed us with His blood, always be the model for your volunteer work."






VATICAN CITY, JUN 13, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:


- Eight prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar on their "ad limina" visit:


     - Bishop Antoine Scopelliti O.SS.T., of Ambatondrazaka, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Gaetano di Pierro S.C.I.


    - Bishop Felix Ramananarivo M.S., of Antsirabe.


    - Bishop Raymond Razakarinvony of Miarinarivo.


    - Bishop Gustavo Bombin Espino O.SS.T., of Tsiroanomandidy.


    - Archbishop Michel Malo of Antsiranana.


    - Bishop Odon Marie Arsene Razanakolona of Ambanja.


     - Bishop Desire Tsarahazana of Fenoarivo Atsinanana.


  - Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, apostolic nuncio to Panama, accompanied by members of his family.


  On Saturday, June 11, he received in separate audiences:


 -  His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation

for the Oriental Churches.


 - Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).


 - Three prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar on their "ad limina" visit:


    - Archbishop Fulgence Rabeony S.J., of Toliara.


    - Bishop Armand Toasy of Port-Berge.


    - Bishop Philippe Ranaivomanana of Ihosy.


 - Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.


 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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