November 21, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

SUMMARY:


CONFERENCE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES BEGINS ON THURSDAY

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2006 (VIS) - At 11.30 a.m. in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of the annual international conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care. The conference, which is due to be held from November 23 to 25 in the Vatican's New Synod Hall, has as its theme this year: "Pastoral aspects of the treatment of infectious diseases."

   Participating in today's press conference were Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, Bishop Jose L. Redrado O.H., and Fr. Felice Ruffini M.I., respectively president, secretary and under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care; and Nicola Petrosillo, director of the 2nd division of the Rome-based "L. Spallanzani" National Institute for Infectious Diseases.

   The spread of epidemics and of new viral infections, said Cardinal Lozano, "constitutes a serious threat to public health all over the world."

   Referring to the organization of the forthcoming conference, the cardinal indicated that it will be divided into three parts. During the first part, the participants, world specialists in their field, will consider the origins and causes of infectious diseases at an individual level (lifestyle, alimentation and immune system deficiency); a technological level (industrial progress, and the mutation and resistance of bacteria); a political level (suppression of public health measures, war and terrorism); and an ecological level (climate change, environmental damage, water and air contamination).

   In the second phase of the conference, said the president of the pontifical council, "we will reflect from a moral and ethical standpoint upon illnesses and Christian hope, and upon Christians' responsibilities in curing the sick." Consideration will also be given to the points of view of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and of contemporary post-modernity.

   The third part of the conference, Cardinal Lozano continued, will be dedicated to discussing the pastoral care of people with infectious diseases through such means as education in the faith, catechesis and the communications media. Attention will also be given - from a biomedical viewpoint - to research and prevention and - as regards the socio-political aspects of the problem - to national and international healthcare policies, to migration, to economic, scientific and technological resources, to nutrition and to public sanitation projects.

   The conference will end with reflections upon the sick, their families and healthcare professionals, and upon the work of parishes, dioceses, religious orders and congregations, associations and volunteers working in the field of healthcare.

 

POPE WRITING A BOOK ON JESUS OF NAZARETH

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released a communique stating: "The Holy Father Benedict XVI has completed writing the first part of a book, the title of which is 'Gesu di Nazareth. Dal Battesimo nel Giordano alla Trasfigurazione' (Jesus of Nazareth, From His Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration) and, within the last few days, has consigned it to the Vatican Publishing House. The book will be published in spring 2007"

 

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY'S OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE POPE

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2006 (VIS) - The primate of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, England, will make an official visit to the Pope from November 21 to 26, according to a communique released by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

   Archbishop Williams, who will be accompanied by his wife and son, will head an eight-strong delegation. The visit is taking place 40 years after the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey - from March 22 to 24, 1966 - and aims "to express the importance the Anglican Communion attributes to relations with the Catholic Church and to the theological dialogue that began with the creation, announced during Paul VI's meeting with Archbishop Ramsey, of the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC)."

   The central moment of the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit will be his private meeting with the Holy Father on Thursday November 23. After that meeting, the Pope and the archbishop will each deliver an address, and a joint declaration will be signed in the presence of the members of the Anglican delegation and of the Catholic representatives who accompanied the archbishop to Rome, headed by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster.

   After the audience, Benedict XVI and Archbishop Williams, will go to the Vatican's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel where they will pray together.

   On November 22, the Anglican archbishop and Cardinal Walter Kasper, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will visit the Sistine Chapel where they will pray together and recollect the meeting there 40 years earlier between Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey.

   On November 24, the Roman church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva will be the setting for an ecumenical celebration of Vespers.

   During the course of the visit, Archbishop Williams and Cardinal Kasper will examine the current state of Catholic-Anglican relations, the planning and content of a new cycle of dialogue in the ARCIC following its most recent publication "Mary, Grace and Hope in Christ" in May 2005, the work of the International Anglican - Roman Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) established in 2000, and the ecumenical situation in general."

   The visit will also serve as an opportunity to continue the informal talks, an annual initiative for the giving and receiving of information, coordination of initiatives, and dialogue and exchange.

   The archbishop's visit also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Rome's Anglican Center, which undertakes various initiatives to favor reciprocal understanding among Catholics and Anglicans. The current director of the Anglican Center is Bishop John Flack, representative of the Anglican communion to the Holy See.

   On the afternoon of Sunday, November 26, prior to his departure, Archbishop Williams will preside at an Anglican liturgy in the Basilica of Santa Sabina on Rome's Aventine Hill.

 

FACE CHALLENGES AND ABANDON SHORTSIGHTED INTERESTS

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2006 (VIS) - On November 15, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions at Geneva, participated in the third special session of the Human Rights Council, which is considering the situation in Gaza.

   "In its short history," said the archbishop speaking English, "the Human Rights Council has faced tough challenges given the persisting violations of human rights in several areas of the world, violations it has not always been able to address with fairness and consistency because of shortsighted political and economic interests. But a Human Rights Council that does not contribute to change the quality of people's life on the ground, ... seriously risks a loss of credibility."

   "A qualitative step forward in confidence-building," Archbishop Tomasi told the council "would be ... the adoption of a courageous method of real dialogue that enables placing on the table the real problems calling for solution no matter how different at the start are the points of view." To this end, he added, "the present special session can be a constructive occasion."

   He went on: "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been caught in a cycle of violence that ... leads nowhere. This tragic spiral of suffering must be broken. Two steps are called for. First, the two peoples involved must recognize each other's humanity and equality and start this process of mutual recognition on a base of justice and respect of fundamental human rights and international and humanitarian law."

   "Second, the family of States has a moral responsibility to promote a mentality of peace; to collaborate through practical measures for the elimination of the deep cultural, social and economic roots of violence; to aid and enable the parties involved in pursuing a fruitful collaboration.

   "This responsibility," he added, "in the first place is owned to the civilian population, to women and children struck down by unwarranted violence, to young military lives cut short with dreams unfulfilled. ... Respect of basic human rights, above all the right to life, is not an abstract consideration, but an approach that pays a rich dividend in its political consequences: it makes possible the reaping and enjoyment of the fruits of peace.

   "The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as a major source of instability in the Middle East, becomes a chain in a vicious cycle that produces instability in the whole region. In turn, such instability makes the situation of the population of Palestine and of Israel much worse and the reaching of peaceful goals more difficult.

   "If the countries engaged in the region and trying to assist in finding an honorable and just solution to the conflict succeed, they would render an important service to the whole world and show once again how the respect of human rights fosters peace."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Benin City, Nigeria, presented by Archbishop Patrick Ebosele Ekpu, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Bishop Domenico Graziani of Cassano all'Jonio, Italy, as archbishop of Crotone-Santa Severina (area 1,885, population 202,600, Catholics 201,400, priests 116, permanent deacons 18, religious 166), Italy. The archbishop-elect was born in Calopezzati, Italy in 1944, he was ordained a priest in 1968, and consecrated a bishop in 1999.

  - Appointed Fr. Anton Leichtfried of the clergy of the diocese of Sankt Polten, Austria, rector of the major seminary, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 10,450, population 629,227, Catholics 561,007, priests 546, permanent deacons 48, religious 485). The bishop-elect was born in Scheibbs, Austria, in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1991.

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