December 29, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


MORE THAN THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN PAPAL MEETINGS IN 2006

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - During the year 2006, more than three million faithful participated in public meetings with the Pope, either in the Vatican or at his summer residence of Castelgandolfo.

  According to statistics released by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, a total of 3,222,820 people attended the Wednesday general audiences, special audiences, liturgical celebrations and Sunday Angelus prayers during the course of the year.

  The Wednesday general audiences, held in St. Peter's Square and the Paul VI Hall, attracted 1,031,500 people. This figure reflects the number of tickets distributed, and does not take into account the thousands of faithful who arrive without tickets and also participate.

  The Angelus prayers of 2006 drew a total of 1,295,000 people to St. Peter's Square, while more than half a million attended the various liturgical ceremonies presided by the Holy Father, 196,000 in April alone.

 

POPE BENEDICT TO VISIT CARITAS SHELTER IN ROME

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - On January 4, 2007 the Holy Father is scheduled to visit a shelter run by the diocesan Caritas of Rome on the city's Colle Oppio, according to a communique released by the Vicariate of Rome.

  During the pastoral visit, the Pope will dedicate a canteen to the memory of John Paul II, unveiling a commemorative plaque. He will also visit a nativity scene built by the Caritas volunteers.

  The Holy Father - who will be accompanied by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, his vicar general for the diocese of Rome, Bishop Ernesto Mandara, auxiliary of Rome for the central area, and Msgr. Guerino De Tora, director of Caritas - will greet the people who use the shelter, Caritas workers and the young people of the "Il Centro" youth center, which is based in the same building.

  The Colle Oppio shelter was the first structure for homeless people to be established in Rome, founded in 1983 and run with the help of the city council. Over the last 23 years it has welcomed thousands of people, both Italians and non-Italians, and distributed more than nine million meals.

  John Paul II visited the center on December 20, 1992, when he pronounced the phrase "suffering man concerns us," now inscribed on the plaque to be unveiled by Benedict XVI.

 

BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JANUARY 2007

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for January 2007 is: "That in our time, unfortunately marked by many episodes of violence, the pastors of the Church may continue to indicate the way of peace and understanding among peoples."

  His mission intention is: "That the Church in Africa may become a constantly more authentic witness of the Good News of Christ and be committed, in every nation, to the promotion of reconciliation and peace."

 

PAPAL, HOLY SEE HIGHLIGHTS FOR AUGUST - DECEMBER 2006

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and the Holy See for the months of August through December 2006.

AUGUST

 - 2: Telegram of condolence from the Holy Father for the death at the age of 96 of Dutch Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

 - 11: Telegram from the Holy Father to Susilo Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia, requesting clemency for three men condemned to death for their role in inciting sectarian violence in Poso, Indonesia in 2000.

 - 11: The Holy Father asks Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to travel to Lebanon as his special envoy to express to the people there his spiritual closeness and solidarity, and to pray for peace.

 - 13: Publication of the text of an interview granted by Benedict XVI to the television stations Bayerischer Rundfunk (ARD), ZDF and Deustsche Welle, and to Vatican Radio, for his forthcoming apostolic trip to Munich, Altotting and Regensburg, due to take place from September 9 to 14.

 - 19: Telegram to His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, expressing the Pope's closeness to the Chaldean Catholic Church and requesting the release of the kidnapped priest, Fr. Saad Syrop Hanna, seized in Baghdad on August 15.

 - 28: The Holy Father receives in audience Angela Merkel, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, accompanied by her entourage.

 

SEPTEMBER

 - 8: The new ambassador of Chile to the Holy See, Pedro Pablo Cabrera Gaete, presents his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father.

 - 9-14: Benedict XVI makes his second apostolic trip to Germany - the first having been in August 2005 when he travelled to Cologne for World Youth Day - divided into three stages: Munich, Altotting and Regensburg.

 - 15: In the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father welcomes the staff of the Secretariat of State for the appointment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., archbishop of Genoa, Italy, as new secretary of State, and the farewell ceremony of his predecessor, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

 - 16: The new ambassador of Slovenia to the Holy See, Ivan Rebernik, presents his Letters of Credence to the Pope.

 - 17: Beatification of Servant of God Sara Salkahazi (1899 - 1944) of the Institute of the Sisters of the Assistance, in the square of St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary. She was killed in 1944 for having protected hundreds of Jews during the Second World War. Beatification of Servant of God Mose Tovini (1877-1930), a priest of the diocese of Brescia, Italy.

 - 18: The new ambassador of Austria to the Holy See, Martin Bolldorf, presents his Letters of Credence to the Pope.

 - 18-25: Ninth plenary session of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church in Belgrade, Serbia.

 - 20: Telegram of condolence from the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the killing of Sr. Leonella Sgorbati of the Consolata Missionary Sisters, in Mogadishu, Somalia.

 - 25: The Holy Father receives in audience Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, representatives from Muslim-majority countries that maintain diplomatic links with the Holy See, and a number of leaders of the Muslim community in Italy.

 - 28: The new ambassador of the Federal Republic Germany to the Holy See, Hans-Henning Horstmann, presents his Letters of Credence to Benedict XVI.

 - 29: The new ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the Holy See, Rrok Logu, presents his Letters of Credence to Benedict XVI.

 - 30: Telegram of condolence from the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the death at the age of 94 of Cardinal Louis-Albert Vachon, archbishop emeritus of Quebec, Canada.

 

OCTOBER

 - 5: Heinz Fischer, president of the Federal Republic of Austria, received in audience by the Holy Father.

 - 6: The Holy Father convokes the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to the theme: "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church." The Synod is due to will be held in the Vatican from October 5 to 26, 2008.

 - 8: Beatification of Servant of God Maria Teresa di Gesu, nee Maria Scrilli (1825-1889), foundress of the Congregation of the Religious of Our Lady of Carmel in the Roman amphitheater of Fiesole, Italy.

 - 12: Inauguration of the exhibition "Petros Eni" (Peter is here) dedicated by the Fabric of St. Peter's to the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the current basilica, and to the Apostle Peter to whom the basilica is dedicated. The exhibition runs from October 12, 2006 to March 8, 2007.

 - 12: Opening of a new section of the Roman necropolis on the Via Triumphalis. The sector came to light in 2003 during building work on a parking lot within Vatican City, and its inauguration is part of celebrations marking the fifth centenary of the Vatican Museums.

 - 12: The Holy Father receives in audience Jaroslaw Kaczynski, prime minister of the Republic of Poland.

 - 13: Telegram of condolence from the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the death at the age of 84 of Cardinal Dino Monduzzi, prefect emeritus of the Pontifical Household.

 - 13: Romano Prodi, prime minister of the Republic of Italy, visits the Holy Father Benedict XVI.

 - 15: Canonization in the Vatican Basilica of Blesseds: Rafael Guizar Valencia (1878-1938), Mexican, bishop; Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923), Italian, founder of the Institute of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts; Rosa Venerini (1656-1728), virgin, Italian, foundress of the Congregation of the "Maestre Pie Venerini;" and Theodore Guerin, nee Anne-Therese (1798-1856), virgin, French, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary "ad Nemus" (Saint Mary of the Woods) in the U.S.A.

 - 19: Telegram of condolence from the Holy Father for the death at the age of 77 of Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

 - 19: Pope travels to the Italian city of Verona for the 4th Italian Ecclesial Congress on the theme: "Witnesses of the Risen Christ, Hope of the World."

 - 22: Beatification, in the cathedral of Bilbao, Spain, of Servant of God Margarita Maria Lopez de Maturana (1884-1934), Spanish, foundress of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of Mercy.

 - 26: The new ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See, Frank De Coninck, presents his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father.

 - 26: The Holy Father receives in audience participants in the fifth international congress of Military Ordinariates, marking the twentieth anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution "Spirituali Militum Curae," promulgated by Servant of God John Paul II.

 - 27: The Pope receives in audience Jose Ramos-Horta, prime minister of East Timor, accompanied by an entourage.

 - 29: Beatification, in the cathedral of Speyer, Germany, of Servant of God Paul Josef Nardini (1821-1862), German, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family.

 

NOVEMBER

 - 5: Beatification of Servant of God Mariano de la Mata Aparicio, Spanish, priest of the Order of Saint Augustine. (1905-1983), in the cathedral of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 - 6: The Holy Father receives in audience Laszlo Solyom, president of the Republic of Hungary.

 - 10: The Holy Father receives in audience Tassos Papadopoulos, president of the Republic of Cyprus.

 - 13: The new ambassador of Japan to the Holy See, Kagefumi Ueno, presents his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father.

 - 14: Publication of Benedict XVI's Message for the 93rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, due to be celebrated on Sunday, January 14, 2007 on the theme: "The Migrant Family."

 - 18: Benedict XVI receives in audience Horst Kohler, president of the Federal Republic of Germany.

 - 20: The Pope receives Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic, on an official visit. President Napolitano took office on May 15 this year.

 - 21: Announcement that the Holy Father Benedict XVI has completed writing the first part of a book, entitled 'Gesu di Nazareth. Dal Battesimo nel Giordano alla Trasfigurazione' (Jesus of Nazareth, From His Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration). The book is due to be published in spring 2007.

 - 21-26: Official visit to Rome by the primate of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, England.

 - 24: The Holy Father receives in audience Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, president of the Republic of Honduras.

 - 28-1 December: Benedict XVI makes an apostolic trip to Turkey - the fifth journey outside Italy of his pontificate - divided into three stages: Ankara, Ephesus and Istanbul.

 - 30: Joint Declaration signed by the Holy Father Benedict XVI and His Holiness Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch, at the ecumenical patriarchate in Istanbul.

 

DECEMBER

 - 3: Beatification of Servant of God Eufrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Eluvathingal, nee Rosa (1877-1952), Indian, religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel at Ollur in the archdiocese of Trichur, India.

 - 10: The Pope makes a pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Mary Star of Evangelization, where he celebrates Mass and consecrates the new parish church.

 - 11: Telegram of condolence from the Holy Father for the death at the age of 88 of Cardinal Salvatore Pappalardo, emeritus of Palermo, Italy.

 - 11: Press conference presided by Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, to present recent excavations that brought to light the sarcophagus of St. Paul in that basilica.

 - 12: Publication of the Holy Father's Message for the World Day of Peace 2007, which has as its theme: "The Human Person, the Heart of Peace."

 - 13-16: First official visit of His Beatitude Christodoulos, archbishop of Athens and of all Greece, to His Holiness Benedict XVI and the Church of Rome. The Pope and the Archbishop sign a Joint Declaration.

 - 13: Publication of the Holy Father's Message for the 15th World Day of the Sick. The event is due to be celebrated in Seoul, South Korea on February 11, 2007, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

 - 13: Benedict XVI receives in audience Ehud Olmert, president of the State of Israel.

 - 14: Six new ambassadors to the Holy See - Lars Moller of Denmark, Maratbek Salievic Bakiev of Kyrgyzstan, Carlos Dos Santos of Mozambique, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya of Uganda, Makram Obeid of Syria, and Makase Nyaphisi of Lesotho - present their Letters of Credence to the Holy Father.

 - 15: Benedict XVI receives His Beatitude Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Coptic Catholics, on his first official visit to the Holy See since his election in March of this year.

 - 16: The Holy See and the Republic of Montenegro decide, in common agreement, to establish diplomatic relations, at the level of an apostolic nunciature on the part of the Holy See, and of an embassy on the part of the Republic of Montenegro.

 - 20: The Pope receives the "Prize for Charity" from the Italian foundation "Banca Alimentare." The reason for granting the prize, according to a communique released by the foundation, is that since the start of his pontificate, the Holy Father "has sought to present charity - the sincere giving of oneself to others - as a natural dimension of Christian life."

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jorge Herbas Balderrama O.F.M., secretary for formation and study of the Franciscan Province of San Antonio and president of the ecclesiastical tribunal of first appeal of the archdiocese of Cochabamba, Bolivia, as coadjutor bishop of the territorial prelature of Aiquile (area 23,325, population 230,000, Catholics 200,000, priests 27, religious 86), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Mizque, Bolivia in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1990.

 

NOTICE

VATICAN CITY, DEC 29, 2006 (VIS) - As previously advised, there will be no VIS service on Monday, January 1, 2007, the next service will be transmitted on Tuesday, January 2. The staff of the Vatican Information Service wishes all its readers a very Happy New Year.

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