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Friday, January 14, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, apostolic nuncio to Ecuador, as apostolic nuncio to Kenya and permanent observer to the United Nations Environment and Human Settlements Programs (UNEP and UN-Habitat).
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audience:

- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2005 (VIS) - On Monday, January 24, at 5 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, in the name of the Holy Father, will preside at a solemn Eucharistic celebration for the repose of the souls of the victims of the December 26 tsunami in Southeast Asia. All the faithful are invited to attend, in particular the priests, religious and faithful from the countries afflicted by this devastating cataclysm.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2005 (VIS) - A Decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary, dated December 25, 2004 and published today, states that during an audience granted on December 17, 2004 to Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Fr. John Francis Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, "the Holy Father wished to enrich with indulgences several determined acts of worship and devotion to the Most Holy Sacrament, which are indicated below. ... The Decree will be in force during the Eucharistic Year, starting with the day of its publication in the L'Osservatore Romano. Notwithstanding any disposition to the contrary." Following are excerpts:

  "A Plenary Indulgence is granted to all faithful and to each individual faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin), each and every time they participate attentively and piously in a sacred function or a devotional exercise undertaken in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed and conserved in the tabernacle.

  "A Plenary Indulgence is also granted, under the aforesaid conditions, to the clergy, to members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and to other faithful who are by law obliged to recite the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as to those who customarily recite the Divine Office out of pure devotion, each and every time they recite - at the end of the day, in company or in private - Vespers and Night Prayers before the Lord present in the tabernacle.

  "The faithful who, through illness or other just cause, are unable to visit the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist in a church or oratory, may obtain a Plenary Indulgence in their own homes, or wherever they may be because of their ailment, if, ... with the intention of observing the three usual conditions as soon as possible, they make the visit spiritually and with the heart's desire, ... and recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a pious invocation to Jesus in the Sacrament.

  "If they are unable to do even this, they will receive a Plenary Indulgence if they unite themselves with interior desire to those who practice the normal conditions laid down for Indulgences, and offer the merciful God the illnesses and discomforts of their lives."
  The Decree asks that priests, especially pastors, inform the faithful "in the most convenient manner" of these dispositions, prepare, "with generous and ready spirit," to hear confessions and to lead the faithful "in solemn public recitation of prayers to Jesus in the Sacrament." The faithful are likewise exhorted "to give open witness of faith and veneration for the Blessed Sacrament" as proposed in such acts as Eucharistic procession and adoration, and Eucharistic and spiritual communion."


VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father presided at the funeral of Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, C.I.C.M., who died on Monday at the age of 76. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, celebrated Mass along with other cardinals.

  In his homily, the Pope highlighted how the late cardinal "was a man of peace. He made the value of peace one of the central points of his long and intense service to the universal Church and, especially, to the Holy See. Such was his conviction that a Christian must bear witness to peace that he chose as his episcopal motto 'Parare viam Domino pacis', a recognizable reference to St John the Baptist, Patron of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to which he belonged."

  In that motto, John Paul II recalled how Cardinal Schotte "wanted to add the explicit reference to peace, placing it alongside the name of the Lord - 'Parare viam Domino pacis' - as if to underline that only by accepting Christ and His Gospel can true peace be achieved."

  For more than thirty years, the Belgian cardinal "generously and tirelessly, placed his multiple gifts of intelligence, humanity and spirituality at the disposal of the Roman Curia" said the Pope, referring to the cardinal's work in the Secretariat of State, in the then Pontifical Commission for 'Iustitia et Pax', and finally as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. "Nor can I forget," the Pope added, "his work as president of the Labor Office of the Holy See. A tireless architect of communion, he collaborated actively in the universal pastoral concerns of Peter's Successor."

  The Pope concluded by remembering Cardinal Schotte as "a witness of love who has come from God and who constitutes the foundation of the unity of the Church. We are comforted by the hope that he is now contemplating the 'Lord of peace' face to face, whom he generously loved and served during his life."
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