Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Vatican City, 28 November 2012 (VIS) - "World AIDS Day, a United Nations initiative intended to draw attention to a disease that has caused millions of deaths and tragic human suffering, will fall on 1 December", said the Pope following his catechesis at this morning's general audience. "HIV/AIDS particularly affects the poorest regions of the world, where there is very limited access to effective medicines. My thoughts turn in particular to the large number of children who contract the virus from their mothers each year, despite the treatments which exist to prevent its transmission. I encourage the many initiatives that, within the scope of the ecclesial mission, have been taken in order to eradicate this scourge".
Vatican City, 27 November 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, gave an address at the inaugural ceremony of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna, Austria, yesterday. The centre is an independent organisation, recognised by the United Nations and founded by Saudi Arabia, Austria and Spain, to which the Holy See adheres in the role of Founding Observer.
"It is my privilege to bring to this assembly the greetings of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, as well as his prayerful wishes for the success of the activity of this Dialogue Centre", said Cardinal Tauran.
"We are being watched", he continued. "Everyone is expecting from the initiative of His Majesty King Abdullah, supported by the governments of Austria and Spain, with the assistance of the Holy See as founding observer, honesty, vision and credibility.
"This Centre presents another opportunity for open dialogue on many issues, including those related to fundamental human rights, in particular religious freedom in all its aspects, for everybody, for every community, everywhere. In this regard, you will understand that the Holy See is particularly attentive to the fate of Christian communities in countries where such a freedom is not adequately guaranteed. Information, new initiatives, aspirations, and perhaps also failures will be brought to our attention. It then will be the task of the centre - and when possible with the cooperation of other organisations - to verify their authenticity and to act consequently, in order that our contemporaries not be deprived of the light and the resources that religion offers for the happiness of every human being.
"Believers have to work for and to support all that favours the human person in his material, moral and religious aspirations. So three attitudes are required: respect of the other in his/her specificity; mutual objective knowledge of the religious tradition of each other, particularly through education; and collaboration in order that our pilgrimage towards the Truth be realised in freedom and serenity.
"Concluding and quoting Pope Benedict XVI, I would like to assure you of the cooperation of the Catholic Church: 'By her presence, her prayer and her various works of mercy, especially in education and health care, she wishes to give her best to everyone. She wants to be close to those who are in need, near to those who search for God'.
"It is in this spirit of brotherhood and friendship that we have to work!", the cardinal concluded.
Vatican City, 27 November 2012 (VIS) - The following prelates died recently:
- Bishop Aloysius Balina of Shinyanga, Tanzania, on 6 November at the age of 67.
- Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers S.V.D., emeritus of Saint John's-Basseterre, Antigua, on 6 November at the age of 102.
- Bishop Alfons Demming, auxiliary of Munster, Germany, on 31 October at the age of 84.
- Bishop Michel Hrynchyshyn C.SS.R., apostolic exarch for Ukrainian faithful of Byzantine rite resident in France, on 12 November at the age of 83.
- Bishop Luiz Eugenio Perez, emeritus of Jaboticabal, Brazil, on 14 November at the age of 84.
- Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, apostolic nuncio, on 31 October at the age of 75.
- Bishop Patrick Francis Sheehan O.S.A., emeritus of Kano, Nigeria, on 8 November at the age of 80.
- Bishop Patrick Ronald Cooney, emeritus of Gaylord, U.S.A., on 15 October at the age of 78.
- Bishop Rene-Marie Ehouzou C.I.M., of Porto Novo, Benin, on 17 October at the age of 68.
- Bishop Eduardo Herrera Riera, emeritus of Carora, Venezuela, on 27 October at the age of 85.
- Archbishop Henry Ernest Karlen C.M.M., emeritus of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on 28 October at the age of 90.
- Bishop Felix Eugenio Mkhori, emeritus of Lilongwe, Malawi, on 27 October at the age of 81.
- Archbishop George Riashi, emeritus of Tripoli of Lebanon of the Greek-Melkites, Lebanon, on 28 October at the age of 78.
- Bishop Odorico Leovigildo O.F.M., apostolic vicar of Requena, Peru, on 14 October at the age of 100.
- Bishop Jose Agostinhi Sartori O.F.M., emeritus of Palmas-Francisco Beltrao, Brazil, on 6 June at the age of 83.
- Bishop Jean-Pierre Urkia M.E.P., apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos, on 21 December 2011, at the age of 92.
- Bishop Joseph B. Willigers M.H.M., emeritus of Jinja, Uganda, on 30 September at the age of 81.

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