Vatican City, 20 July 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office reported that in the afternoon of Friday, 19 July, Pope Francis visited Pope emeritus Benedict XVI to ask him to accompany the Holy Father's upcoming visit to Brazil for World Youth Day with spiritual nearness and prayer. Pope Francis gave the Pope emeritus the programme for the trip, in order that he might participate spiritually and follow the broadcasts of the various events, and gave him a medal commemorating the trip.
Benedict XVI assured him of his prayers, recalling the intense and wonderful experience of previous meetings with the young in Cologne, Sydney and Madrid.
The meeting began with a moment of prayer together in the Chapel followed by a cordial discussion, and lasted around two hours.
Vatican City, 20 July 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published the message sent by Pope Francis to Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the diocese of Rome, for the 70th anniversary of the bombardment of the San Lorenzo quarter of Rome.
“I am spiritually united with you, with the Capuchin friars and all those gathered in the Basilica of San Lorenzo outside-the-Walls to commemorate the violent bombardment of 19 July 1943, which inflicted serious damage on the sacred building and the entire quarter, as in other parts of the city, sowing death and destruction”.
Francis mentioned in his message that Pope Pius XII, in those terrible hours, was close to his co-citizens who had been so gravely afflicted. Pope Pacelli did not hesitate to hasten to the quarter of San Lorenzo, immediately and without escort, where he assisted and comforted the stricken population. Again, on that occasion, he showed himself to be a caring Pastor among his flock, especially in the hour of need, willing to share in the suffering of his people”.
The Holy Father also made mention of all those who, in such a dramatic moment, joined in offering moral and material assistance, and in particular Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, then acting Secretary of State, who accompanied Pius XII to the quarter of San Lorenzo.
“Many bishops, priests and consecrated persons in Rome and throughout Italy were like the good Samaritan in the parable of the Gospel”, continued the Pope, “tending to the brother in his suffering, to help him and to bring consolation and hope. It was a race to extend charity to every human being in danger and in need of attention and support”.
Pope Francis concluded by recalling the words of Pius XII: “'Nothing is lost by peace; everything may be lost by war'. Peace is a gift from God, which today too must find willing hearts to welcome it and to work as builders of reconciliation and peace”.
Vatican City, 20 July 2013 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay for the death of Cardinal Simon Ignatius Pimenta, archbishop emeritus of the same archdiocese. Cardinal Pimenta died on Friday, 19 July at the age of 93.
In the message the Pope expresses his closeness to the Cardinal's family and imparts an apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord.
Vatican City, 22 July 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father appointed Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, delegate of the Fabric of St. Peter, as pontifical delegate for the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua.
On Saturday, 20 July, the Holy Father:
- appointed Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, as his special envoy to the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, to be held in Nis, Serbia on 20-21 September 2013.
- appointed Archbishop Ramzi Garmou of Tehran of the Chaldeans as apostolic visitor for the Chaldeans resident in Europe, previously administered “ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” by Chorbishop Philip Najim.
- appointed Fr. Viktors Stulpins as bishop of Liepaja (area 13,210, population 277,000, Catholics 27,700, priests 14, religious 14), Latvia. The bishop-elect was born in Riga, Latvia in 1971 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, as a priest in the parishes of Aizkraukle, Irsi, Koknese, Skriveri, Vecbebri and St. Francis in Riga, and as vice rector of the major seminary of Riga. He is also a professor at the Theological Institute of Riga and a member of the Commission on Religious Art in Riga.
- appointed Bishop Angel Polivio Sanchez Loaiza as bishop of Machala (area 5,819, population 574,000, Catholics 545,000, priests 47, permanent deacons 1, religious 116), Ecuador. Bishop Sanchez Loaiaza, previously bishop of Guaranda, Ecuador, was born in Ayapamba, Ecuador, in 1946, was ordained to the priesthood in 1975, and received episcopal ordination in 2004.
- appointed Msgr. Maurizio Gervasoni as bishop of Vigevano (area 1,509, population 192,827, Catholics 182,600, priests 109, permanent deacons 10, religious 168), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Sarnico, Italy in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He received a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in 1982 and has held a number of roles, including: professor of theological anthropology at the seminary of Bergamo, vice-director of the theology course at the Giovanni XXIII Seminary, professor of spirituality at the diocesan presbytery, director of the Pastoral Office for Culture, director of the Office for Social, Employment and Economic Pastoral Care, director of the Office for Associations, Movements and Groups, bishop's delegate for the Formation and Education of the People of God, diocesan president of Caritas, bishop's delegate for the Proclamation of the Word and the Liturgy; director of the Catechistic Office and director of the Liturgical Office, and professor of anthropology of religions and of history of religions at the University of Bergamo. In 2012 he was appointed provost of the parish of St. Lucia in Bergamo and episcopal vicar of the same city. He was named prelate of honour by his Holiness in 1999.