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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Pope receives the president of Zambia

Vatican City, 5 February 2016 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Zambia were noted. The Parties focused on the contribution of the Catholic Church through her educational, social and healthcare institutions, as well as her collaboration in combating poverty and social inequality, and the promotion of peaceful social and religious co-existence through a culture of dialogue and encounter. Attention then turned to themes of common interest, including migration, climate change and the protection of the environment.

Finally, mention was made of the international situation, with special attention to the conflicts that affect various areas of Africa and the commitment of the country to the peace processes in the Region.

Francis to meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Cuba

Vatican City, 5 February 2016 (VIS) – The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.

This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that it will also be a sign of hope for all people of good will. They invite all Christians to pray fervently for God to bless this meeting, that it may bear good fruits.

Annual meeting on interreligious dialogue

Vatican City, 5 February 2016 (VIS) – The annual meeting between the officials of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and the staff of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation (IRDC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC), took place from 3 to 4 February in Geneva, Switzerland. Appropriately this was during Interfaith Harmony Week.

The meeting included reflection, prayer and the sharing of information regarding activities which had been carried out during 2015, as well as the discussion of plans for 2016. The staff of the two offices have collaborated in a variety of ways during recent years, either through joint initiatives, such as the publication of the document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct” (2011), or by each other’s supportive participation in events or projects organized by their respective offices.

2015 had marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate which is recognised by the World Council of Churches, to have been a seminal moment in the history of Christian relationships with other religions. The meeting in 2106 offered the opportunity to reflect on future partnerships between the two institutions, in the light of their mutual desire to build further on the impetus given by the celebration of this important document.


Vatican City, 5 February 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has received in audience:

- Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

- Bishop Baldomero Carlos Martini, emeritus of San Justo, Argentina;

- Bishop Han Lim Moon, auxiliary of San Martin, Argentina.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 5 February 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Giuseppe Favale as bishop of Conversano-Monopoli (area 1.099, population 252,786, Catholics 250,000, priests 144, permanent deacons 16, religious 196), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Palagiano, Italy in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a degree in Utroque Iure from the Pontifical Lateran University and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including deputy priest, parish priest of the Cathedral, chancellor of the Curia, judicial vicar and vicar general. He is currently spiritual direction of the "Pio XI" Regional Seminary in Molfetta and delegate for young clergy in the diocese of Castellaneta. He was named Prelate of Honour of His Holiness in 2009. He succeeds Bishop Domenico Padovano, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, upon reaching the age limit, was accepted by the Father.
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