PAPAL, HOLY SEE HIGHLIGHTS SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 2011

VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and the Holy See for the months of September to December 2011.

SEPTEMBER

3: Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under secretary for Relations with States, meets Helena Keleher, charge d'affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Ireland to the Holy See, and gives her the "Holy See's Response to the Irish Government concerning the Cloyne Report".

3: Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, dies at the age of 87.

7: The Holy Father receives in audience Michael Spindelegger, vice chancellor and foreign minister of Austria, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

8: The Holy Father receives a group of twenty-three prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India at the end of their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.

9: The Holy Father receives the Letters of Credence of Nigel Marcus Baker, the new British ambassador to the Holy See.

11: The Holy Father makes a pastoral visit to the Italian city of Ancona to preside at the closure of the twenty-fifth Italian National Eucharistic Congress.

12: Publication of a message from Benedict XVI to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, for a congress on the theme: "Bound to live together. The dialogue of religions and cultures", sponsored by the archdiocese and the Sant'Egidio Community.

13: The Pope receives a group of prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India - including bishops from the provinces of Agra, New Delhi and Bhopal, as well as from the apostolic vicariate of Nepal - at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

21: Benedict XVI imposes the pallium on Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy.

22-25: Benedict XVI makes an apostolic trip to Germany.

29: Promulgation of "Quaerit Semper", an Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" which modifies the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus", transferring certain functions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to a new office established in the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. The office will deal with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination.

29: Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. presides at Mass at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens for the feast of the patron of Vatican Radio. The Mass was concelebrated by, among others, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. and Fr. Andrzej Koprowski S.J., respectively director general and director of programmes of Vatican Radio which is celebrating eighty years of activity.

OCTOBER

2: Beatification in the Italian town of Ivrea of Sr. Antonia Maria Verna (1773-1838), foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception.

7: The Pope meets with prelates from the Indonesian Episcopal Conference at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

9: The Holy Father makes a pastoral visit to the Italian towns of Lamezia Terme and Serra San Bruno.

13: Benedict XVI receives in audience Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of the Republic of Honduras.

14: The Holy Father meets with Italian provincial prefects, in an audience arranged as part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Italian unification.

17: Publication of "Porta fidei", an Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" with which Benedict XVI proclaims a "Year of Faith", to begin on 11 October 2012, fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and due to end on 24 November 2013, Feast of Christ the King.

17: Benedict XVI receives in audience Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, president of Mongolia.

19: The Pope inaugurates the "Domus Australia", a welcome centre for Australian pilgrims in Rome.

20: Benedict XVI meets with prelates of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

21: The Holy Father receives the Letters of Credence of Joseph Weterings, the new ambassador of the Netherlands to the Holy See.

23: Canonisation of blesseds: Guido Maria Conforti, Italian archbishop-bishop and founder of the Pious Society of St. Francis Xavier for Foreign Missions (1865-1931); Luigi Guanella, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Servants of Charity and of the Institute of the Daughters of Our Lady of Providence (1842-1915), and Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro, Spanish foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters, Servants of St. Joseph (1837-1905).

24: Presentation of a note from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace entitled: "Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of a global public authority".

25: Presentation of Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2012. The Day is due to be celebrated on 15 January 2012 under the theme of "Migrations and New Evangelisation".

27: The Pope travels to Assisi, Italy, for a Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world under the theme: "Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace".

29: The Holy Father receives a group of prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome at the conclusion of their "ad limina" visit.

31: The Holy Father receives the Letters of Credence of Almir Franco de Sa Barbuda, the new ambassador of Brazil to the Holy See.

NOVEMBER

4: The Holy Father receives the Letters of Credence of Joseph Tebah-Klah, the new ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire to the Holy See.

7: The Holy Father receives the Letters of Credence of Reinhard Schweppe, the new German ambassador to the Holy See.

12: Benedict XVI receives in audience Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.

18-20: Benedict XVI makes an apostolic trip to Benin for the signing of the Apostolic Exhortation "Africa munus".

21-26: A series of meetings takes place between members of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) and the Vatican authorities responsible for the prevention and countering of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

26: Benedict XVI receives a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

26: The Holy Father receives in audience Najib Mikati, prime minister of Lebanon.

DECEMBER

7: Events involving the Pope and the Holy See become available in French at: www.youtube.co/vaticanfr in addition to the service already available in Italian, English, Spanish and German.

11: The Holy Father makes a pastoral visit to the Roman parish of "Santa Maria delle Grazie" at Casal Boccone.

11: Cardinal John Patrick Foley, grand master emeritus of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, dies at the age of 76.

12: Benedict XVI receives in audience Serzh Sargsyan, president of the Republic of Armenia.

12: Benedict XVI presides at Mass in the Vatican Basilica for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Latin America, to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the independence of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

15: The Holy Father receives the Letters of Credence of eleven new non-resident ambassadors to the Holy See: Margaret Allison King-Rousseau of Trinidad and Tobago, Hilia Garez Gomes Lima Barber of Guinea Bissau, Paul Widmer of Switzerland, Anatole Bacanamwo of Burundi, Arbhorn Manasvanich of Thailand, Muhammad Saleem of Pakistan, Amadeu Paulo Samuel da Conceicao of Mozambique, Tolendy Makeyev of Kyrgyzstan, Jaume Serra Serra of Andorra, Tamara Kunanayakam of Sri Lanka and Joseph Pare of Burkina Faso.

15: The Holy Father presides at Vespers in the Vatican Basilica with students of Roman universities.

16: Presentation of Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Peace 2012, on the theme: "Educating Young People in Justice and Peace".

17: Benedict XVI receives prelates from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

18: Benedict XVI makes a pastoral visit to Rebibbia Prison in Rome.

19: The Holy Father signs a decree acknowledging the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), who will become the first native North American to be raised to the glory of the altars.
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