Vatican today — March 15, 2012

TELEGRAM FOR THE VICTIMS OF COACH ACCIDENT IN SWITZERLAND

The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence, through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., to Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, for the victims of a coach accident in Sierre. Switzerland, in which twenty-eight people lost their lives, twenty-two of them Belgian children on a school outing.

“Having learned of the tragic coach accident in Switzerland, which caused numerous victims many of them children, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI associates himself in prayer with the suffering of the mourning families, entrusting the victims to the mercy of God and asking Him to welcome them into His light. He expresses his profound sympathy to the injured and their families, and his closeness to rescue workers, praying the Lord to give them help and consolation in their moment of trial. As a token of comfort, the Holy Father confers a special apostolic blessing upon everyone affected by this drama.”

STATIONS OF THE CROSS DEDICATED TO THE FAMILY

The texts for meditation during this year’s Way of the Cross, to be held at the Colosseum on Good Friday, have, by order of the Holy Father, been written by Danilo and Anna Maria Zanzucchi, a married couple and founders of the New Families Movement, which is part of the “Focolari” Movement. The theme of the meditations will be the family, and the Way of the Cross will follow its traditional fourteen stations.

HOLY SEE AND MOZAMBIQUE RATIFY THEIR 2011 AGREEMENT

The Holy See Press Office today released a communique announcing that the Holy See and the Republic of Mozambique have — with Notes Verbales dated 12 March — given notification of their ratification of the “Agreement on the Principles and Juridical Dispositions Governing Relations between the Holy See and Mozambique,” signed in Maputo on 7 December 2011.

“The Agreement,” the communique reads, “is made up of a preamble and twenty-three articles which cover various areas such as the juridical status of the Catholic Church in Mozambique, the recognition of academic titles and of canonical marriage, and the fiscal regime. The entry into force of the Agreement consolidates the existing ties of friendship and collaboration between the two parties.”

PRESENTATION OF THE HOLY FATHER’S BOOK ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Yesterday eventing in the German embassy to the Holy See, the presentation took place of a work by Joseph Ratzinger: “The People and the House of God in Doctrine of the Church.” The book, the Pope’s doctoral thesis from 1953, is part of a series of sixteen volumes which aims to bring together all Joseph Ratzinger’s theological works up to the time of his election to the papal throne in 2005.

During the presentation, Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, who has published the book in collaboration with the Pope Benedict XVI Institute, also based in Regensburg, recalled that “St. Augustine is a thinker, bishop and saint who still spiritually accompanies our Holy Father. The Pope continues to maintain a familiar but in-depth dialogue with the saint, to which his Wednesday catecheses bear ample witness.”

Among others, the presentation was attended by Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum;” Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, and Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg im Breisgau, president of the German Episcopal Conference.

AUDIENCES

The Holy Father today received in audience:

• His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, Syria.

• Nine prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their “ad limina” visit:

• Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, accompanied Auxiliary Bishop-elect George A. Sheltz.

• Bishop Joe Steve Vasquez of Austin.

• Bishop Curtis John Guillory S.V.D. of Beaumont.

• Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Raymundo Joseph Pena.

• Bishop William Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi.

• Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio S.J. of Tyler.

• Bishop David Eugene Fellhauer of Victoria in Texas.

• Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as grand master of that Order.

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Category: From the Vatican