Vatican today — February 2, 2012

THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE FROM ATOMS TO GALAXIES“An exhibition which recounts the history of the universe, from the particles which make up the atoms in our bodies to distant galaxies.” With these words, pronounced during a press conference held this morning in the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, defined the exhibition “Stories from another world. The universe inside and outside us.” The event will run from 10 March to 1 July at the headquarters of the “Palazzo Blu” Foundation in Pisa, Italy.Presenting today’s conference alongside Fr. Funes were Cosimo Bracci Torsi, president of the “Palazzo Blu” Foundation, and Antonio Masiero, vice president of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN).Fr. Funes noted how Pisa is important in the history of astronomy, being the birthplace of Galileo Galilei and the city in which Cardinal Pietro Maffi practised his pastoral ministry. In 1904 Cardinal Maffi was appointed by Pius X as president of the Vatican Observatory. The exhibition is aimed particularly at young people and great care has been taken “to make complex and difficult knowledge accessible, while at the same time avoiding the risk of superficiality.” To this end the work of the curators of the exhibition, Alessandro Omizzolo and Franco Cervelli, has been fundamental, Fr. Funes said.

For his part, Cosimo Bracci Torsi highlighted the fact that the event “is the outcome of fruitful collaboration between lay scientists and religious scientists, all members of scientific institutions of great prestige but with very different origins:” the INFN, the Vatican Observatory and the Department of Physics at the University of Pisa. He explained how “the exhibition includes spectacular images, instruments and exhibits such as Lunar and Martian minerals, leading visitors on a fascinating journey which begins in the solar system and our material nature, reaching the stars of this and other galaxies, up to the spatial and temporal confines of the universe and of our current knowledge.”

Finally Antonio Masiero explained that the INFN, of which he is vice president, will bring to the exhibition its vast experience of research on the origins and structure of the universe.

AUDIENCES

The Holy Father today received in audience:

• Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

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

• Archbishop Dennis Marion Schnurr of Cincinnati, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer.

• Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon of Cleveland.

• Bishop Frederick Francis Campbell of Columbus.

• Bishop Leonard Paul Blair of Toledo.

• Bishop George Vance Murry S.J. of Youngstown.

• Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

The Holy Father:

• Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Juticalpa, Honduras, presented by Bishop Tomas Andres Mauro Muldoon O.F.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Jose Bonello O.F.M.

• Appointed Fr. Luis Jose Rueda Aparicio of the clergy of the diocese of Socorro y San Gil, Colombia, episcopal vicar for pastoral care, as bishop of Montelibano (area 11,500, population 300,000, Catholics 280,000, priests 38, religious 31), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in San Gil, Colombia in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989. He has worked as pastor in a number of parishes and as vice director of the diocesan secretariat for social pastoral care.

• Appointed Bishop Paul Lortie, auxiliary of Quebec, Canada, as bishop of Mont-Laurier (area 19,968, population 95,256, Catholics 77,340, priests 35, permanent deacons 1, religious 58), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Vital Masse, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

• Appointed Bishop Joseph Luc Andre Bouchard of Saint Paul in Alberta, Canada, as bishop of Trois-Rivieres (area 27,128, population 248,274, Catholics 245,108, priests 173, permanent deacons 30, religious 540), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Martin Veillette, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

• Appointed Msgr. Jose Manuel Romero Barrios of the clergy of the diocese of Barcelona, Venezuela, vicar general, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 43,300, population 2,038,000, Catholics 1,906,000, priests 60, permanent deacons 4, religious 62). The bishop-elect was born in Pariaguan, Venezuela in 1955. Since his ordination in 1979 he has worked as pastor in a number of parishes and as vice rector of the University of Santa Rosa de Lima in Caracas. Since 1991 he has also been military chaplain in Barcelona.

– Appointed Fr. Timothee Bodika Mansiyai P.S.S., rector of the philosophical seminary of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and counsellor general of the Suplician Fathers, and Fr. Sebastien Muyengo Mulombe of the clergy of Kinshasa, currently a student at the University of Leuven, Belgium, as auxiliaries of Kinshasa (area 8,500, population 7,750,000, Catholics 3,875,000, priests 1,153, religious 2,727). Bishop-elect Bodika Mansiyai was born in Kinshasa in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1990. He gained a doctorate in moral theology in France where he also taught in the regional seminary of Toulouse. He has worked in education in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he has also served as chaplain to a leper colony. Bishop-elect Muyengo Mulombe was born in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986. He studied in France and has worked in his own country as rector of the Major Theological Seminary John XIII and a professor at the Faculty of Theology in Kinshasa.

• Appointed Fr. Juan Maria Huerta Muro O.F.M., minister provincial for the Franciscan Province of “Blessed Fr. Junipero Serra” as bishop prelate of El Salto (area 36,000, population 387,200, Catholics 328,300, priests 27, religious 24), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989. He has worked as master of novices in Tijuana and as dean of the presbyteral council of the same archdiocese.

• Appointed Fr. Bulus Dauwa Johanna, as apostolic vicar of Kontagora (area 50,000, population 1,534,000, Catholics 32,934, priests 36, religious 18), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Vuroro, Nigeria in 1970 and ordained a priest in 1998. He has worked as pastor in a number of parishes and, among other roles, as president of the Justice, Development and Peace Committee.

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Category: From the Vatican