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15:33 - POPE IN HOSPITAL: THE PERSONAL DOCTOR AND FATHER LOMBARDI, “THE SURGERY WENT WELL”

“The Holy Father’s overall condition is good. In brief, the Holy Father can return to his residence”, said Patrizio Polisca, the Pope’s personal doctor, in a press release issued today by the Holy See Press Office regarding the Pope’s surgery at the hospital of Aosta. “The Holy Father’s injury was caused by an accidental fall in his residence”, explained Polisca. “In the fall, the Holy Father broke his right wrist and was therefore taken to the hospital in Aosta to undergo a osteosynthesis, a surgical procedure to stabilise and join the end of his fractured bones. He was operated under local anaesthetic with the application of a cast at the hospital of Aosta”. The Head of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said in an interview with Vatican Radio that “the surgery under local anaesthetic the Holy Father had to undergo to treat his fractured wrist went well and that the Pontiff is now expected to return to Les Combes later in the afternoon. As for the Pope’s programme, we hope it can be maintained”. Earlier in the day, Father Lombardi had confirmed the news of the injury pointing out that Benedict XVI managed to celebrate Mass and have breakfast before being accompanied to the Hospital of Aosta.

15:04 - FRANCE: PARAY-LE-MONIAL, THE 2ND WORLD MARIAN FESTIVAL IN AUGUST

Five days of feasting with Mary, through prayer, experiences and entertainment designed for young people and families. These are the ingredients of the 2nd World Marian Festival due to take place from 14th to 18th August in Paray-le-Monial, a French sanctuary in Burgundy, on the places of the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The people who will come to share their experiences include the auxiliary bishop of Paris, Renauld de Dinechin, the Belgian priest Joseph-Marie Verlinde, don Giovanni D’Ercole, head of the office of the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Emeritus Bishop of Algiers, Henri Tessier, plus lots of delegates of new communities and groups of prayers from France, Belgium, Austria, Brazil and Canada. The festival is organised by a group of young people who have founded groups of prayer in France - the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Maranathà (both at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in the Parisian Rue du Bac), the Abba group, the M group, Holy Wins - and the Emmanuel Community, which organises the summer activities of the Marian citadel of Paray-le-Monial. On the Day of the Assumption, an ecumenical vigil will be celebrated with the Orthodox. The festival will be ended by the speeches of the bishop of Frejus-Toulon, Dominique Rey, and by the preacher of Saint Vincent’s, Thomas Lunot.

13:50 - CARITAS IN VERITATE: CARD. VINGT-TROIS (FRANCE), “STIMULATES ETHICAL REFLECTION”

Not “a list of solutions” but “a message of hope addressed to all men of good will”. This is how card. André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris and president of the French Bishops’ Conference, described the encyclical “Caritas in veritate” during a conference at Collège des Bernardins. 500 people attended the meeting including MPs, former ministers, diplomats, businessmen, and representatives from associations and Trade Unions. Michel Camdessus, former director of the International Monetary Found, was also present. Focusing on the need for “everyone to promote economic and social life”, cardinal Vingt-Trois explained that the Pope’s aim is not to “provide a list of solution to the economic and financial crisis” or “to the consequences of globalisation”. His aim is rather that of “stimulating everyone’s ethical reflection”. “Despite the extent and the diversity of the topics analysed, the encyclical’s core focus is on the responsibility of social and economic actors”, pointed out the president of the French bishops. “The encyclical is regarded as a commentary on the fundamental law of the Social Doctrine of the Church; the social project’s final and ultimate criterion is man” who should be considered according to the “human models” proposed by the Christian faith”.

13:29 - FRANCE: ILN BRITTANY ON 25-26 JUNE “THE GREAT PARDON OF SAINT ANNE D’AURAY”

From the afternoon of July 25th to the evening of the 26th, the day of the liturgical commemoration of Saint Anne, Brittany will celebrate the “Great Pardon of Saint Anne d’Auray”, and the shrine dedicated to the patron of Bretons will bring about 20 thousand pilgrims around the archbishop of Rennes, mgr. Pierre d’Ornellas. “For four centuries - explains the rector of the shrine, father Da André Guillevic -, Bretons have had a deep-rooted devotion for their patron saint”, and the shrine “is the true spiritual heart of Brittany”. The calendar includes vigils of prayer, processions with torches, confessions, Eucharistic liturgies and celebrations of the Vespers, this year under the guidance of mgr. d’Ornellas, but all the bishops of Brittany or born in Brittany will be there. The event, the rector goes on, “has been made possible by the Municipality, the parish, the shrine and even the farmers who offered us their land to turn it into camping sites”. The source of the cult and the Great Pardon is the apparitions of Saint Anne in 1623 to a ploughman, Yves Nicolazic, asking him to have the chapel, which used to be dedicated to her, rebuilt over a field called Bocenno. In 1625, Nicolazic discovered the ancient statue of the Saint: the new chapel was built there, the place of the primeval chapel. Since the end of the 19th century, the current basilica has replaced the old one, because it was too small for the great flow of pilgrims visiting it.

12:54 - KEK ASSEMBLY: ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW I EXPECTED IN LYONS TOMORROW

Great expectations in Lyons tomorrow for the arrival of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I. His Holiness will attend the XIII General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (Kek), which in these days is bringing to the French city (until July 21st) 750 delegates from over 120 European Christian Churches that are members of Kek (Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic ones). The Patriarch will be welcomed at Lyons Airport by the civilian authorities of the city along with the Catholic archbishop of Lyons, card. Philippe Barbarin, and the president of Kek, Jean-Arnold de Clermont. Tomorrow afternoon, states a release from the archdiocese of Lyons, the Patriarch and Card. Barbarin will celebrate the Vespers together in the Basilica of Saint Jean where Bartholomew I will give a homily. On Sunday, the Patriarch will go to the Kek Assembly, in the Congress Centre, for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Conference and will give a speech there.

12:38 - CEC ASSEMBLY: BISHOP HUBER (GERMANY), A “FRESH” ECUMENICAL “BALANCE” (2)

“To shape this unity is the great political task ahead of us in Europe”, continued bishop Huber. “The ecumenical community which we wish to shape is not a rigid template but a vital process. It is a road, along which we shall come again and again to significant junctions and dividing of the ways, where we shall need to decide what direction we should take”. The bishop acknowledged that this “task is not always greeted with enthusiasm. Many have settled down into their particular niche, consider their own room possibly as the real world, and thus have lost sight of the whole house”. A faith lived like this, he continued, is destined to be cultivated and preserved only “in a small circle of the likeminded”. In conclusion, the ecumenical challenge in Europe is based on the capacity of the Churches not to “lose their distinctive hues” when we together “make visible the one foundation on which we stand: one Lord, one faith, one baptism”.

12:36 - CEC ASSEMBLY: BISHOP HUBER (GERMANY), A “FRESH” ECUMENICAL “BALANCE”

The Christian Churches of Europe are called to find a “fresh balance” between the “common message” entrusted to them and the many possibilities of expressing their traditions. Unity in diversity - this is the challenge Christians have to meet if they want to offer an effective contribution to the building of Europe. It was said this morning by bishop Wolfgang Huber, President of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, in his bible study marking the beginning of the third day of the General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) which is to be held in Lyon until July 21. “As Christians - the bishop said - it is our conviction that our understanding of humankind as made in the image of God, our confidence in the power of forgiveness and reconciliation, and our hope for a life of justice and of peace can be a powerful force for the future of Europe. To that end, we need to combine in a fresh way the diversity of our traditions and the common elements of our faith”. According to the bishop, the Churches are called to a “dynamic” ecumenism: not an ecumenism imposed from above, in which the conclusion is drawn that the Church should be “uniform”, but an ecumenism “from below that makes room for diversity”. (continued)

12:24 - LATIN AMERICA: POPOLORUM PROGRESSIO FOUNDATION, MEETING AT PADERBORN (GERMANY) (2)

The board of directors (BoD) includes card. Sandoval Iñiguez, archbishop of Guadalajara and president, Edmundo Luís Abastoflor Montero, archbishop of La Paz, Alberto Taveira Corrêa, archbishop of Palmas, Antonio Arregui Yarza, archbishop of Guayaquil, José Luis Astigarraga Lizarralde, apostolic vicar of Yurimaguas, and Mgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz representing the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. The meeting will also be attended by Mgr. Giovanni Battista Gandolfo, the new president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference’s Committee for charitable works in third world countries, which is the principal contributor to the Foundation. The meetings are generally held in the countries of origin of BoD members, i.e. Latin American countries. This time, Germany was chosen to give visibility to the Foundation’s initiatives. A press conference is to be held at Paderborn on July 27. The following day, BoD members are going to attend a solemn celebration on the Feast of St Liborius, the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Paderborn. After three working days, they are then going to visit the city of Neheim, the birthplace of Father Frank Stock, “an hero of faith who gave up his life to strengthen the relations between France and Germany after the Second World War”.

12:23 - LATIN AMERICA: POPOLORUM PROGRESSIO FOUNDATION, MEETING AT PADERBORN (GERMANY)

231 projects in 20 countries benefiting indigenous, Mestizo and Afro-American communities in Latin America in different fields such as production (agricultural instruments, manufactory and trade), health-care, professional formation, building of community institutions, school education and training courses in agriculture. These are the projects which were presented this year at the Populorum Progressio Foundation whose board of directors’ annual meeting is going to be held from 27 to 31 July at the Schwerte Catholic Academy in the Archdiocese of Paderborn (Germany). The news is relayed by the Holy See Press Office in a statement released today. The following countries are among those who have presented the highest number of projects: Colombia (52), Brazil (45), Peru (32), Ecuador (17). They are followed by Bolivia (12), El Salvador (12), Haiti (11), Mexico (9), Guatemala (7), Argentina (6), Chile (6), Costa Rica (5), Nicaragua (3), Dominican Republic (3), Venezuela (3), Cuba (2), Honduras (2), Paraguay (2), Panama (1), Uruguay (1). The foundation is financing projects aimed at the integral development of the person thanks to the help and financial support of benefactors from all over the world. (continued)

11:24 - THE POPE IN HOSPITAL: FATHER LOMBARDI (HOLY SEE), “A MINOR FRACTURE OF THE RIGHT WRIST”

After falling in his bedroom, tonight, the Holy Father slightly broke his right wrist. It was announced today by the director of the Vatican Newsroom, father Federico Lombardi: “In the morning, the Holy Father still officiated Mass and had breakfast - father Lombardi explained -, then he was taken to the Hospital in Aosta, where they found a minor fracture and put his wrist in plaster”.

09:34 - SPAIN: HAZTEOIR.ORG, A CAMPAIGN FOR FAMILY HOLIDAY BEACHES

HazteOir.org, the Spanish platform for citizens’ rights, which also campaigns for the family and for life, launches its summer initiative to urge the directors of the self-governing regions and municipalities to set aside some beaches for family holidays. The campaign, now in its fourth year, attracts dozens of thousands of petitions. The result of this initiative has materialised as several municipalities on the Spanish coast decided to qualify some areas of their coasts as “family holiday beaches”. The goal is that every year, more local administrations and self-governing communities will cater to this need for family holiday beaches and swimming-pools. In 2009, the “family beach” campaign supported by HazteOir.org was implemented in Andalusia, Asturia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Galitia, Murcia and the Valencian Community. Family beaches have to meet some requirements, for instance they need to have fenced-off areas to be used by families only, where users are respected, children and the environment are protected, sporting and cultural activities are organised for the families in outdoor areas, architectural barriers are pulled down for easier access of prams and pushchairs to the beach.

09:30 - EDUCATION: EU REPORT, THE “KEY FIGURES” OF THE EUROPEAN SCHOOLING SYSTEM

The number of children enrolled in nursery schools is on the rise; the number of young people attending senior high-schools and universities is increasing; a general increase in compulsory schooling is also noticeable. These figures are shown by the Report on School Education in the European Union that was presented by the EU Commission today. The report also shows “that schools are becoming more independent”. Jan Figel’, Education Commissioner, also highlights “the challenges that we will have to face in the future”, including an expected decrease in the number of school-age children due to the progressive ageing of the population, and at the same time the predictable, “massive” retirement of elderly teachers. The Report, that takes stock of the situation in the 27 EU member states plus Turkey, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, is based on 121 key indicators. Figel’ adds: “Lifelong learning is becoming a reality and it is a key factor of social cohesion” as well as a tool for economic development.

09:24 - VENEZUELA: BISHOPS CALL ON THE MEDIA TO PROVIDE AN OBJECTIVE INFORMATION

“The means of social communication should render a precious service. They should cover events in an objective way, thus promoting truth and justice, peace and freedom, solidarity, good habits and social coexistence. They should also protect the dignity of individuals and their rights, thus infusing an ethical vision into their hearts and minds”. By this statement the bishops of Venezuela voiced their concerns about those laws and measures that public authorities intend to take concerning the means of social communication. “In a democratic State - the bishops wrote - individual groups and institutions should be given the chance to propose their projects and guidelines to form public opinion. This fundamental right must be guaranteed by the State”. “Freedom of speech - they continued - is one of these fundamental rights which ensures the integral development of man by stimulating his search for truth. It is also a means for the defence of democracy and a way to take part in it”. Indeed, it is through the means of social communication that “freedom of speech can be exercised”. According to the bishops, “public opinion, freedom of speech and the right to information, along with other fundamental rights, are all factors that contribute to the building of a true democratic State”.

09:00 - CUBA: THIS MORNING, CARD. ORTEGA WILL CELEBRATE THE FUNERAL OF THE MURDERED PRIEST

The funeral of the Spanish priest Mariano Arroyo, murdered at dawn on July 13th, will be held this morning in the Cathedral of Havana, Cuba. According to diplomatic and religious sources, the Cuban authorities have already finished the post-mortem: when found, the body of the priest, aged 74, was gagged, handcuffed, partly burnt in a bed in the house adjoining his church, in the residential neighbourhood of “Regola” in Havana. In a release, the clerk of the archbishopric of the Cuban capital, mgr. Ramón Suárez Polcari, stated that card. Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana, who will celebrate Mass, arranged for the funeral to take place in the cathedral, because “of the extraordinary missionary work, apostolic zeal and priestly devotion of the deceased”. “In the afternoon, the same day, the spoils of father Mariano Arroyo will be taken to Spain to be given a Christian burial in his homeland (Cantabria), as his family would like him to”, the release went on. This is the second Spanish priest to have been murdered in Cuba this year. On February 14th, the corpse of father Eduardo de la Fuente, aged 61, parish priest of Saint Clare’s, was found in the neighbourhood of Lawton.

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