from issue no.11 - 2006

30Days in brief


Bertinotti and the crib

Crib, Luca Della Robbia theYounger (XVI century), Dominican Convent of Santa Maria Maddalena, Caldine (FI)

Crib, Luca Della Robbia theYounger (XVI century), Dominican Convent of Santa Maria Maddalena, Caldine (FI)

«As Edoardo [de Filippo] used to say, do you like the crib? I like it... The crib is a beautiful way to remember Christmas, to be respected by those who believe or not and expresses a moment that is part of the history of our country». Thus the President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Honorable Fausto Bertinotti, in a statement that appeared in La Repubblica of 6 December.

Paul VI visits a patient in Jerusalem

Paul VI visits a patient in Jerusalem

Holy Land
The Pope will go only in conditions of peace, in conditions at least of stable and secure truce

On 13 December the Pope received the Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert in audience. Among the subjects touched on – as we are informed by a Vatican Press Office note – were the questions regarding the situation of the Catholic community in Israel, also in relation to the upcoming Christmas celebrations. Olmert later declared that he had invited the Pope to visit the Holy Land: «There is not at the moment any certainty about the timimg of the event», he said «but the Pope has expressed his willingness in principle». On December 14 Vatican Radio transmitted a declaration given the preceding evening by the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone on the sidelines of a conference on the 500th anniversary of the Vatican Museums. It dealt with the visit, but also about the tone and the topics covered in the meeting between Olmert and the Pope. Here is the text: «The meeting was very cordial, I would say of substantial use in terms of prospects of commitment, of reasonableness for the building of peace in the terrible arena of the Middle East, and therefore with concern for the Christian communities that, as we know, find themselves in great difficulty, and as the bulletin said, also with the invitation to a particular consideration for the Christmas festivities – also with right of passage to and from Bethlehem – because this is a special point in the tradition of the Church, on this historic anniversary of the birth of the Savior, the Church wants to meditate on and go into. The meeting was very positive. As for the Pope’ visit to the Holy Land: he has it at heart, but, as we know, it could only be made possible in conditions of peace, in conditions – at least – of stable and secure truce».

Sacred College
The death of Pappalardo. The eightieth birthday of Baum and Wamala

On 10 December 88 year-old Cardinal Salvatore Pappalardo, archbishop of Palermo from 1970 to 1996, died.
On 15 December Emmanuel Wamala, the Ugandan cardinal and archbishop of Kampala from 1990 to last August, was eighty. Then on 21 November the United States Curia cardinal, William Wakefield Baum, reached the same age. Since that date the Sacred College numbers 186 cardinals, of whom 113 are electors. Since at eighty Baum ceased to be a voter, there is now no voting cardinal created by Paul VI.

Middl East/ 1
Kissinger: «Iran-USA, begin again from Gaza»

In La Stampa of December 6 an interesting article by Henry Kissinger appeared, with the heading Iran-USA, begin again from Gaza, in which the former American Secretary of State, wishing for fresh dialogue between the USA and Iran, wrote: «Resumption of the peace process in Palestine could play an important role in this plan: it would presuppose close collaboration between the United States, Europe and moderate Arab Countries. Iran must be encouraged to act like a nation, not like a provoker. A diplomat encouragement of Iran is important for building a more promising region, but only if Iran doesn’t, in this process, start to think it can shape the future on itself».

Middle East/ 2
Yehoshua: «Syria’s interest in peace»

«But can one indeed trust Syria’s signs of peace? Judging from the experience gathered over the hundred and more years of the Arab-Israeli conflict the response is decidedly positive. We must believe what the Arabs say both when they threaten Israel and when they show interest in peace. The legitimacy of Israel is too important a question in their eyes for them to feign positions in which they don’t believe. It is up to us then to go futher with tis interest and begin negotiations». Such was the conclusion of an article by the Israeli writer Abraham B. Yehoshua in La Stampa of 13 December.

New bishops of Messina, Crotone, Como and Monreale

On 18 November the 54 year-old Salesian Calogero La Piana was nominated metropolitan archbishop of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela. La Piana, originally from Riesi, in the diocese of Piazza Armerina and the province of Caltanissetta, ordained priest in 1981, was bishop of Mazara del Vallo from 2002.
On 21 November 62 year-old Domenico Graziani, originally from the province of Cosenza, was nominated archbishop of Crotone-Santa Severina. Ordained priest in 1968, Graziani was bishop of Cassano allo Jonio from 1999.
On 2 December 65 year-old Diego Coletti from Milan, was nominated bishop of Como. Ordained priest in 1965, he was bishop of Livorno from 2000.
On 2 December also 69 year-old Salvatore Di Cristina from Palermo was nominated archbishop of Monreale. Ordained priest in 1960, he was auxiliary of Palermo from 2000.

Six new ambassadors to the Holy See non-resident in Rome

On 14 December the Pope received the letters of credentials of six new ambassadors to the Holy See non-resident in Rome. They are the representatives of Denmark (63 year-old career diplomat Lars Moller, ambassador to Switzerland also), of Kirghizistan (43 year-old professor of law Maratbek Salievic Bakiev, also to Germany), of Mozambique (45 year-old career diplomat Carlos Dos Santos – the first ambassador of Maputo accredited to the Holy See since diplomatic relations were established at the end of 1995 – also to Germany), of Uganda (Princess Elizabeth Bagaya, whose age has not been indicated, former ambassador to the USA, also to Germany), of Syria (62 year-old engineer Makram Obeid, also to Spain) and of Lesotho (54 year-old physician Makase Nyaphisi, also to Germany).

Wojtylian Icons

John Paul II expressed himself above all through certain gestures of great symbolic force. The Trident publishing house, specialized in reproductions on paper and precious metals of rare documents, ancient manuscripts and illuminated manuscripts has brought together in a sui generis volume entitled Icons twelve images that visuallly summarize the entire pontificate of the Polish Pope.
There are two editions of the volume, handmade by the Trident craftsmen: the precious one, printed in only 224 copies, with high resolution photos reproduced on gold leaf; and an “executive” version consisting of 1,024 copies and images reproduced on silver foil. The book, edited by the Vatican expert of Avvenire, Salvatore Mazza, has an introduction by the Ecumenic Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I.

Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português