from issue no.09 - 2006


For many it is worse than in the time of Saddam

Torture in Iraq

Torture in Iraq

«Torture is a widespread practice in Iraq. “The situation is so negative that for many people it is worse than in the time of Saddam”, Manfred Nowak, UN expert on torture, explained yesterday in Geneva». So reported La Repubblica on 22 September.


Benedict XVI with Tarcisio Bertone

Benedict XVI with Tarcisio Bertone

«We set off on our path together with courage»

On 18 September the Pope received the new Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone along with his family members. Here is the Pope’s speech improvised for the occasion, as it was published in L’Osservatore Romano of 20 September: «Your Eminence, dear friends, I am happy to greet here once again publicly the new Secretary of State and all his family. We met when His Eminence was consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He helped me greatly in some difficult talks we had in 1988. Then when dear Monsignor Bovone went to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, a new Secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had to be looked for. And I didn’t need to reflect too long, because the memories of that shared work were so vivid that I understood that the Lord had already indicated to me the successor. And wonderful years of collaboration followed in the Doctrine of the Faith. Saint Eusebius of Vercelli was always present, I don’t know whether that presence continues today to safeguard the faith. We did what we could. I had the opportunity to see Vercelli and to get to know that lovely archdiocese. At that time, coming to the Congregation, Cardinal Bertone had “lost” the purple that he had in Vercelli. Then, going to Genoa, the purple came back and he also had the chance to see the beauties of Genoa. Then the time approached for some Curia cardinals born in 1927 to offer their resignations. And so I was again reminded of those years of work together and the Lord granted me this grace of His Eminence’s “yes”. We set out on our path together with courage. I am happy to see that he is supported by a strong family. Best wishes to you all!».

May the nun’s killing be a «seed of hope» amid the violence of the world

In response to the assassination of Sister Leonella Sgorbati, Consolation missionary, killed on 17 September in Mogadisho, in Somalia, the Holy Father, through the Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, sent a telegram in which he wrote: «In reaffirming firm disapproval of every form of violence His Holiness hopes that the blood shed by such a faithful disciple of the Gospel, may become a seed of hope to build genuine brotherhood among peoples in mutual respect for the religious convictions of each».

Sacred college/1
The death of Willebrands. The electors decrease to 116

In August and September four cardinals reached eighty. They are Cardinals Agostino Cacciavillan, President Emeritus of APSA, Marian Jaworski, archbishop of Leopolis of the Latins, Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop Emeritus of Paris, and Ricardo Maria Carles Gordó, Archbishop Emeritus of Barcelona. Also on 2 August the Dutch cardinal Johannes Willebrands, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, died. On 25 September therefore the Sacred College numbered 190 cardinals, of whom 116 are electors.

Sacred college/2
Resignation of the Cardinal of Kampala

On the 19 August the resignation of Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, who will be eighty in December, as Archbishop of Kampala in Uganda, was accepted. In his place 53 year-old Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Bishop of Kasana-Luweero since 1996, was appointed.

Holy See
Mamberti new “Foreign Minister”

As announced on 22 June last, changes at the head of Secretariat of State and the Governance of Vatican City took place on 15 September. In the chief post Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone took the place of Cardinal Angelo Sodano and in the second post Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo took the place of Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka.
On 15 September the name of Lajolo’s successor as Secretary for the Relations with States of the Secretariat of State was also announced. He is the 54 year-old Frenchman Dominique Mamberti, born in Marrakech of a Corsican family, ordained priest for the diocese of Ajaccio in 1981 and in the Vatican diplomatic service since 1986. Mamberti was archbishop, apostolic nuncio in Sudan and apostolic delegate in Somalia from 2002. From 2004 he was also nuncio to Eritrea. Formerly he worked in the pontifical representations in Algeria, Chile, UN-New York, Lebanon and in the Second Section of the Secretariat of State.

New director of the Vatican Observatory

On 19 September the nomination of the new director of the Vatican Observatory was announced. He is the Argentine Jesuit José Gabriel Funes, until now a member of the same Observatory.

Resignation of the Bishop of Isernia. Bagnasco to Genoa. Renna to San Severo

On 5 August the resignation of Monsignor Andrea Gemma, 75 years-old in June, as bishop of Isernia-Venatro was accepted. The name of his successor was not announced.
On 29 August the nomination of the new archbishop of Genoa was announced. He is 63 year-old Monsignor Angelo Bagnasco, of a Genoese family, a priest since 1966, bishop of Pesaro since 1998, archbishop of the same See since 2000 and military ordinary for Italy since 2003.
On 2 September Lucio Angelo Renna, a 65 year-old Carmelite, bishop of Avezzano since 1999, was transferred to the leadership of the diocese of San Severo in Puglia, his diocese of origin.

Green, nuncio to South Africa

On 17 August James Patrick Green was nominated archbishop and apostolic nuncio to South Africa and Namibia and apostolic delegate to Botswana. Green, a 56 year-old American from Philadelphia, priest since 1976, entered the diplomatic service in 1987 and served in Papua New Guinea, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Scandinavia, Taiwan and, lately, in the First Section of the Secretariat of State. On 6 September Green was also nominated nuncio to Lesotho and on 23 September to Swaziland also.

New ambassadors of Chile, Slovenia and Austria to the Holy See

On 8 September the new Chilean representative to the Holy See presented his credentials. He is Pedro Pablo Cabrera Gaete, a 58 year-old career diplomat, formerly ambassador to Great Britain, Russia and China.
On 16 September it was the turn of the new 67 year-old Slovenian ambassador, director of the Catalogue of Prints of the Vatican Apostolic Library from 1988 to 2004.
On 18 September came the new Austrian representative: 58 year-old career diplomat, Martin Bolldorf, formerly ambassador to Slovakia.

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