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Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN

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Author Topic: Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN  (Read 3067 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #75 on: November 09, 2008, 08:41:43 pm »





                       
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« Reply #76 on: November 09, 2008, 08:48:04 pm »

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« Reply #77 on: November 09, 2008, 08:51:40 pm »

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« Reply #78 on: November 09, 2008, 08:57:42 pm »

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« Reply #79 on: November 09, 2008, 09:01:29 pm »

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« Reply #80 on: November 09, 2008, 09:04:23 pm »






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« Reply #81 on: November 10, 2008, 07:27:12 pm »

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« Reply #82 on: November 13, 2008, 08:07:26 am »










                                                      Pope copter grounded



                                     Similar craft crashed near Strasbourg last month






 (ANSA) -
Vatican City,
November 12 - 2008

Pope Benedict XVI's helicopter has been grounded on a precautionary basis after eight Italian troops were killed when a similar model crashed in France last month. Airforce officials said Wednesday that
a preliminary investigation into October's crash near Strasbourg showed that one of the blades on the principal rotor of the HH-3F Agusta Bell military helicopter may have broken.

All 35 of the airforce's HH-3F helicopters were grounded following the incident, but the precautionary measure was also applied to SH-3D aircraft, the one used by the pope, since the two models share rotors with the same characteristics.

Benedict is not a frequent flyer in his helicopter, which is supplied by the airforce, although he uses it in the summer months during transfers between the Vatican and his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

Airforce officials stressed Wednesday that they were waiting for the definitive results of the investigation into the Strasbourg crash.

They also said that of the five serious accidents involving HH-3F helicopters since they were brought into operation in 1977, this would be the ''first and only one that could be ascribed to a technical factor''.

In the other four accidents, either human error or bad weather were cited as causes.

The Strasbourg accident happened when the military helicopter was travelling from Dijon to Florennes in Belgium on October 23 to take part in a multinational training exercise. It crashed in isolated countryside and burst into flames, killing everyone on board.
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« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2008, 08:32:56 am »










                                                 Vatican goes green with solar power


                                      Indoor papal audiences now powered by 'clean' energy






 (ANSA) -
Vatican City,
November 26 -

Benedict XVI reconfirmed his reputation as the 'green pope' on Wednesday when the Vatican inaugurated
its first solar power energy system.

Some 2,400 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Paul VI auditorium, which is used for papal audiences in the winter and during bad weather the rest of the year.

The official Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, said the panels will generate around 300 megawatt hours of 'clean' energy each year which will go towards providing lighting, heat and air conditioning for the auditorium and several surrounding buildings.

The system will also cut down on the Vatican's annual carbon dioxide emissions by 225,000 kg and save
the equivalent of 80 tonnes of oil, the newspaper said.

Built in 1969, the auditorium is one of the Vatican's more modern buildings and can seat around 6,300 people.

The dark solar panels supplied by German company SolarWorld have replaced the old concrete tiles on the auditorium's 5,000-square-metre roof, but are almost invisible from the ground.

Environmentalists have praised Pope Benedict for repeatedly seeking to focus world attention on environmental problems.

Although the Vatican was not asked to sign the Kyoto Protocol, it has pledged to cover 20% of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2020 - roughly in line with the European Union's climate change recommendations.

In a symbolic gesture last year the pontiff accepted an offer from a Hungarian company to plant a 15-hectare forest which would offset all the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the 44-hectare Vatican City in 2007.



Photo: Solar panels on the roof of the Paul VI auditorium.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 08:36:11 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #84 on: December 04, 2008, 07:34:15 am »








                                             Vatican OK to 'controlled' mosques


                                          Call to freeze mosque building 'excessive'






 (ANSA) -
Vatican City,
December 4 - 2008

Italy's Muslims should have more mosques as long as they are controlled to make sure they are not turned to
other ends, the Vatican's ''cultural minister' said Thursday.

Speaking after two terrorist arrests in Milan sparked calls for a freeze on mosque construction, Vatican Cultural Council Chief Msgr Gianfranco Ravasi said Islamic places of worship must not become ''a different model'', such
as those that turn out to be preaching extremism.

''If (the mosque) does become something different, civil society has a right to intervene,'' Ravasi said at a conference on interreligious dialogue. Another influential bishop echoed Ravasi's call.

''We must ensure that the Muslims present in our country can cultivate their religion in an appropriate way,'' the No.2 of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), Msgr Mariano Crociata said.

Ravasi and Crociata were speaking after calls, repeated on Wednesday by rightwing government party the Northern League, to freeze the construction of mosques.

The League, which has been vocal in its criticism of immigration, claimed in the wake of two terrorist arrests in Milan that too many mosques had turned out to be preaching Islamism.

The party, whose No.2 is Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, has previously called for local referendums in areas where mosques are planned.

League members such as Simplification Minister Roberto Calderoli, known for a Danish Islam cartoon T-shirt episode, have gained headlines by leading anti-mosque protests that have brought pigs to building sites. Crociata, who is the secretary-general of CEI behind president Angelo Bagnasco, said calls to freeze mosques were ''excessive''.

In an interview with '30Giorni', a Catholic weekly edited by ex-premier Giulio Andreotti, Crociata stressed the importance of uniting Italian Muslims so that they can have a ''reference point'' with the Italian state.

For years Muslism have been struggling to unite a number of organisations into a single entity to govern relations with Italian authorities.

Such a unified body, Crociata argued, could essentially certify mosques, dismissing security concerns.

But he stressed that suggesting some parts of sharia law should be incorporated into Italian law, as the Anglican Church has in England, was not necessary for integration.

Integration should be based on shared values, he said, and Muslims should have enough mosques that they do not have to worship in the street or in other ''unsuitable'' conditions.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 07:39:57 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2008, 11:37:04 am »










                                                Gay rights protest at Vatican


                                 Sit- in on Saturday over opposition to UN declaration






 (ANSA) -
Rome,
December 4 - 2008

Gay rights activists on Thursday began preparations for a protest sit-in at the Vatican, under flak for opposing a proposed French-sponsored United Nations declaration to decriminalise homosexuality in the world.

Arcigay, Italy's biggest gay rights group, urged leftists, intellectuals, trade unions, show business personalities and journalists to join them at the protest on Saturday in a ''show of solidarity and commitment to defend human rights''.

Sit-ins and rallies will also be held this week and next in a number of Italian cities, Arcigay said.

The Vatican appeared unfazed by the polemics, staunchly defending its stance, announced on Monday by its representative to the UN, Monsignor Celestino Migliore.

In an interview with the French news agency I.media, Migliore said that the Church was against the declaration, which France will present to the UN General Assembly in mid December on behalf of the 27-member European Union.

The Church opposes the idea because it would whip up ''new and implacable'' forms of discrimination, he said.

''For instance, nations that do not recognise same-sex marriages would be pilloried and be subjected to pressure''.

Top Vatican officials say the brouhaha has been whipped up to ''denigrate the Church''.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters this week that the Church was not alone in its opposition to the proposal, with at least 150 UN members sharing its view.

''Fewer than 50 nations of the UN are backing it,'' said Lombardi, who stressed that the Church had nothing against homosexuals. The former head of the Vatican's Academy for Life, Msgr Elio Sgreccia, told ANSA on Wednesday that the Church would not waiver on ''its values, whether these are in harmony with society's trends or not''.

Sgreccia stressed that the Vatican's ''no was in fact a yes for the family''. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 11:44:13 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2008, 11:45:57 am »









FRATTINI ATTEMPTS TO DEFUSE POLEMICS.



Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has tried to defuse the polemics, saying the Vatican's stance should be ''interpreted in the right spirit''.

The Vatican, he told the House on Wednesday, was worried about legitimising same-sex unions.

''Italy strongly supports the principle that no homosexual should be sanctioned or imprisoned. But it would be a serious mistake to draw the conclusion that this stance should lead to the international legitimization of family relations between homosexuals,'' Frattini told the House.

The legislation on same-sex unions is clearly a national issue and cannot be subject to international rules, he stressed.

The editor-in-chief of the Communist Refoundation daily Liberazione, Piero Sansonetti, has urged Italians to boycott the Vatican, guilty in his view of ''siding with scribes and pharisees''.

He said participants at the sit-in should go ''wearing a pink oufit like the star gays were forced to wear in concentration camps''.

In an article on Thursday, Liberazione urged Italians not to devote part of their taxes to the Catholic Church when they present their tax returns in 2009.

Provisions allow Italians, if they so wish, to allot eight percent of their taxes to a religious organisation.

Arcigay President Aurelio Mancuso has said the Catholic Church's decision to oppose the French proposal amounted to ''a sort of real death sentence against the millions of gays and lesbians who unfortunately live in bloodthirsty countries''.

At least 86 countries ban gays and many others approve torture and imprisonment, said Mancuso, recalling that seven Islamic-led nations foresee the death penalty.

He said these are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Nigeria and Mauritania.

France said that it was presenting the resolution - as part of a wider campaign to promote the declaration of the universal rights of man - while holding the European Union duty presidency, which expires on December 31.
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« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2008, 12:00:52 pm »










                                                          Pope salutes Alexy II


                               Medvedev cancels visit after death of Orthodox Church head






 (ANSA) -
Vatican City,
December 5 - 2008

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday sent the Russian Orthodox Church his condolences for the death of its head, Patriarch Alexy II.

Despite past tension, Benedict recalled ''a common commitment on the path of mutual understanding and cooperation between Orthodox and Catholics''.

He praised Russia's first post-Communist-era Church chief for his efforts in fostering ''the rebirth of the Church after harsh ideological oppression'' and his ''good fight in defence of human and evangelical rights'' in Europe.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano phoned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to voice his sorrow at Alexy's death at the age of 79 after long heart problems. Napolitano described ''the high moral stature'' of the late Russian church leader and praised his ecumenical work, the Italian president's office said, noting that Napolitano met Alexy in Moscow last July.

Medvedev told Napolitano he was flying straight back to Moscow from a state visit to India and would be unable to attend a ceremony in Bari to return a Russian orthodox church dedicated to St Nicholas to Russia.

The two presidents agreed to reschedule the ceremony as soon as possible.

Rome's influential Catholic human rights and peace-brokering organisation, the Sant'Egidio Community, also mourned Alexy II and praised his efforts in bringing Catholic and Orthodox Churches closer.

The Vatican has had seesawing relations with the Russian Orthodox Church over the years but the last two popes always hoped for a meeting that might have been a historic stage in reuniting the eastern and western branches of Christianity, which have been divided since 1054.

In June 2007 Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, told journalists that Benedict and Alexy II were both open to an encounter, probably on neutral ground, ''within a year''.
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« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2008, 12:13:18 pm »









WARMING RELATIONS.



Once-frosty relations between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds have been slowly improving for years and took important steps forward when the previous pope, John Paul II, visited Orthodox countries such as Romania, Greece and Ukraine.

The Polish pope wanted to visit Russia but never received an invitation from Alexy. With 85 million members, the Russian Orthodox Church is the most numerous in the Orthodox world and it has also been the most anti-Rome.

Alexy always said a meeting in Russia or the Vatican could only take place if there was progress in key areas of discord, such as Orthodox accusations of 'proselytism' by Catholics in Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

Proselytism means when members of one church try to convert the believers of another.

Relations between Rome and Moscow appeared to have improved with Benedict's election in 2005. Analysts noted that the German pontiff was greatly respected in the Orthodox world, partly because of his evident attachment to tradition.

It was also sometimes suggested that, with a Polish pope in the Vatican, progress was hindered by Russia's perceived distrust for that nation.



photo: Alexy II
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« Reply #89 on: December 21, 2008, 08:30:18 am »









                       Pope Benedict Receives Pontifical Institute for Christian Archaeology







(20 Dec 08 - RV)
Vatican Radio

Pope Benedict XVI received the students, professors, staff and administration of the Pontifical Institute for Christian Archaeology.

Chris Altieri reports… 

The Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology was founded principally to uncover, study and protect the most ancient Christian sites and artefacts in Rome.


Meeting today with the students, professors, staff and administration of the Institute, Pope Benedict XVI said their experience shows the world that the study of archaeology, especially the study of the earliest Christian monuments, allows for a deepening of our knowledge and understanding of the Gospel truth that has been passed down to us, and offers a chance to follow in the footsteps of the great teachers and witnesses of the faith who have gone before us.


The Holy Father said knowledge of the heritage of past generations of Christians allows successive generations to keep themselves true to the deposit of faith received by the first Christian community, and, following in their path, continue to let the changeless Gospel of Christ resound in every time and place.
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