Friday, December 23, 2011

VATICAN : POPE : CONDOLENCES FOR DEATH OF CZECH PRESIDENT

VIS REPORTS: TELEGRAM  FOR THE  DEATH OF PRESIDENT VACLAV HAVEL

VATICAN  CITY, 22 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolence to the  President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, on the death this past Sunday  of former president Vaclav Havel, whose funeral was celebrated this morning  in the Cathedral of St. Vitus at the Prague Castle. President Havel was 75  years old. (IMAGE SOURCE; RADIO VATICANA)

   In the text, the Pope expressed his nearness to those attending the funeral,  joining them in "commending the soul of the deceased to the infinite  mercy of our heavenly Father" and recalling Vaclav Havel's courage in  the defence of "human rights at a time when these were systematically  denied to the people of your country". He paid tribute to his "visionary  leadership in forging a new democratic policy after the fall of the previous  regime" and gave thanks to God "for the freedom that the people of  the Czech Republic now enjoy".

   The Holy Father concluded by imparting the Apostolic Blessing as "a  pledge of spiritual strength and comfort" to all those mourning the  deceased, "in hope of resurrection to new life".
TGR/                                                                         VIS  20111223 (170)

AUDIENCES

VATICAN  CITY, 23 DEC 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received in separate  audiences:

   - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals,

   - Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the  Evangelization of Peoples, and

   - Mr. Timothy Andrew Fischer, ambassador of Australia, accompanied by his  wife, on his farewell visit.

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