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Covering the Vatican



companies to lower prices of medications. In its work with religious and secu-

lar health care associations and with global initiatives like the United Nations’

World Health Organization, the council emphasizes both physical and spiri-

tual well-being and the inviolable dignity of the human person from concep-

tion to natural death.

Pope John Paul II, who founded the health care agency first as a pontifi-

cal commission, also instituted a World Day for the Sick, which is celebrated

every year on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski is council president. The secretary is

Father Jean Mate Musivi Mupendawatu. Phone 06-6988-3138 or 4720. E-mail .

Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts

This council interprets canon law and ensures that documents and decrees

from other Vatican offices and bishops’ conferences conform to the legal norms

of the church. While much of its work may lie beyond the purview of most

reporters, in 2005 the council released

Dignitas Connubii

, a handbook of pro-

cedures for accepting, investigating, judging and appealing marriage cases.

The president is Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. The secretary is

Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru. Phone 06-6988-4008.

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

Another post-Vatican II council, this agency promotes dialogue between the

Catholic Church and other religions. Religious leaders visiting the Vatican

often make a stop here. As part of Pope Benedict XVI’s response to an open

letter from Muslim scholars in 2007, he invited them to meet with him and

the council. Issues on the church’s radar include religious freedom and reci-

procity in recognizing the rights of Christians and Muslims in countries where

either group is a minority.

Under its aegis is the

Commission for Religious Relations with


, which works specifically to promote greater understanding and

cooperation between Catholics and Muslims.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran is president of the council and the com-

mission. Father Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I. is council secretary.

Msgr. Khaled Akasheh is commission secretary. Phone 06-6988-4321. E-mail .