.- The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed a nomination made by the late John Paul II, of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, to be special envoy to the Italian Eucharistic conference in Bari this month. In a letter, dated May 13th, Pope Benedict also noted that his "venerated predecessor John Paul II" had received a pressing invitation last October to preside at the concluding celebrations of the Congress, which will be held from May 21st to 29th.
He called the Conference "a very significant event for the Italian Church which takes place within the special context of the Year of the Eucharist, during which Catholics throughout the world are stimulated to have a renewed awareness of the great gift left by Christ at the Last Supper."
Pope Benedict noted that the theme of the Congress, whose closing celebrations he will preside on May 29, is "Without Sundays, We Cannot Live."
The Vatican also publicized the names of the Pontifical Mission, which will accompany Cardinal Ruini: Msgrs. Domenico Ciavarella, vicar general of the archdiocese of Bari-Bitonte and Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, under-secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference.