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 CNS Story:

POPE-RETREAT Feb-5-2008 (190 words) xxxi

Pope asks biblical scholar to lead 2008 Lenten retreat

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has asked the former secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Jesuit Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, to lead his 2008 Lenten retreat.

During the Feb. 10-16 retreat, the 84-year-old French cardinal will focus on the theme, "We Welcome Christ Our High Priest," drawing from a passage in the Letter to the Hebrews that says, "Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession of faith."

Top Vatican officials also attend the annual retreat with the pope, who clears his schedule of all audiences for the week.

Cardinal Vanhoye is former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and former secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

As a member of the biblical commission from 1984 to 1990 and as secretary of the body, 1990-2001, the then-Father Vanhoye worked closely with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the commission.

Pope Benedict named the Biblical scholar to the College of Cardinals in 2006.


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