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The Pope’s new book

The book covers many of the themes Benedict has already focused on in his two months in office: the role of Christianity in Europe and the need to respect life from conception to its natural death. It also explores faith and what it means to be Christian.

It’s an easy, 149-page read, written in Italian in 1992, 1997 and earlier this year, according to the Cantagalli publishers, which was releasing the book along with the Vatican’s publishing office, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, at a ceremony Tuesday

I’m guessing this is the publisher

Then today, at the Wednesday General Audience:

Pope continues plan for African synod

Pope Benedict announced on Wednesday that he would summon a special synod of Roman Catholic bishops to discuss the church’s role in solving the problems of Africa.

Benedict told pilgrims at his weekly general audience that he planned to follow through with the intention of his predecessor, John Paul, to hold such a meeting.

His public commitment to Africa comes less than two weeks after finance ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations agreed ahead of next month’s summit to huge debt relief in a drive to free Africa from hunger and disease.

Synods are major gatherings of Roman Catholic bishops to discuss a specific theme or region. They usually last about a month and are usually held at the Vatican.

"I hope this meeting will mark another impulse for the African continent for evangelization, the consolidation and growth of the Church and the promotion of reconciliation and peace," he said of the synod.

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