“A collaboration agreement has been signed by the Holy See and the Santo Domingo Ministry of Culture, including plans for the participation of twenty lecturers, art exhibitions, concerts and other events. The Vatican delegation will donate a considerable amount of books by Catholic authors which will subsequently be destined for schools and public libraries in Santo Domingo, in order to promote greater knowledge of contemporary Catholic literature among newer generations of Santo Domingans”. – Holy See Press Office

VATICAN CITY, 8 APR 2011 (VIS) – A press conference was held at the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the cultural activities planned for the Santo Domingo International Book Fair, to which the Holy See has been invited as a guest of honour.

Participating in the conference were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Victor Manuel Grimaldi Cespedes, ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the Holy See; Fr. Giuseppe Costa, S.D.B., director of the Vatican Publishing House; and Fr. Miguel Angel Reyes Arreguin, director of the Department for Latin America.

The Holy See will participate with a pavilion at this year’s fair, which will be held at the Plaza de la Cultura grounds from 4 to 22 May. The fair will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the diocese of Santo Domingo, the first diocese to be erected on the American continent, which was elevated to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese in 1546.

Cardinal Ravasi explained that “Benedict XVI has received the invitation with approval. It will be the first time that the Holy See participates as a guest of honour at an international book fair”. Cardinal Ravasi has been designated as the Holy Father’s delegate at the event.

He continued, “A collaboration agreement has been signed by the Holy See and the Santo Domingo Ministry of Culture, including plans for the participation of twenty lecturers, art exhibitions, concerts and other events. The Vatican delegation will donate a considerable amount of books by Catholic authors which will subsequently be destined for schools and public libraries in Santo Domingo, in order to promote greater knowledge of contemporary Catholic literature among newer generations of Santo Domingans”.

The design and construction of the pavilion will be entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Vatican Publishing House, the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Vatican Secret Archives. Representatives of various Vatican institutions, such as the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Vatican Internet Office, Vatican Radio and so on, will present the activities of the Church in the field of culture.

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