VATICAN CITY, JAN. 6, 2006 ( Brother Alois, the new prior of the ecumenical Taizé Community, was received by Benedict XVI in private audience this week.

Brother Alois, who succeeded Brother Roger Schutz after his death last August, was received for the first time by the Pope on Thursday, the Vatican press office confirmed.

The preceding Popes, from John XXIII to John Paul II, received Brother Roger in private audience every year. Their successor is now continuing this tradition, according to sources of the France-based ecumenical community.

The audience with the Holy Father took place took place a few days after the conclusion of the European youth meeting in Milan. The Dec. 28-Jan. 1 meeting, organized by the Taizé Community, gathered 50,000 young people from all over the continent.


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