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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Friday, November 28, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2003 (VIS) - Today John Paul II received Vladimir Voronin, president of the Republic of Moldova, in audience. In his speech, the Holy Father emphasized that it was the 'first encounter between the supreme authority of the Republic of Moldova and the successor of Peter since the country has emerged as an independent and sovereign nation on the international scene.'

'The country that you represent,' he continued, 'has recently obtained freedom and therefore seeks support ' in order to overcome the inevitable difficulties, especially at the beginning. Moldova, given its location on the border between the Latin and Slavic worlds, must use dialogue as an essential instrument of action so that concrete possibilities of peace, justice and well-being flourish.'

'The Catholic community, although small in terms of numbers, is actively involved ' in this process. I would like to emphasize that the Church in Moldova to carry out its evangelizing and charitable mission and that the State recognizes its juridical nature. It is essential that, without prejudice against anyone, dialogue between the State and the Catholic Church continue in a fruitful way for the benefit of all of Moldavian society, while respecting the norms of democracy and the equality of all religious confessions.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received:

- Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, ordinary military for Italy.

- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received French bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Cambrai and Reims who just completed their 'ad limina' visit.

During the meeting with the first group of French prelates, the Pope spoke about the Church and the episcopal mission, with reference to 'Pastores gregis', the post-synodal apostolic exhortation.

John Paul II emphasized the importance of taking care of their personal spiritual life, 'enriching your ministry,' he said, 'with a deep relationship with Christ, through meditation, supplemented by Scripture and an intense sacramental life. In this way, you will be able to communicate to the faithful the desire to live in intimate union with God, so that they build up their faith and, together, you are able to propose the faith to your citizens, following the spirit of the documents that you have written about proclaiming the Gospel.'

'In the life and mission of bishops, fraternal collaboration and attention to communion are essential in order to demonstrate the unity of the whole ecclesiastical Body. ' Today it is more important than ever to help the faithful to discover the meaning and grandeur of the mystery of Christ's Church. ' Without serious and deep knowledge of the mystery of the Church, which always leads to Christ, it is clear that the meaning of ordained ministries and, specifically, the structure of the Church cannot be understood.'

The Pope stressed that 'in order to demonstrate the collegial nature of the episcopate, to carry out an ever-more effective pastoral care and to increase necessary collaboration, you agreed courageously, after reflection, to make some changes by reorganizing ecclesiastical provinces. ' I hope that this strengthens the bonds of fraternal communion, and helps and sustains you in your personal life and in your mission.'

He continues: 'Bishops are continually called to bear clear witness to the apostolic communion among them and with the entire episcopal assembly surrounding the Successor of Peter. ' In their actions, declarations, decisions, every bishop commits to the entire episcopal body and to the Church.'

The Holy Father underscored that 'communion is not a contradiction to legitimate diversity which permits every diocesan Church to have its own personality in function of the pastors and communities that compose it.'

'The apostolic mission of the bishop is, in the first place, to proclaim the Gospel. ' No matter how small or fragile a group of people is,' he concluded, 'or how few priests there are, it becomes necessary that the bishop take care of the flock entrusted to him and that he is not absent for long periods of time from his diocese, that he visit the different communities, listen to them and encourage them. In order to carry out the mission and to include all those actively involved in it, your conference is presently reflecting on strengthening the organisms that compose it. I am happy about this unanimous decision.'

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Thursday, November 27, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 27, 2003 (VIS) - The Pope wrote a message to bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement, who are participating in the twenty-second Ecumenical Congress which is taking place in Rocca di Papa, Italy. The meeting is not taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, due to the 'tragic events in recent days,' writes the Pope.

After recalling the congress' theme, 'You are one in Jesus Christ,' taken from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians, John Paul II writes: 'It is a theme that is more current than ever: it can offer a valid response to the serious lesions that afflict today's world.'

He concludes by saying: 'May this congress strengthen you in your ecumenical commitment and speed up the process toward full unity which Jesus asked of the Father and for which He offered His life! You know well how important Christian unity is to me and that I have dedicated constant attention to it from the beginning of my pontificate.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 27, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received Georgi Parvanov, president of the Republic of Bulgaria. Recalling his apostolic trip in May of 2002, he said, 'I noted the firm goal of building up the country with new-found serenity and faith in the future, from within the great European house.'

'The cordial meeting with civil authorities of every order and rank convinced me of everyone's determination to continue courageously to peacefully build up the whole society, without being afraid of confronting the day to day challenges.'

John Paul II then spoke about the 'venerated patriarch Maxim, head of the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, who, he recalled, 'during my visit welcomed me into his home with fraternal affection. It was a further step of progressive growth in ecclesial communion. In this way, I was able to verify that Europe expects the common commitment of Catholics and Orthodox in defense of human rights and the culture of life.'

'I saw the same sentiments of openness to dialogue and collaboration in the small but fervent Catholic community that is actively committed to bearing witness to Christ in Bulgaria in constant cooperation with other religious communities in the country. It is my fervent hope that this climate of understanding may grow for the sake of reciprocal understanding and the good of society.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Matias Patricio de Macedo, of Campina Grande, Brazil, metropolitan archbishop of Natal (area 25,153, population 2,520,300, Catholics 1,965,834, priests 100, permanent deacons 19, religious 247), Brazil. He succeeds Archbishop Heitor de Ara£jo Sales whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Bishop Plinio Jose Luz da Silva, auxiliary of Fortaleza, Brazil, as bishop of Picos (area 23,121, population 325,086, Catholics 305,581, priests 21, religious 34), Brazil.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 27, 2003 (VIS) - In reference to the Pope's meeting today with the Dalai Lama, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following statement: 'It was a brief courtesy visit in which religious topics were discussed exclusively.'



VATICAN CITY, NOV 27, 2003 (VIS) - On November 26 in the Embassy of Argentina to the Holy See, Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, was decorated with the Order of General San Martin. During the ceremony, the prelate gave a speech to express his gratitude.

Today, on the feast of Thanksgiving, the archbishop delivered the homily during a Mass at St. Susanna Church in Rome which is the North American parish in the capital city.

On Friday, November 28 the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications will speak during a press conference on the presentation of the seventh edition of the Congress of Studies on Spiritual Film, organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture which will take place in the Vatican.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 27, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Georgi Parvanov, president of the Republic of Bulgaria, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

- Bishop Jean-Luc Bouilleret of Amiens, France on his 'ad limina' visit.

- Bishop Jean-Paul James of Beauvais, France on his 'ad limina' visit.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2003 (VIS) - In this Wednesday's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about the Psalm 109, 'The Messiah, king and priest,' which is read every Sunday during vespers.

John Paul II said that in the first part of the psalm there is an 'oracle by God directed to the sovereign of Jerusalem whom the psalmist calls 'my Lord.' The oracle proclaims the enthronement of the descendent of David 'at the right hand' of God.'

'In the distance,' he continued, 'hostile forces are seen, which are nevertheless offset by a victorious conquest.' There is a 'general contrast between the project of God who operates through His chosen people, and the plans of those who would like to affirm their hostile and abusive power. Therefore, there is the eternal clash between good and evil which occurs in the events of history, through which God manifests Himself and speaks to us.'

The Holy Father then referred to the second part of the Psalm which 'contains a priestly prophesy in which King David is once again the protagonist. Guaranteed by a solemn divine oath, royal dignity becomes one with priestly dignity. The reference to Melchizedek, priest-king of Salem, or Ancient Jerusalem, is therefore the way to justify the special priesthood of the king alongside the official levitical priesthood of the temple of Zion. ' The Letter to the Hebrews,' he concluded, 'begins with this prophesy: 'You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek,' in order to illustrate the special and perfect priesthood of Jesus Christ.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2003 (VIS) - The Religious Association of Social and Health Care Institutes (ARIS) is celebrating the 40(th) anniversary of its founding. On this occasion, the Holy Father sent the institute a message in which he urges members to 'continue to serve the sick with competence and dedication.'

'Frequently,' writes John Paul II, 'it is difficult for those who live in situations of intense pain and sorrow to understand the meaning and significance of life. It is therefore important that there is somebody by their side to support and help them, like the Good Samaritan. People like Mother Teresa, who was recently beatified, bear witness in a simple yet specific way to the charity and compassion of Our Lord toward those who are suffering, the sick and ostracized, and the dying. While they nurse their bodily wounds, they help them to encounter Christ who, through death, revealed the complete value of life in all its phases and conditions.'

The Pope concludes the message by expressing his appreciation for the association's work in many countries, 'especially in mission territories. You help young Churches to run homes for the sick and suffering and to prepare qualified health and pastoral care workers. This collaboration among ecclesiastical communities in the North and South of the world must intensify.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2003 (VIS) - John Paul II wrote a message to Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno, archbishop of Guatemala and president of the second American Missionary Congress, which began on November 25 and ends on November 30 in Guatemala City. In the message, the Pope recalls his trip to the American continent in 2002 and the canonization of Pedro de San Jose de Betancourt.

'The canonization of this extraordinary missionary was in a certain way,' writes the Pope, 'a prelude to the present congress' since its theme is 'The Church in America, your life is mission.' The renewed impulse to the mission 'ad gentes,'' he continues,
'demands holy missionaries and holy ecclesiastical communities in America and from America.'

'The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission, which is a 'fundamental presupposition and an irreplaceable condition for everyone in fulfilling the mission of salvation in the Church.' In the face of this universal call, we must be aware of our own responsibility to spread the Gospel. Millions of men and women who do not know Christ ' live in the hope, which is perhaps unconscious, of discovering the truth about man and God, about the path that leads to liberation from sin and death. For these people who yearn or feel nostalgia for Christ's beauty ' the proclamation of the Good News is a vital and necessary duty.'

'This congress is focused on that duty,' emphasizes the Holy Father, recalling that 'all pastoral activity must be centered on Christian initiation and formation which represents a greater guarantee that local Churches in America develop effective projects of cooperation and missionary impetus, while helping to mature and reinforce the faith of those who have already become close to the Church and attracting those who are still far away.'

'Your local Churches have the great responsibility of evangelizing the modern world,' he concludes. 'Great is the fruit that they will be able to give to the new missionary age, 'if all Christians, and missionaries and young churches in particular, respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time'.'


Tuesday, November 25, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff made public today the calendar of celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside between December 8 and January 1:


- Monday, 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Homage to Mary Immaculate, Spanish Steps, at 4 p.m.

- Thursday, 11: Mass for students of the Roman Athenaeums at 5:30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

- Wednesday, 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Midnight Mass in the Vatican Basilica.

- Thursday, 25: Solemnity of the Birth of the Lord. "Urbi et Orbi" blessing at noon.

- Wednesday, 31: Vespers and "Te Deum" of thanksgiving at 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.


- Thursday, 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and 37th World Day of Peace. Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, prime minister of Portugal, and an entourage.

- Three prelates from the French Episcopal Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Gilbert Louis of Chalons.

- Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes.

- Bishop Philippe Gueneley of Langres.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - On Sunday, November 23, the process of the beatification of Albino Luciani, John Paul I, was opened with a solemn liturgy in the cathedral of Belluno, Italy. John Paul I was pope for thirty-three days.

The ceremony was presided by Bishop Vincenzo Savio of Belluno-Feltre, Italy. Among those present were Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Bishop Alfredo Magarotto of Vittorio Veneto, a delegation from the patriarchate of Venice, as well as the deceased pope's brother, Berto, and several nieces and nephews.

Albino Luciani was born in 1912 in Forno di Canale, Italy, now known as Canale d'Agordo. He was ordained a priest in 1935 and was appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto by Blessed John XXIII in 1958. In 1969, Paul VI appointed him as the patriarch of Venice and in 1973 he was created a cardinal. After the death of Paul VI, he participated in the conclave in which he was elected as the successor of Peter on August 26, 1978. On September 28, only 33 days after his election, he died.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the vicar of Rome approved the opening of the process for the beatification of John Paul I in the diocese of Belluno-Feltre in Northern Italy. The opening of the process did not take place in Rome due to the brevity of his pontificate, unlike those of his predecessors Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI. However, a part of the process will be celebrated in Rome as many of the people who knew him and worked with him reside in the capital.

In order for John Paul I to be beatified, the approval of a miracle received through his intercession is necessary. At that point, another miracle must be approved in order for canonization.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Antonio R. Tobias of San Fernando de La Union, Philippines, as bishop of the diocese of Novaliches (area 138, population 1,658,872, Catholics 1,492,984, priests 121, religious 127), Philippines. He succeeds Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani whose resignation he accepted from the pastoral care of the same diocese in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Fr. Michael Miller, C.S.B., president of St. Thomas University in Houston, U.S.A., as secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, elevating him at the same time to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1975. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of the same congregation presented by Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau upon having reached the age limit.

- Erected the eparchy of Emdeber Ethiopia, with territory taken from the metropolitan archeparchy of Addis Ababa, making it a suffragen of the same ecclesiastical circumscription.

- Appointed Fr. Musie Ghebreghiorgis, O.F.M. Cap., rector of the Philosophical and Theological Institute of Capuchin Fathers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as bishop of Emdeber (area 9,176, Catholics 18,476, priests 22, religious 12), Ethiopia. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in Eritrea, and was ordained a priest in 1976.

- Appointed Fr. Hector Vargas Bastidas, S.D.B., provincial vicar of the Salesians in Chile, as bishop of Arica (area 16,521, population 197,856, Catholics 149.378, priests 24, religious 28), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Valdivia, Chile in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1978.

- Appointed Bishop Thomas James Olmsted of Wichita, U.S.A., as bishop of Phoenix (area 113,831, population 3,651,780, Catholics 478,163, priests 304, permanent deacons 203, religious 338,), U.S.A.

- Appointed Archbishop Erwin Josef Ender, apostolic nuncio in the Czech Republic, as apostolic nuncio in Germany.

- Appointed Fr. Josef Clemens, undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Laity, elevating him to the dignity of bishop. The bishop-elect was born in 1947 in Siegen, Germany and was ordained a priest in 1975.

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Monday, November 24, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2003 (VIS) - Today John Paul II received bishops from Belgium at the end of their 'ad limina' visit. In his speech, he emphasized the difficulty of their ministry, but also the signs of hope for the Church in their country.

'The information that I receive about the situation of the Church in your country,' said the Pope, 'is particularly troubling to me. Real and serious concern cannot be hidden about the scarce regularity and importance of religious practice in your country which affects Sunday Mass and the sacraments, especially baptism, reconciliation and marriage. In addition, the consistent drop in the number of priests and the persistent crisis of vocations are a serious concern for you.'

'The rapid changes that you notice,' he continued, ' surely correspond to a sensitive evolution of society, characterized by great secularization which could make one think that Belgian society has turned its back on its Christian roots. Your country, in addition, has recently approved new and disturbing legislation on material relative to the fundamental dimensions of human and social life, such as birth, marriage and the family, illness and death. You have never stopped addressing these issues .. which profoundly affect the ethical dimension of human life.'

'Therefore, it is a new pastoral terrain, unsteady and difficult, where you live your mission as pastors of the Church of Christ ' In a society that loses track of its traditional points of reference and that promotes general relativism in the name of pluralism, our first duty is to introduce Christ, His Gospel of peace which sheds new light on man's destiny. ' I invite you therefore to actively continue dialogue with civil society and the Belgian people ' and to explicitly introduce the values of Christian faith and the rich experience of human beings throughout history and cultures, not in order to impose your own model but out of respect for the truth of which you are ministers in the name of Christ and respect for dialogue itself which demands that the legitimate and individual identity of each person is taken into account.'

John Paul II praised, 'the quality of pastoral collaboration' of the bishops and their priests, 'the ever-more active participation of the lay faithful in the mission of the Church' and their 'attention in educating young people. I congratulate you,' he said, 'for having clearly reaffirmed the principles of Catholic teaching and your devotion to your identity.'

'But in addition to difficulties,' the Holy Father concluded, ' ' you emphasized the signs of a possible renewal: the vigor of pilgrimages, the attraction of the silence of monasteries, the increase in the number of adult catechumens, ' the desire for a more authentic spiritual life. The hope of believers ' illuminates the life of the lay faithful. In important discussions that provoke Belgian society it is necessary that you give double testimony: testimony to the prophetic word, taking a clear position in line with the Gospel and testimony of action, of men and women committed in the good times and difficulties of daily life, in married and family life, in work and social and political responsibilities.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2003 (VIS) - Today in three pontifical letters, written in Latin and made public today, the Pope appoints special envoys for the following celebrations: the Second American Missionary Congress in Guatemala on November 25-30, the re-opening of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Parramatta, Australia on November 29, and the Fifth Centenary of the election of Pope Julius II in Savona, Italy on November 30.
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, will go as a special envoy to Guatemala, accompanied by Msgrs. Giuseppe Cavallotto, rector of the Pontifical Urban University, Gustavo Rodolfo Mendoza Hernandez, chancellor of the archdiocese of Guatemala, and Fr. Damian Ac Cahuec, of the clergy of the apostolic vicariate of Peten, Guatemala.

Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, special envoy to Australia, will be accompanied by Msgr. Francisco M. Padilla, counselor of the apostolic nunciature in Australia, Fr. John Boyle, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Seven Hills in the diocese of Parramatta, and Fr. Peter Blayney, judicial vicar of the diocese of Parramatta.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, special envoy to Savona, Italy will be accompanied by Msgrs. Andrea Giusto, vicar general of the diocese of Savona-Noli and Piero Pioppo, counselor of the nunciature in service to the secretariat of State.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 23, 2003 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, John Paul II recalled that today, last Sunday in the liturgical year, the Church celebrates the solemnity of Christ the King.

'Over the months,' explained the Pope, 'we have contemplated all His mysteries, from His birth to His ascension into heaven ' now with the apostle Paul we recognize that God's design is to 'echo in Christ all things, from the heavens and the earth'.'

'Looking at Him whom eastern liturgy calls the 'Pantocrator' or Almighty,' he continued, 'the mission of believers, who are called to cooperate in a variety of ministries and charisms, takes on great importance in building up His kingdom. In this context, I would like to place ' the Congress on Sacred Music of the Association of St. Cecilia, organized on the centenary of the Motu proprio 'Tra le sollecitudini' with which Pope St. Pius X issued an important instruction on sacred music.'

The Holy Father concluded his brief remarks by greeting participants in the congress which is taking place in Rome and expressed gratitude to 'all who put their musical talents and competency at the service of the liturgy.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2003 (VIS) - This afternoon in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope attended a concert of sacred music given in his honor by the Italian Association of St. Cecilia, whose feast is celebrated today, upon the centenary of the 'motu proprio' by Pope Pius X 'Tra le sollecitudini,' on sacred music.

At the end of the concert, in which various choruses sang 'The Passion according to St. Mark' by Msgr. Lorenzo Perosi, the Pope expressed his gratitude for the gift of a bell which was engraved with the biblical expression 'Cantate Domino canticum novum.'

'Your association,' said the Holy Father, 'is dedicated to St. Cecilia who is popularly known as the patron of music. This young Roman martyr invites believers to walk faithfully toward an encounter with Christ, blessing our earthly pilgrimage with the joy of song and music. May St. Cecilia accompany each and every one of you, dear brothers and sisters, from heaven, and help you to fully realize your mission in the Church.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2003 (VIS) - The council of the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops for the Special Assembly on Asia celebrated its seventh meeting on November 18 and 19 in the main office of the general secretariat.

Under the presidency of Cardinal Jan P. Schotte, C.I.C.M., general secretary of the Synod, three cardinals, five archbishops and five bishops participated in the meeting.

According to a communique made public today, during the sessions an overview of the situation of the Church in different nations was presented. In addition, they discussed the application of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation 'Ecclesia in Asia.' Later, there was an exchange of opinions about the different experiences in local Churches. The next meeting is scheduled for November 18-19, 2004.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff communicated today that:

- Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Michael the Archangel, Via Marica, 6, Rome on Saturday, November 29, at 6:30 p.m..

- Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, metropolitan archbishop of Florence, Italy, will take possession of the title of St. Andrea delle Fratte, Via Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, 1, Rome on Sunday, November 30 at 6 p.m.

- Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest of the patriarchal Vatican Basilica, vicar general of the Vatican City State, president of the Fabric of St. Peter's and president of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Lucia del Gonfalone, Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 12, Rome on Tuesday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m.



VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the office of archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, presented by Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, and at the same time, appointed Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran to the same office.

- Appointed the following cardinals, created in the consistory of October 21, 2003, as members of the following dicasteries:

- Cardinals Jean-Louis Tauran and Attilio Nicora of the Council of Cardinals and Bishops of the section for Relations with States in the Secretariat of State.

- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

- Cardinals Justin Francis Rigali, Jospi Bozanic, Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Mƒn, Philippe Barbarin and Marc Ouellet of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments.

- Cardinals Jean-Louis Tauran, Juli n Herranz, Javier Lozano Barrag n and Attilio Nicora of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Cardinals Renato Raffaele Martino, Javier Lozano Barrag n, Stephen Fumio Hamao, Attilio Nicora, Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Telesphore Placidus Toppo and Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of the Congregation the Evangelization of Peoples.

- Cardinals Angelo Scola and Tarcisio Bertone of the Congregation for Clergy.

- Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

- Cardinals Francesco Marchisano and Peter Erdo of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

- Cardinal Julian Herranz of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature.

- Cardinals Ennio Antonelli and Josip Bozanic of the Pontifical Council for Laity.

- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

- Cardinals Angelo Scola and George Pell of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

- Cardinals Stephen Fumio Hamao, Bernard Panafieu and George Pell of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

- Cardinals Renato Raffaele Martino, Stephen Fumio Hamao and Gabriel Zubeir Wako of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum.'

- Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

- Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.

- Cardinal Peter Erdo of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

- Cardinals Bernard Panafieu and Telesphore Placidus Toppo of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

- Cardinals Francesco Marchisano and Rodolfo Quezada Toru¤o of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

- Cardinals Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Eusebio Oscar Scheid and Ennio Antonelli of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

- Cardinals Renato Raffaele Martino and Justin Francis Rigali of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

- Cardinals Francesco Marchisano and Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church.

- Cardinal Julian Herranz of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'.

In addition, His Holiness appointed Cardinals Javier Lozano Barrag n, Eusebio Oscar Scheid and Marc Ouellet, as counselors of the Pontifical Commission for Latin American and Cardinals Carlos Amigo Vallejo and Rodolfo Quezada Toru¤o, as members of the same pontifical commission.

- Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the section for the Relations with States of the Secretariat of state, as consultant of the Congregation for Bishops.

It was made public on November 22 that the Holy Father appointed the following people as 'ad quinquennium' consultants of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: Fr. Enrique Colom, Chile, professor of social morality and social doctrine of the Church in the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome; Frs. Wolfgang Ockenfels, O.P., Germany, lecturer of Christian social sciences in the Faculty of theology of the University of Trier; Fr. Maciej Zieba, O.P., Poland, former collaborator of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the publication of the social agenda; Sr. Helen Alford, O.P., Great Britain, Dean and professor in the Faculty of social sciences of St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University, Rome; Simona Beretta, Italy, professor of international economic politics in the Faculty of political science at the Catholic University of Milan; Professor Carl A. Anderson, U.S.A., consultant of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Professor Antonio Boggiano, Argentina, Supreme Court Judge; M. Rene Valery Mongbe, Benin, Deputy of the National Assembly of Benin; Oscar R. de Rojas, Venezuela, Interregional Advisor in Development Administration at the Department of Social and Economic Affairs at the United Nations; Edoardo Greppi, Italy, professor of international law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Torino.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Brendan Michael O'Brian, president of the Canadian Bishops' Conference, accompanied by Archbishop Andre Gaumond of Sherbrooke, Canada, and Msgrs. Mario Paquette and Peter Schonenbach, vice-president and secretary general respectively of the same conference.

- Seven prelates of the French Episcopal Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Archbishop Fran‡ois Garnier of Cambrai.

- Archbishop G‚rard Defois, bishop of Lille, with Auxiliary Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin.

- Bishop Jean-Paul Jaeger of Arras.

- Archbishop Thierry Jordan of Reims, with Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Boishu.

- Bishop Marcel Herriot of Soissons.

On Saturday November 22, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

- Raniero Avogadro, ambassador of Italy, accompanied by his wife, on his farewell visit.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

AP; AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031124;Word: 150;

Saturday, November 22, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2003 (VIS) - On Friday November 21 in the city hall of Brema, Germany, an accord which regulates relations between the Catholic Church and the city state was signed by the Holy See and the Hanseatic free city of Brema. Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, apostolic nuncio in Germany, signed the accord on behalf of the Holy See and Henning Scherf, president of the senate, signed for the state of Brema.

'The present accord,' reads a communique made public today, ' which consists of 25 articles and a final protocol, regulates the juridical state of the Catholic Church in the Hanseatic free city of Brema. Among other things, it establishes norms on the recognition on the part of the state for schools administered by the Church, the teaching of the Catholic religion in Catholic schools, activity of the Church in the fields of pastoral, social, and health care, church tithe and the care of Church buildings which are national landmarks.'

'In short,' ends the communique, 'the role of the Catholic Church in the society of the Hanseatic free city of Brema, where 78,000 Catholics compromise 12% of the total population of 660,000, is recognized.'
Keys: ;ACCORD BREMA;...;LAJOLO; SCHERF ;VIS;20031122;Word: 200;

Friday, November 21, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2003 (VIS) - The fourth day of the fifth Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is taking place from November 17 to 22 in the Vatican, opened today with a speech by Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, former president of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.

'Generally, migration and ' the phenomenon of refugees are caused by armed conflicts and by wars ' which continue to spread and to become more and more local,' affirmed the prelate. 'But one of the most subtle forms of this structural violence is the globalization of the public and socio-economic world order which provokes the impoverishment of developing countries and the exodus of their children towards more habitable regions. Disparity in the economic development of peoples ' continues to be a time bomb in the international order and, therefore, a potential cause of conflict. ' It is necessary ' 'to globalize charity' with the goal of taking on the duty of embracing refugees in a dignified manner. At the same time, is it is essential to neutralize ' those who 'create situations which produce refugees' and 'war lords,' mobilizing ourselves peacefully in order 'to institute political and socio-economic systems that respect human dignity and the imperatives of social justice'.'

'Jesus suffered so many obstacles, like the poor of today who do not know where 'to rest their head',' said Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo during his speech. 'He suffered fatigue, hunger, thirst and was a victim of violence just like many migrants today: He escaped being killed during the first days of His life and found refuge and hospitality outside of his national, religious and cultural circle. This interpretation of Jesus' life requires attention and discernment ' in order to discover the loving and liberating presence of the Lord ' in the history of humanity.'

'The Eucharist which makes one body of many,' explained Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon, president of the Episcopal Commission for Human Mobility in Mexico, 'is a powerful evangelical reason to confront, with our faith, the challenge posed by human mobility. ' The need for parishes to become places of acceptance as a faithful reflection of living in the Eucharistic is emphasized in different documents which talk about the need to seek out the 'migrants of Christ,' who go about the world bearing their sorrows and hopes.'
Keys: ;REFUGEES; MIGRANTS;...;@ ;VIS;20031121;Word: 410;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2003 (VIS) - Today at midday John Paul II received participants in the twenty-fifth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum,' who are presently reflecting on the theme, 'The dimension of religion in our charitable activity.'

'This topic,' said the Pope, 'highlights the fact that when we are helping the hungry, sick, lonely, or those who are suffering, we must not neglect that intimate aspiration that every human being has to find and get to know God. We are all looking for answers to the big questions about life. We Christians know that only in Jesus will we find the true and complete response to the many anxieties of the human soul.'

The Holy Father said that this is why the 'Church does not limit itself to satisfying only the material needs of those in difficulty. ' It makes an effort to answer the most obscure existential questions, even those that are not clearly expressed.'

'The reflections of these days push you to emphasize the meaning and evangelical value of ' charity which the Church exercises through its charitable institutions and which bears witness to the dedication of so many people. There is no shortage of luminous examples of this service of love towards God and towards one's neighbor. I propose to all Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom I was personally able to accompany for many years and whom I recently had the joy of inscribing in the book of Blesseds. May she intercede for you from heaven and make your work fruitful.'

AC;PLENARY;...;COR UNUM ;VIS;20031121;Word: 270;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent a telegram of condolence in the Holy Father's name to the Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey, upon the news of yesterday's terrorist attacks in Istanbul in which many were killed and wounded:

In the telegram, John Paul II expresses his deepest condolences as well as his spiritual closeness to the Turkish nation and to the families of the victims. He asks the Lord to welcome the deceased into His kingdom and to grant strength and courage to the injured, their families and those who are involved in the clean-up efforts. 'The Pope makes yet another appeal,' reads the text, 'in which he condemns terrorist activity which gravely affects innocent populations. Homicidal violence constitutes contempt for people and offends humanity. Dialogue is the only dignified way for human beings to deal with tensions that pit people and human groups against each other. The Holy Father asks God, All-powerful, to enlighten the consciences of those who are involved in terrorism so that they themselves set out courageously on the path of peace.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Jean-Jacques Koffi Oi Koffi, vicar general and pastor of the Cathedral in Abengourou, Ivory Coast, as bishop of the same diocese (area 28,000, population 1,000,000, Catholics 210,000, priests 48, religious 31). The bishop-elect was born in 1962 in Bongouanou, Ivory Coast and was ordained a priest in 1990. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Bruno Kouame upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Karl Borsch, director of the St. Paul House, as auxiliary bishop of Aachen (area 3,937, population 2,025,000, Catholics 1,214,451, priests 728, permanent deacons 58, religious 1,345), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in 1958 in Huls, Germany and was ordained a priest in 1992. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Gerd Dicke upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Felipe de Jesus Estevez, director of spiritual formation of the St. Paul Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Miami (area 12,836, population 3,955,969, Catholics 830.366, sacerdotes 343, religiosos 495, di conos permanentes 146), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1946 in P. Betancourt, Cuba and was ordained a priest in 1970.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, archbishop emeritus of Boston, U.S.A.

- Two prelates from the Belgian Episcopal Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Aloysius Jousten of Liege.

- Bishop Guy Harpigny of Tournai.

AP; AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031121;Word: 50;

Thursday, November 20, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following statement after the attack in Istanbul, Turkey in which many people died:

'The barbaric logic of terrorism only causes the death of innocent people and destruction. In addition, it aggravates the problems that it claims to resolve. The words of the Holy Father come to mind: 'Terrorism is based on contempt for the dignity of man' and therefore 'it is a crime against humanity,' especially 'when it becomes a political strategy'.'



VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received participants in the fifth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees which is taking place in Rome this week. Its theme is: 'Starting afresh from Christ. Towards a renewed pastoral care of migrants and refugees.'

In his speech, the Holy Father said that 'the work of promoting the well-being of the many men and women who for various reasons do not live in their homelands represents a vast field for the new evangelization to which the whole Church is called. An important condition of this task is to recognize the mobility ' voluntary and involuntary ' of so many families today.'

John Paul II indicated that the pontifical council is currently preparing an 'instruction that will address the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants and refugees, and present the phenomenon of migration as a way of fostering dialogue, peace and the proclamation of the Gospel.'

He went on to say: 'Special attention needs to be given today to the ecumenical aspect of migration, with reference to Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, and likewise to the inter-religious dimension, with particular regard to the followers of Islam. I am confident that the instruction will meet these requirements as well as articulate the need to promote a pastoral program open to new developments yet always attentive to the duty of pastoral workers to collaborate fully with the local hierarchy.'

The Pope emphasized that it is 'precisely in society and in culture that we must show respect for the dignity of man, of the migrant and of the refugee. In this regard,' he concluded, 'I once again urge states to adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families which took effect on July 1, 2003. Similarly, I appeal to states to respect the International Treaties concerning refugees. Such protection of human persons must be guaranteed in every civil society and espoused by all Christians.'

AC;MIGRANTS; REFUGEES;...;@ ;VIS;20031120;Word: 340;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Yoon Young-Kwan, minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea, and an entourage.

- Two prelates from the Belgian Episcopal Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Arthur Luysteman of Gent.
- Bishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Namur.

- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

AP; AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031120;Word: 60;

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2003 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience which took place in the Paul VI Hall, John Paul II recalled that on November 21, the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the temple, the Day of cloistered religious will be celebrated.

'I would like to assure our sisters, whom the Lord calls to the contemplative life, of my particular closeness and that of the entire ecclesiastical community. I renew at the same time an invitation to all the faithful to provide monasteries with the necessary spiritual and material support. We are, in fact, greatly in debt to these persons who devote themselves completely to incessant prayer for the Church and the world.'

AG;DAY CLOISTERED RELIGIOUS;...;@ ;VIS;20031119;Word: 130;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2003 (VIS) - During today's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about the canticle that forms part of the second chapter of St. Paul's letter to the Christians of Philippi, the Greek city which was the apostle's first stop on his mission to spread the Gospel in Europe.

John Paul II affirmed that this prayer, 'Christ, servant of God,' describes the ''kenosis' of the Son of God, or the 'emptying' of His divine glory' in the Incarnation 'until His death on the Cross, the torturous fate of slaves which made Him last among all and a true brother of humanity, sinful and rejected, who suffer.'

On the other hand, he continued, 'the triumph of Christ is fulfilled in Easter when Christ is reestablished by the Father in the splendor of divinity and is celebrated as Lord by the whole of creation and by all men who are by now redeemed. ' God 'exalts' His Son, conferring upon him a glorious 'name' which in biblical language indicates the person himself and his dignity. This name is 'kyrios' or 'Lord'.'

The Holy Father concluded by indicating that Christ, ever-glorious, 'still bears the signs of the passion, which is His true humanity, but now is revealed in the splendor of divinity. Close to us in suffering and death, Christ attracts us now to Him in glory, blessing us and making us participants in his eternity.'

AG;CANTICLE FIILIPPIANS;...;@ ;VIS;20031119;Word: 250;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2003 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Georges Biard, M. Afr., emeritus of Mopti, Mali, on October 31 at age 78.

- Archbishop Andre Collini, emeritus of Toulouse, France, on November 10 at age 81.

- Bishop Adolfo Rodriguez Vidal, emeritus of Los Angeles, Chile, on November 9 at age 83.
Keys: ;DEATHS;...;@ ;VIS;20031119;Word: 60;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy today received in audience Archbishop Rino Passigato, apostolic nuncio in Peru.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2003 (VIS) - Today is the second day of the fifth World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is taking place in Rome from November 17 to 22 and whose theme is, 'Starting afresh from Christ. Towards a renewed pastoral care of migrants and refugees.

'Forced or voluntary immigration,' said Archbishop Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, 'sheds light on the need to carry out a profound transformation of institutions and people, in order to create ' a culture of inclusion and Christian love, which is not folkloric or blind, but genuine, for different cultures ' using the language of dialogue, reciprocal respect and inter-religious and intercultural coexistence.'

Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, recalled that 'just as all human beings have the right to the recognition and respect of their own identity, something which does not exonerate them from their duties towards society, every culture has the right to the recognition of its own identity. It is a right ' which evaluates the culture in the eyes of the whole of society and facilitates its integration into the group of peoples. If it is not respected it becomes ' a source of humiliation, provokes strong vindication and often acquires forms of extreme violence. ' This sad reality at the beginning of the third millennium demonstrates in many regions of the world ' the actuality of this grave problem.'

Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, emphasized in his speech that 'among the effects of the growing phenomena of migration and refugees is that of giving life ' to a pluralism of ethnicities, cultures and beliefs. In this way, ' the phenomenon of migration can be a propitious occasion for inter-religious dialogue which is 'one of the greatest challenges of our times'.'
Keys: ;MIGRATION; REFUGEES;...;@ ;VIS;20031119;Word: 340;

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2003 (VIS) - John Paul II wrote a message to Italian bishops who are celebrating the fifty-second general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference (C.E.I.) in Assisi, Italy.

'Your concern as pastors,' writes the Pope, 'will be focused on this occasion on the topic ' of the parish, very opportunely presented in the program of your assembly as the 'Church living in the midst of the homes of Her sons and daughters.' ' I must emphasize that I share with you the conviction of the central and irreplaceable role of the parish to make participation in the Church possible, and in a certain sense easy and spontaneous for every person and family. As the Vatican Council II affirmed ' parishes 'represent the visible Church constituted throughout the world'.'

The Holy Father emphasizes the 'essential presence of parishes in Italy, their vitality and capacity to carry out a pastoral and social service which is attentive to the needs of the people' and recalls that during the assembly 'the best ways to preserve and increase this richness in the face of the great social and cultural changes of our age' will be studied.

'In order to accomplish these goals it will be particularly important for Italian parishes to maintain a 'familial' characteristic which distinguishes them and makes them, in a certain way, big 'families of families': thus, parishes will be a warm and welcoming environment ' and will be able to offer a great contribution to the defense and promotion of that precious and invaluable reality, which unfortunately is continually threatened today, which is the family.'

At the end of the message, the Pope expresses his 'lively appreciation' for the pastoral care with which the bishops guide Italian life and recalls that 'the nation which has contributed so much to building up Europe and to the diffusion of authentic values of civilization, continues to struggle with various problems and contrasts, as the weed of political terrorism has not yet been completely rooted out.'

'I am beside you,' he concludes, 'in the work that each one of you carries out in order to promote serenity and harmony in relationships between the diverse forces and political, social and institutional components. I share ' in your continual commitment to the defense of human life, the family founded on marriage, scholastic freedom and ' in the development of employment and in helping the poorest sectors of the population. I unite myself to you spiritually in order to invoke the gift of peace on all of humanity which is tormented by so many bloody conflicts. With you, I commend the Italians who died in Iraq while fulfilling their duty in the service of the Iraqi people, to the Lord.'

MESS;@;...;CEI ;VIS;20031118;Word: 470;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was the annual message from the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue to Muslims on the occasion of the end of 'Id Al-Fitr', the feast which concludes the month of Ramadan. The message, whose theme is, 'Constructing peace today,' was published in French, English, Italian. It was signed by the president of the council, Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald.

This year Archbishop Fitzgerald considers the encyclical by Pope John XXIII 'Pacem in terris,' in which the pope refers to peace as 'an edifice resting on four pillars: truth, justice, love and freedom.'

'Truth is the first pillar,' affirms the council's president, 'for it includes the recognition that human beings are not their own masters, but are called the fulfill the will of God. ' Truth moreover brings each individual to acknowledge his or her own rights, but also to recognize his or her own duties towards others.'

'Yet peace cannot exist without justice,' he continues, 'respect for the dignity and rights of each human person. It is the lack of justice, in individual, social and international relations that causes so much unrest in our world today, and brings about violence.'

Referring to love, he emphasizes that it 'implies the ability to recognize that we all belong to one human family.' Speaking about forgiveness, he says, 'is essential to the restoration of peace when conflict has broken out, for it opens up the possibility of beginning again, on a new basis, in a restored relationship. All this supposes freedom ' allows people to act according to reason and to assume responsibility for their own actions.'

The president of the council goes on to say that to the four pillars he would add prayer. He recalls what the Pope says: 'Prayer is not a form of escapism. On the contrary, it allows us to face up to reality with a strength which comes from God.'

At the end of the message, Archbishop Fitzgerald invokes God's blessing on all Muslims and their families and asks that 'this blessing be a source of comfort in particular for those who have suffered, or who are still suffering, on account of armed conflict. May the Good God give all of us the strength to be true constructors of peace.'



VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2003 (VIS) - This morning, Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao inaugurated the fifth World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is taking place in Rome from November 17 to 22 and whose theme is, 'Starting afresh from Christ. Towards a renewed pastoral care of migrants and refugees.' Two-hundred and ninety seven people from ninety-nine countries are participating in the congress.

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples referred to the 'urgency to work for a new world which is more fraternal, welcoming in solidarity, freer and more peaceful.'

Gabriella Rodriguez, who works in the office of the United Nations for Human Rights of Migrants, spoke about 'The present situation of international migrants.' The media, she said, 'have offered a distorted vision of the effects of migration, creating reactions which have negatively affected migrants.' After pointing out the dangers people who are forced to emigrate must confront, from 'illicit human trafficking, to the sexual exploitation of women and children, to forced labor,' Rodriguez indicated that it is fundamental 'to promote the use of mechanisms of information and public censure; to sensitize the media in order to eliminate the use of racist and xenophobic stereotypes.'

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, U.S.A., while speaking about people on the move, stressed that the 'Church must defend and bear witness to common fraternity. The present situation in the world has showed us the sad reality of millions of persons who have lost their right, or the opportunity to exercise their right, to stay in their own home.'

In the afternoon, a round table is scheduled in which representatives from the five continents will speak about their respective situations and consequent challenges.
Keys: ;MIGRANTS; REFUGEES;...;HAMAO ;VIS;20031118;Word: 300;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Gap, France, presented by Bishop Georges Lagrange, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law. Bishop Jean-Michel Di Falco, auxiliary of the same diocese, succeeds him.


VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches.

- Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, bishop of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

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Monday, November 17, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 15, 2003 (VIS) - Following is the text of a telegram sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, in the Holy Father's name, for the terrorist attacks this morning near two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey which resulted in 23 deaths:

'Upon learning of the attacks which took place in downtown Istanbul, the Holy Father has asked me to convey his deepest condolences to the entire nation and all the people who were affected. He asks God Almighty to welcome those who died into His kingdom and to sustain the wounded, and the families who are undergoing such a hard trial, as well as the faithful affected by this new drama which touches all men of good will. He asks God to aid volunteers and all who are comforting those grieving. The Pope makes an appeal once again to all men and women around the world to move in favor of peace and against terrorism with respect for freedom of beliefs and personal convictions, so that religion may never be the source of conflicts that bloody and disfigure humanity.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 15, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father received 8,500 participants in a pilgrimage organized by UNITALSI, which is commemorating 100 years of activity. The Italian ecclesiastical association of volunteers assists the sick during pilgrimages to international Marian shrines.

John Paul urged all the members of UNITALSI, the sick and handicapped, as well as volunteers, doctors and priests to 'keep alive the charism of your ecclesiastical association. Nourish your personal experience and work in UNITALSI by listening to the Word and prayer, with an intense sacramental life and an incessant search for the divine will. This is how one offers 'spiritual worship' pleasing to God.'

After recalling that the beginnings of the association are linked to the Marian shrine at Lourdes, the Pope affirmed: 'In an attempt to imitate Our Lady, who after accepting the 'Word made flesh' in her womb went to visit Elizabeth, make yourselves available for humble and simple service. She will always help you and in every situation she will be your sustenance.'

AC;@;...;UNITALSI ;VIS;20031117;Word: 180;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 16, 2003 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at noon with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke about the terrorist attacks which took place on Wednesday and Saturday in Iraq and Turkey, condemning once again this type of activity:

'Once again, in recent days, terrorism has carried out its evil work, particularly devastating in Iraq and Turkey. As I continue to pray for the victims, I renew the expression of my spiritual closeness to all the families who mourn their dead. I express at the same time my heartfelt solidarity to all those who are involved in taking care of the wounded and repairing the damage caused. No one can give into the temptation of discouragement or vengeance: respect for life, international solidarity, observance of the law must prevail over hate and violence.'

The Holy Father also renewed his 'firm condemnation of all terrorist activity carried out recently in the Holy Land. I must also say that unfortunately in those places the dynamism of peace seems to be at a standstill. The construction of a wall between the Israeli and Palestinian people is seen by many as a new obstacle on the road toward peaceful coexistence. In reality, the Holy Land does not need walls but bridges! Without the reconciliation of souls, there can be no peace.'

'Let us entrust the people in that part of the world to the God of mercy and peace through the intercession of Our Lady. May leaders,' he concluded, 'have the courage to return to dialogue and negotiation, thus opening up the way toward a Middle East that is reconciled in justice and peace.'

ANG;ATTACKS; IRAQ; TURKEY;...;@ ;VIS;20031117;Word: 280;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Anthony Muheria of the Prelature of Opus Dei as bishop of Embu (area 2,822,489, population 489,737, Catholics 167,983, priests 45, religious 92), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in 1963 in Kaburugi, Kenya and was ordained a priest in 1993.

- Appointed Msgr. Jose Romeo Orquejo Lazo, member of the Committee for the 'Assist' program of the Episcopal Conference, as bishop of the diocese of Kalibo (area 1,817, population 472,782, Catholics 414,671, priests 52, religious 65), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in San Jose de Buenavista, Philippines and was ordained a priest in 1975.

NER;@;...;MUHERIA; ORQUEJO ;VIS;20031117;Word: 110;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 17, 2003 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff communicated today that on November 23 at 6 p.m., Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, metropolitan archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will take possession of the title of St. Justin on Viale Alessandrino, 144, Rome.



VATICAN CITY, NOV 17, 2003 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Maylapore, Madurai and Pondicherry-Cuddalore at the end of a series of 'ad limina' visits made by bishops from India. In his speech, the Holy Father underscored the importance of a 'true spirit of solidarity in the Church and in society.'

'Like so many places in the world,' said the Pope, 'India is beset by numerous social problems. In some ways, these challenges are exacerbated because of the unjust system of caste division which denies the human dignity of entire groups of people. In this regard, I repeat what I said during my first pastoral visit to your country: 'Ignorance and prejudice must be replaced by tolerance and understanding. Indifference and class struggle must be turned into brotherhood and committed service. Discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex or ethnic origin must be rejected as totally incompatible with human dignity'.'

Afterward, John Paul II praised the many initiatives implemented by the Bishops' Conference and individual Churches 'to fight this injustice' and encouraged the bishops to 'continue to make certain that special attention is given to those belonging to the lowest casts. ' Any semblance of a caste-based prejudice in relations between Christians is a countersign to authentic human solidarity ' and a serious hindrance to the Church's mission of evangelization. Therefore, customs or traditions that perpetuate or reinforce cast division should be sensitively reformed so that they may become an expression of the solidarity reformed.'

The Holy Father then went on to speak about the new evangelization, emphasizing that it is of 'special importance in modern societies, in which large portions of the population find themselves in desperate situations often leading them to seek quick and easy solutions to complicated problems. This sense of hopelessness may explain, in part, why so many people ' are attracted by fundamentalist sects offering short-lived emotional fervor and an assurance of wealth and worldly achievement.'

'Our response to this must be one of 're-evangelization',' he continued, ' ' to show people the emptiness of such promises, while convincing them that Christ and his Body share their sufferings.' Referring specifically to the clergy, the Holy Father said that 'as men of faith, priests must not let the temptation of power or material gain distract them from their vocations, nor can they permit ethnic or cast difference to detract from their fundamental charge to spread the Gospel. ' Bishops are to love and respect their priests. Likewise, priests should love and honor their Bishops. ' Personal differences or accidents of birth must never under undermine this essential role.'

At the end, John Paul II recalled that 'a firm commitment to mutual support ensures our unity in mission which is founded on Christ himself and enables us to approach all cultures, all ideological concepts, all people of good will. ' The Church also urges the faithful to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. ' The Catholic Church in India has consistently promoted the dignity of every person and fostered the corresponding right of all peoples to religious freedom. Her encouragement of tolerance and respect of other religions is demonstrated by the many programs of inter-religious exchange which you have developed on both national and local levels. I encourage you to continue these frank and helpful discussions with those of other religions. Such discussions will help us to cultivate this mutual search for truth, harmony and peace.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 17, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences eight prelates from the Belgian Episcopal Conference:

- Cardinal Godfried Daneels, archbishop Mechelen-Brussel, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Remy Victor Vancottem, Jan De Bie, and Jozef De Kesel.

- Bishop Paul Schruers of Hasselt, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Patrick Hoogmartens.

- Bishop Paul Van den Berghe of Antwerpen.

- Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe of Brugge.

On Saturday November 15, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Three prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Joseph Anthony Irudayaraj, S.D.B. of Dharmapuri.

- Bishop Devadass Ambrose Mariadoss of Tanjore.

- Bishop Singaboyan Sebastianappan of Salem.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for the Bishops.

AP; AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031117;Word: 140;

Friday, November 14, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 14, 2003 (VIS) - Today at midday in the Holy See Press Office, the 'vademecum' or handbook of the Catholic Cultural Centers, edited by the Pontifical Council for Culture, was presented. Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the dicastery, and Bishop Giuseppe Betori, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference, spoke during the conference.

Cardinal Poupard said that the vademecum is the outcome of international meetings of the Catholic Cultural Centers 'in culturally and geographically homogenous areas.' These meetings began in 1993. 'On every occasion, in addition to offering our contribution to the promotion and development of the Catholic Cultural Centers, we listened carefully and considered the questions, needs, and expectations of each one of them. One of the first demands which was fully accepted was to create a way of communication to form a true network for these realities.'

'The Pontifical Council for Culture,' he continued, 'has published an international directory of all the Catholic Cultural centers,' which can be consulted on the dicastery's web site. The directory of Italian Cultural Centers has been published as a separate booklet.

The president of the dicastery explained that behind the denomination 'Catholic Cultural Center,' there are 'extremely diversified realities, characterized by many activities and interests' whose essential goal is 'to put the Christian faith in touch with culture and the cultures of our time, and with all related phenomena. Therefore, the relationship between faith and culture is the essential area in which all the Catholic Cultural Centers operate.'

'In order to bridge the gap between faith and culture, between the Gospel and daily experience, between the proclamation of Christ and the indifference and atheism of so many men and women of our time, the Church has made great steps, especially after the Vatican Council II and the appeal of Paul VI who in 'Evangelii nuntiandi' defined the fracture as the real drama of our age.' In addition to interventions by the Magisterium and pastors, he added, 'local action from the ground level is necessary, action which takes places locally, which values cultural traditions of every reality, which responds to the needs of a specific population.'

Bishop Betori spoke about the 'cultural project based on the Christian tradition,' which he said, 'is an initiative that the Italian Church has promoted for almost eight years and whose objective is to make a connection between the Gospel and culture.'

At present, he said, 'there are 341 registered cultural centers, 'which operate in Italy and collaborate in different ways with the national service for the cultural project.' The handbook which was presented today contains the addresses of these centers, as well as information on the 'general mission, the initiatives and cultural services they offer.' For more information, consult the web site: www.progettoculturale.it


VATICAN CITY, NOV 14, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father received participants in the eighteenth International Conference on Depression, organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.

The Pope said that 'the spread of depression has become worrying. Human, psychological and spiritual fragility is manifested through the disease, which at least in part is induced by society. It is important to be aware of the repercussions that the messages sent by the media - which exalt consumerism, the immediate gratification of one's every desire, the constant search for greater material well-being - have on people. It is necessary to propose new ways so that every person may be able to improve their own personality, cultivating their spiritual life which is the foundation of a mature existence.'

People who take care of the depressed 'must help them to rediscover their self-esteem, confidence in their own capability, interest in the future, desire to live. Therefore, it is important to help the sick, to make them feel God's tenderness, to integrate them into a community of faith and a life in which they feel loved, understood, supported, dignified, that is to love and to be loved.' On the spiritual path, he added, reading and meditating on the psalms is of great help, as well as praying the rosary, participating in the Eucharist, a 'source of interior peace.'

John Paul II emphasized that in the face of the phenomenon of depression the Church and society must 'propose to people, especially young people, models and experiences that help them to grow on the human, psychological, moral and spiritual level. The absence of points of reference will only weaken their personalities, causing them to think all behavior is of the same value. In this sense, the role of the family, the school, youth movements, and parish association is very relevant.'

'Also significant,' he concluded, 'is the role of public institutions in order to assure dignified conditions of life, especially for people who have been abandoned, the sick and the elderly. Equally necessary are policies for young people, policies which offer a reason for hope to the new generations, rescuing them from the feeling of emptiness or other dangers.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 14, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

Four prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their 'ad limina' visit.

- Archbishop Michael Augustine of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.

- Bishop Jude Gerald Paulraj of Palayamkottai.

- Bishop Antony Devotta of Tiruchirapalli.

- Bishop Peter Remigius of Kumbakonam.

- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 14, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke today at the International Seminar on Media Education: World Experiences, organized by the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP). The seminar took place in the Free University of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven (LUMSA) in Rome.

'Media education is absolutely essential in today's world,' said the archbishop,
'but I must admit that I have found opposition from two sources: the academic community and media executives.'

'Academics,' he explained, 'object because many of them don't consider media as serious. How they can overlook the profound influence that media have on youth ' is an attitude I cannot understand. Teachers can and should help young people to be critical and intelligent consumers of the media.'

'Media executives object because media education can and should make people critical, and I sometimes think that some media executives prefer couch potatoes ' those who watch entertainment and perhaps news programming without a critical eye ' and then buy most of the things that are advertised.'

'Thus, I look forward to hearing today of media education experiences around the world. We need such education and we need such shared experience.'
Keys: ;COMMUNICATION;...;FOLEY ;VIS;20031114;Word: 200;

Thursday, November 13, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 13, 2003 (VIS) - As is tradition during the month of November which is dedicated the repose of the souls of the dead, the Holy Father presided today at a Mass in the Vatican Basilica in remembrance of the cardinals, archbishops and bishops who died during the course of the last year. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, along with the other cardinals.

In the homily, the Pope said that 'the memory of the cardinals that have left us was particularly present during the recent consistory. In this moment, I remember especially: Hans Hermann Groer, Gerald Emmet Carter, Aurelio Sabattani, Francesco Colasuonno, Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, Corrado Ursi and Maurice Michael Otunga. I also remember Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid.'

John Paul II also asked those present to pray for the bishops who have died in recent months. 'It is consoling,' he said, 'to think that these venerated brothers of ours, who were zealous servants of the Gospel during their earthly life, are now in the provident 'hands' of God who has welcomed them into the eternal embrace of His love.'

'In their pastoral care, they educated the faithful,' he concluded, 'by word and example in the true and eternal values, as they themselves tried to become models for the flock entrusted to them. Therefore, we trust that the Lord will reward His faithful servants.'



VATICAN CITY, NOV 13, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday in Potsdam, Federal Republic of Germany, the Holy See and the state of Brandenburg signed an accord which regulates the relations between the Catholic Church and the state.

Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, apostolic nuncio in Germany, and Mattias Platzeck, president minister, signed the treaty for their respective states, the Holy See and Brandenburg.

'The present accord,' reads a communique made public today, 'departing from agreements with the German Reich and Prussia which are still in force ' and acknowledging the reciprocal independence of Church and State and their desire for mutual cooperation, gives a permanent code to the relations between the Catholic church and the state.'

'The twenty-five articles in the accord and related final protocol regulate various aspects of these relations, such as religious freedom and the juridical state of the Catholic Church in civil society; its freedom of activity in the cultural, educational, pastoral and charitable fields; its presence in social communication, hospitals and clinics, in preventative institutions and prisons; its responsibility for the preservation of ecclesiastical monuments; the collection of the Church tithe; financial assistance from the state for the Church. The teaching of Catholic religion in public schools and the ecclesiastical management of schools and institutions of formation at all levels will also be regulated.'

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 - Following is the telegram sent by the Holy Father to Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of the Italian Republic, after the attack this morning in Nassiriya, Iraq in which many Italian soldiers and 'carabinieri' lost their lives:

'I received with deep sorrow the news of the vicious attack in Nassiriya, Iraq in which Italian soldiers lost their lives while generously fulfilling their mission of peace. I express my firmest condemnation of this latest act of violence which, in addition to other savage acts which have taken place in that tormented country, does not aid the process of reconstruction and pacification. In lifting up my fervent prayer for the victims, I ask the Lord to grant Christian comfort to their family members to whom I feel particularly close in this hour of great sadness. I ask you, Mr. President, to convey the expression of my prayerful solidarity to the military and civilians who are at present committed to the arduous task of serving the Iraqi people.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) - Psalm 141, 'You are my refuge,' was the theme of the Pope's catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience celebrated in St. Peter's Square.

Addressing the crowd of 12,000 people, John Paul said that this psalm was the last prayer recited by St. Francis of Assisi on the night of his death in 1226. 'It is an intense supplication, marked by a series of invocations to the Lord: 'I cry to you O Lord, give heed to my cry'. ' The central part of the psalm is dominated by faith in God who is not indifferent to the suffering of the faithful.'

The psalmist, he continued, invokes God with insistence 'in the face of anguish' and begs Him to intervene by 'breaking the chains of his prison of solitude and hostility and saving him from the abyss of trial and tribulation.'

'As in other psalms of petition, the final perspective is one of thanksgiving that will be offered to God after He has heard the supplicant's prayer. ' When he is saved, the faithful will approach the Lord to give thanks in the liturgical assembly.'

The Holy Father concluded by indicating that 'the Christian tradition sees this psalm as a reference to the persecuted and suffering Christ. In this way, the hopeful goal of the psalm's petition becomes a paschal sign on the foundation of the glory of the life of Christ and of our destiny of resurrection with Him.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Orlando Antonini, apostolic nuncio in Zambia and Malawi.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, S.J., secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, spoke on behalf of the Holy See Delegation in the twenty-first Session of the Conference of European Ministers of Education, celebrated in Athens, Greece on November 10-12.

In his speech, the archbishop underscored that the session, which is on 'Intercultural Education: managing diversity, strengthening democracy, has never been more relevant. The beginning of this new millennium is characterized by the colossal occurrence of human mobility and emigration, which makes our European societies ever more multiethnic and multicultural.'

The prelate recognized the success of efforts to foster inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue which 'allows us to anticipate a vision of unity in diversity' and gives us 'hope for the future.'

'It is important,' he went on, 'to know how to appreciate the values of one's own culture; but it is also necessary to avoid transforming one's sense of cultural belonging into a barricade against others. A necessary antidote to this danger is the serene knowledge of other cultures, which is not conditioned by negative prejudices.'

The Holy See delegate emphasized the responsibility of educators to teach the 'respect for other cultures, and encourage people to discover the richness of the history and values of others. ' This inter-cultural perspective brings with it a real paradigmatic shift on the pedagogical level, passing from more or less successful models of integration and respect for diversity, to the search for living in a harmony of differences.'
Keys: ;INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION;...;PITTAU ;VIS;20031112;Word: 260;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) - Today in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, presented the program of the eighteenth International Conference on Depression, organized by the same dicastery, which is to take place on November 13-15 in the Vatican. Bishop Jose Luis Redrado, O.H., and Fr. Felice Ruffini, M.I., secretary and undersecretary respectively of the pontifical council, accompanied the cardinal.

During the presentation, Cardinal Lozano recalled that his dicastery has the duty to become familiar with present-day illnesses and 'one of the most important is depression. It has been classified as one of the main 'killer' diseases of our time.'

Referring to modern day culture which is 'devoid of values, based on well-being and pleasure, and in which economic gains count as the supreme goal,' human beings, he said, 'have not been able to escape the ghost of death' despite technological advances and scientific discovery. Sadness and fear of destruction take the upper hand. Death, he affirmed, is 'a danger that provokes fear which can turn into depression in all its forms. This is the reason why we thought it was important to reflect on a deeper level on this illness.'

Cardinal Lozano said that during the conference depression in the modern world will be examined in presentations on the following themes: depression between malaise and illness; depression and religious crisis; the suicide crisis; the media and accentuation of stress. In the second session, he continued, the following topics will be studied: the history of depression; depression, subjective moral references and objective moral references; the rejection of suffering; the search for personal well-being; the meaning of depression and the malaise seen from the Jewish, Islamic, Hindi and Buddhist perspective.

During the third session, the following themes will be considered: the welcoming of depressed people in the medical and hospital context; the role of the family and depression; the pastoral and spiritual care of the depressed and the need for a pastoral care of Christian faith and trust in life.

Among the participants in this conference is Benedetto Saraceno, director of the department of Mental Health at the World Health Organization, as well as professors and psychiatrists from all over the world and various cardinals and bishops.
Keys: ;DEPRESSION;...;LOZANO ;VIS;20031112;Word: 380;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Vicaria, Brazil, presented by Bishop Orlando Octacilio Dotti, O.F.M.Cap., in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law. Coadjutor Bishop Pedro Sbalchiero Neto, M.S. succeeds him.

Appointed Fr. Luis Morao, O.F.M., apostolic administrator 'sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis' of the Military Ordinate for El Salvador, as auxiliary bishop of Santa Ana (area 3,272, population 950,840, Catholics 821,565, priests 75, permanent deacons 1, religious 182), El Salvador. The bishop-elect was born in Treviso, Italy in 1939 and was ordained a priest in 1966.

Appointed Fr. Jacinto Inacio Flach, spiritual director of the Major Seminary in Viamao, Brazil, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre (area 18,598, population 3,304,054, Catholics 2,990,500, priests 448, permanent deacons 16, religious 2,562),), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in 1952 in Bom Principio, Brazil and was ordained a priest in 1988.

Appointed Fr. Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca, vicar general of the Military Ordinate for El Salvador, as apostolic administer 'sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis' of the same military ordinate.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received representatives from 'Solidarnosc,' the Polish trade union founded on Christian ethics and the social teaching of the Catholic Church, which included former President Lech Walesa, and Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski, head of pastoral care in the work force of the Polish Episcopal Conference.

In his speech, the Pope recalled that this meeting takes place on November 11, the anniversary of the institution of the Polish Republic in 1918. 'National freedom was regained that day,' said the Holy Father, 'after years of fighting that cost our nation so much deprivation and sacrifice. ' This exterior freedom did not last but we have always been able to call upon it in the fight to preserve interior freedom, freedom of spirit.'

Afterward, he reviewed the history of 'Solidarnosc,' which was born among those who fought against 'the programmed suppression of man's freedom, the humiliation of his dignity and the negation of his fundamental rights' and he affirmed that these principles went on to become 'the foundation for peaceful changes' in Poland. The Pope especially recalled 1979 when 'the sense of unity in the good and the common desire for prosperity in the oppressed nation prevailed over hatred and the desire for vengeance and became the seed for building a democratic state.' He then referred to 1989 when he entrusted the union, which was by then legal, to Our Lady of Jasna Gora.

Nevertheless, he observed, these events 'seem to be forgotten with time. Younger generations are not familiar with them. We could then ask ourselves if they are able to appreciate the freedom they possess, if they do not realize the price that was paid for it.' John Paul II affirmed that these events are a 'heritage which must be constantly remembered so that freedom does not turn into anarchy but rather takes on the form of common responsibility.'

The Pope, quoting from his speech to members of the union in 1981, emphasized that they had 'duties of enormous importance ' which are connected to the need for the full assurance of the dignity and efficacy of human work, through respect for the personal, familial and social rights of each person who is the subject of labor. ' Your activity has, and should always have, a clear reference to social morality.'

'Today,' he continued, 'this urgency to guarantee the dignity and efficacy of human work has not lost its importance.' He cited current problems in the labor force in Poland: unemployment, temporary work, laying off 'without any concern for the plight of employees and their families,' as well as the difference between public and private employment.

'It is necessary that your union openly defends workers who are denied the right to speak out, or to express opposition to the phenomena that violate the fundamental rights of the worker.' John Paul also recalled the issue of non-payment in Poland, defining it as 'a grave sin that cries out for vengeance from heaven,' and 'denying workers the right to rest, medical care and even maternity leave.'

At the end, the Pope warned them that in recent years the fact that the union has become politicized, 'probably due to historical necessity, has contributed to its debilitation. ' Today if Solidarnosc really wants to serve the nation, it must return to its roots ' All workers, regardless of who is in power in the country, depend on your help in defending their lawful rights.'

The gathering concluded with the Holy Father greeting the National Polish soccer team as well as players from the National Italian soccer team who will play each other tomorrow in Warsaw.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, military ordinary for Italy, as a member of the Council of the Central Office for the Coordination of the Pastoral Care of Military Ordinates, constituted within the Congregation for Bishops.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience three prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their 'ad limina' visit:

Bishop Antony Anandarayar of Ootacamund.

Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore.

Bishop Leon Augustine Tharmaraj of Kottar.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto and Fr. Michael Blume, S.V.D., president, secretary and undersecretary respectively of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, presented today in the Holy See Press Office the program of the fifth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. The congress whose theme is, 'Starting Afresh from Christ. Towards a renewed pastoral care of migrants and refugees,' will take place from November 17 to 22 in Rome.

Cardinal Hamao indicated that the congress' program includes various conferences on the current situation of migrants and refugees in the world, in addition to existing pastoral challenges, the Church's vision on human mobility, its mission in a multicultural or intercultural society and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Delegates representing the Anglican Communion, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the World Lutheran Federation and the World Council of Churches will also participate. The challenge of charity and the creation of a world that is more just, free and peaceful will be discussed. Finally, some considerations on the importance of the Eucharist, as a sign and instrument of the Christian community, will be presented.

During his speech, Archbishop Marchetto spoke about the phenomenon of migration. He recalled that there are 'almost one billion persons each year who leave their home country for work, tourism or on pilgrimage or in exile, or to escape war, afflicted by poverty or forced to seek asylum.' According to the International Organization for Migration (OIM), the United States, with 35 million people and the Russian Federation, with 13,300,000 people, are the countries with highest number of immigrants.
The secretary of the dicastery emphasized that the terrorist attacks of September 11 'have had an notable impact on migration' and their effects 'have highlighted the importance of the efficient management of immigrant waves and provoked increased awareness about the insufficiency of solely local measures.'

'It is necessary,' he continued, 'to find a solution to the difficult problem of consolidating the unity of all of humanity with the diversity of peoples, ethnicities, cultures and religions that compose it. This implies welcoming our neighbor, with a culture of dialogue and reciprocity, solidarity and peace.'

Fr. Blume then spoke about the situation of refugees today: 'There are 12 million refugees under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) and another 4 million under the United Nations Relief and Aid Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).'

He concluded by saying: 'If the pastoral care of refugees can assume different forms, according to the circumstances, its starting point should always be the comprehension of a situation in all its dimensions ' personal, social, economic, political ' in the light of the Word of God and the social doctrine of the Church.'
Keys: ;MIGRANTS; REFUGEES;...;HAMAO ;VIS;20031111;Word: 480;
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