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Friday, April 30, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Nicolaus Adi Septura, M.S.C., vicar general and pastor of the Cathedral of the archdiocese of Merauke, Indonesia as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 90,000, population 235,000, Catholics 135,000, priests 33, religious 47).  The archbishop-elect was born in Purwokerto, Indonesia in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1989. The Pope accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese presented by Archbishop Jakobus Duivenoorde, M.S.C., upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, as his special envoy to the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the consecration of the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi which will take place on May 23.

- Appointed Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, C.I.C.M., secretary general emeritus of the Synod of Bishops, as his special envoy to the solemn celebrations of the 17th centenary of the martyrdom of St. Domnio, bishop and patron of the archdiocese of Split-Makarsk, Croatia which will take place in Split on May 6 and 7.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office in Vienna on Drugs and Crime, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

- Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France.

- Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
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THE HOLY FATHER SENT A MESSAGE TO PARTICIPANTS in the international conference meeting on the theme "Confronting Globalization: Global governance and the politics of development," which has been organized by the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation in Rome. He emphasizes the need for the process of globalization to be "stimulated by ethical values and aimed at the integral development of each human being and the entire human person." The Pope recalls that the challenge continues to be "giving life to integral globalization, identifying the causes of social and economic inequalities, and promoting operative decisions that ensure a future marked by solidarity and hope for all."

MADE PUBLIC TODAY WAS A LETTER BY THE POPE in which he appoints Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as his special envoy to the celebrations of the 4th centenary of the arrival  in Lithuania of the Brief  "Quae ad sanctorum" by Pope Clement VIII who authorized the celebration of the feast of St. Casimir in Poland and Lithuania. He will be accompanied by Msgrs. Gintaras Grusas and Charles Daniel Balvo, and Fr. Robertas Salasevicius, respectively secretary general of the Lithuanian Episcopal Conference, nunciature counselor and rector of the Major Seminary in St. John of Vilnius.

ON THE OCCASION OF THE 17TH CENTENARY of the death of St. Ambrose, martyr, protector and patron of the city of Ferentino, Italy together with St. Mary Salome, the Pope sent a letter to Bishop Salvatore Boccacio of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, Italy, who established a jubilee year which will end on August 1. In the Message, dated April 27, the Holy Father urges that the memory and example of this martyr saint "be for everyone an encouragement and stimulus to follow Christ in complete and docile fidelity."

JOHN PAUL II SENT BISHOP MARIANO DE NICOLO of Rimini, Italy a message for the national congress of groups and communities of Renewal in the Holy Spirit which takes place in that city from April 29 to May 2. The theme is "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create."  "I hope," says the Pope, "that Renewal in the Holy Spirit kindles more and more in the Church that interior conversion without which man resists with difficulty the temptations of the flesh and the concupiscence in the world.  Our age greatly needs men and women who, like rays of light, know how to convey the wonder of the Gospel and the beauty of the new life in the Spirit."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of May is: "That the family - founded on the marriage of a man and a woman - may be recognized as the basic cell of human society."

  His missionary intention is: "That through the motherly intercession of Our Lady Catholic people may come to regard the Eucharist as the heart and soul of missionary activity."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II this morning welcomed members of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences as it celebrates both its annual plenary session and the tenth anniversary of its founding in 1994 by the Pope. He thanked outgoing president Edmond Malinvaud and offered "cordial best wishes" to incoming president Mary Ann Glendon.

  In his address, the Pope noted that "the theme which you are presently studying - that of relations between generations - is closely connected to your research on globalization. In earlier times the care of grown children for their parents was taken for granted. The family was the primary place of inter-generational solidarity." There was, he said,  the solidarity of marriage and the married couple which extended to the children which "in turn led to solidarity between grown children and their aging parents."

  He highlighted the significant changes in inter-generational relations due to "the weakening of the marriage bond, ... and the pressures of a consumer society which cause families to divert attention from the home to the workplace or a variety of social activities. Children at times are perceived, even before birth as an obstacle to the personal fulfillment of their parents, or are seen as one object to be chosen among others."

  The Holy Father said he hoped that the academy study on this issue "will lead to a clearer appreciation of the need for a solidarity which crosses generations and unites individuals and groups in mutual assistance and enrichment."

  He emphasized the need to pay particular attention "to the precarious situation of many elderly persons, ...many of whom have insufficient resources or pensions, some suffer from physical maladies, while others no longer feel useful or are ashamed that they require special care, and all too many simply feel abandoned."

  "In meeting these challenges," said John Paul II, "every generation and social group has a role to play. ... The family, as the origin and foundation of human society also has an irreplaceable role in the building of inter-generational solidarity. There is no age when one ceases to be a father or mother, a son or daughter."


VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon John Paul II made "a pressing appeal in the name of the one God" for the release of all persons who have been kidnapped in Iraq. His appeal was delivered by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, at the end of a march late yesterday afternoon which was organized by the families of the three Italians held hostage in Iraq.

  The procession of an estimated 3,000 people departed Castel Sant'Angelo at 5 p.m., walked down Via della Conciliazione and gathered at St. Peter's Square where Archbishop Lajolo, accompanied by bishops of the dioceses of the three hostages, read the Pope's appeal.

  "I can tell you," said Archbishop Lajolo, "that this morning, the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, patroness of Italy, the Holy Father celebrated Mass for the release of the hostages held in Iraq as well as for everyone in that country who is suffering. He has entrusted them to the protection of Mary, Christ's Mother and our Mother.

  "In the name of the one God, Who will judge all of us, John Paul II renews his pressing appeal to the kidnappers to promptly return the persons kidnapped to their families.

  "He hopes that the expression of his fatherly sentiments and his encouragement will reach those taken as hostages and will continue to sustain with courage and hope their present harsh ordeal.

  "To the families and to all those close to those kidnapped by ties of affection, the Pope assures his special closeness in these moments of apprehension and anguish.

  "The Holy Father does not doubt that everything is being done and that no stone is being left unturned in order to guarantee the safety of the hostages and to secure their release as soon as possible.

  "At the same time, John Paul II thanks all those working to reestablish a climate of reconciliation and dialogue in Iraq with a view to fully recovering the country's sovereignty and independence, in conditions of security for the entire population.

  "John Paul II exhorts the beloved Catholic community in Iraq and all Christians of the country to continue to work to reestablish an atmosphere of harmony and collaboration among all religious and social groups of the country for the common good.

  "The Pope invites everyone to pray to God, Who loves the life of every person and desires no one's death, for a positive conclusion to this painful affair. At this very moment the Pope is praying in his chapel, joined to all of us in a common supplication to God."

  After reading the message, the archbishop invited all present to observe a minute of silence, following which they prayed the Our Father and sang Salve Regina.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Aliwal, South Africa, presented by Bishop Fritz Lobinger upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Archbishop-Bishop Patabendige Don Albert Malcom Ranjith, emeritus of Ratnapura, Sri Lanka and adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization for Peoples, as apostolic nuncio in Indonesia and East Timor, transferring him at the same time to the titular see of Umbriatico as archbishop.

 - Appointed Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the section of  Relations with States in the Secretariat of State, as a consultant for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 - Appointed Fr. Thomas Michel, S.J., as consultant of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- A delegation from the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

- Four prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Paul Stephen Loverde of Arlington.

- Bishop Bernard William Schmitt of Wheeling-Charleston.

- Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli of Wilmington.

- Bishop Walter Francis Sullivan, emeritus of Richmond.

- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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POPE JOHN PAUL TODAY RECEIVED HONORARY CITIZENSHIP from the city of Dubrovnik. In brief remarks the Holy Father thanked the members of the delegation from Croatia and said that this recognition is due to "the deep ties over many centuries that join Dubrovnik to the popes and it serves to recall the pastoral trip which I had the pleasure of making on June 6 last year."

THE ANNUAL MESSAGE BY ARCHBISHOP MICHAEL FITZGERALD to Buddhists around the world on their annual festival of Vesakh was published today. The theme of the message is: "Christians and Buddhists: we both regard children as the future of humanity." Archbishop Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, stresses the plight of many children without a stable family and those who are subject to all types of violence. "We, Christians and Buddhists," he writes, "cannot close our eyes to these tragic situations. As believers, we must be focused on the needs of children, in our families as well as in all of society."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2004 (VIS) - The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences starts its tenth annual plenary session today in the Vatican on the theme "Intergenerational Solidarity, Welfare and Human Ecology." Mary Ann Glendon,  whom the Pope appointed as president on March 9, will preside at the plenary which, on its concluding day, Monday, May 3 will celebrate the academy's tenth anniversary.

  Among the participants in the plenary are most of the academy's 33 members, coming from all continents, together with experts in the subject matters under discussion who have been invited to Rome. An audience with the Pope is scheduled for tomorrow.

  The Academy was founded by John Paul II in January 1994 to promote the study and progress of social sciences - in particular economy, law, political sciences and sociology - with the purpose of providing elements to the Church to deepen and develop its social doctrine. Immediately after its founding the academy decided to study four principal themes: work and employment, democracy, globalization and intergenerational solidarity.

   A communique from the academy notes that the current plenary is the first dedicated to intergenerational solidarity and its objective is to examine the implications in the social, political, economic and environmental fields of the changes in intergenerational relations. The aim of the plenary is to give a clear picture of these changes and to analyze the effects of these changes on the provisions of social services, both in countries where a welfare state is in force and those where this is either minimal or non-existent.

  The meeting will look at many questions of Catholic social thought: the concept of solidarity as a virtue, interest in the family as the 'first and most vital cell of society', interest for the weakest and most vulnerable members of the human family, attention to future generations and the principle of subsidiarity.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the Pope's Message on the occasion of the 78th World Mission Day which will be celebrated on October 17 on the theme: "Eucharist and Mission." The text was published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German.

  Following are excerpts from the Message:

  "The Church's missionary activity is an urgency also at the beginning of the third millennium, as I have often said. Mission, as I stated in the Encyclical 'Redemptoris missio' is still only beginning and we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service."

  "The social and religious challenges facing humanity in our day call believers to renew their missionary fervour. Yes! It is necessary to re-launch mission 'ad gentes' with courage, starting with the proclamation of Christ, Redeemer of every human person."

  "The International Eucharistic Congress which will be celebrated at Guadalajara in Mexico in the coming month of October, the missionary month, will be an extraordinary opportunity to grow in choral missionary awareness around the Table of the Body and Blood of Christ. Gathered around the altar, the Church understands better her origin and her missionary mandate. As the theme of World Mission Sunday this year clearly emphasises 'Eucharist and Mission' are inseparable. In addition to reflection on the bond that exists between the Eucharistic mystery and the mystery of the Church, this year there will be an eloquent reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, because of the occurrence of the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854-2004). Let us contemplate the Eucharist with the eyes of Mary."

  "Around Christ in the Eucharist the Church grows as the people, temple and family of God: one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. At the same time she understands better her character of universal sacrament of salvation and visible reality with a hierarchical structure."

  "At the end of every Mass, when the celebrant takes leave of the assembly with the words 'Ite, Missa est', all should feel they are sent as 'missionaries of the Eucharist' to carry to every environment the great gift received. In fact anyone who encounters Christ in the Eucharist cannot fail to proclaim through his or her life the merciful love of the Redeemer."

  "To live the Eucharist it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance."

  "How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support? To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist."

  "Journeying through the centuries, reliving every day the Sacrifice of the altar, the Church, the People of God, awaits Christ's coming in glory. ... The Eucharist is the comfort and the pledge of final triumph for those who fight evil and sin; it is the 'bread of life' which  sustains those who, in turn, become 'bread broken' for others, paying at times even with martyrdom their fidelity to the Gospel."

  "I hope that the happy coinciding of the International Eucharistic Congress with the 150th  anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, may offer the faithful, parishes and missionary institutes an opportunity to strengthen their missionary zeal so that in every community there may always be 'a genuine hunger for the Eucharist'."

  "This is also a good opportunity to mention the contribution offered to the Church's apostolic activity by the worthy Pontifical Mission Societies. They are very dear to my heart and I thank them, on behalf of all, for the valid service rendered to new evangelization and the mission 'ad gentes'. I ask you to support them spiritually and materially so that also through their contribution, the proclamation of the Gospel may reach all the peoples of the earth."

  Click here for full text.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2004 (VIS) - Today in the Holy Press Office there was the presentation of the Holy Father's Message for World Mission Day which will take place on October 17.  Its theme this year is "Eucharist and Mission."

  The Message was presented by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Fr. Massimo Cenci, P.I.M.E., under-secretary of the same congregation, Fr. Fernando Galbiati, P.I.M.E., secretary general of the Pontifical Missionary Works and Fr. Tarcisio Agostoni, Combonian missionary in Uganda.

  Cardinal Sepe commented on the last part of the message in which the Holy Father urges the faithful to materially and spiritually help the Pontifical Missionary Works. He then recalled the works supported by his dicastery: 280 inter-diocesan major seminaries in which 65,000 seminarians are formed; 110 minor seminaries in which 85,000 seminarians are formed; 42,000 schools; 1,600 hospitals; 6,000 medical clinics; 780 leprosariums and 12,000 social and charitable centers.

  "These social and charitable centers aim to help not only Catholics but also, in some cases, mostly non-Catholics and non-Christians." The prefect gave the example of India, "where only 6.9 percent of the population is Catholic while Catholic charities represent 27 percent all existing charitable organizations. The same can be said of Catholic schools in Arab countries: the majority of students are Muslim."

  Fr. Agostoni said that he was a missionary in Uganda for 43 years during two different periods (1951-1969 and 1980-2004) and "between 1969 and 1979 I was superior general of the Combonian Missionaries throughout the world. Sixty-five percent of them are in mission territories."

  "Today Africa is at a crossroads.  Should they go back to ancient traditions illuminated by the proverbs or be dominated and invaded by decadent Western culture?  I think that the ideal situation would be a harmonious culture of African traditions purified by evangelical leaven and the life of the Gospel."


VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2004 (VIS) - Bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Baltimore and Washington in the United States were welcomed today by the Holy Father as they end their "ad limina" visit. The Pope noted that, in his meetings with U.S. prelates this year, he "is reflecting on the mystery of the Church and, in particular the exercise of the episcopal ministry."

  He dedicated today's talk to the "munus sanctificandi,"  the sanctifying mission of all bishops, which "finds its source in the indefectible holiness of the Church. Because 'Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her', she has been endowed with unfailing holiness and has become herself, 'in Christ and through Christ, the source and origin of all holiness'. This fundamental truth of the faith ... needs to be more clearly understood and appreciated by all the members of Christ's Body, for it is an essential part of the Church's self-awareness and the basis of her universal mission."

  "At the same time," said the Holy Father, "the holiness of the Church on earth remains real yet imperfect. Her holiness is both gift and call, a constitutive grace and a summons to constant fidelity to that grace. The Second Vatican Council ... reaffirmed that 'all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity' and it invited every member of the Church to an honest recognition of sin and the need for constant conversion along the path of penance and renewal."

  John Paul II emphasized that "the challenge set before us (as bishops) and before the whole Church" is that "the life of every Christian and all the structures of the Church must be clearly ordered to the pursuit of holiness. ... The pursuit of personal holiness must be central to the life and identity of every Bishop.  He is to recognize his own need to be sanctified as he engages in the sanctification of others."

  He underscored that a bishop must be an attentive "hearer of the word of God, ... one who contemplates" and "also a teacher of contemplation." His prayer must be nourished by the Eucharist, adoration before the tabernacle, regular recourse to Penance and the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours.

  The Pope spoke at length of the importance of "the adoption of a lifestyle which imitates the poverty of Christ. ... I encourage you and your brother Bishops to undertake such a discernment with regard to the practical exercise of the episcopal ministry in your country, in order to ensure that it will be seen ever more clearly as a form of sacrificial service in the midst of Christ's flock."

  The Holy Father concluded with remarks on "the inseparable relationship between holiness and the Church's mission. As essential part of the new evangelization must therefore be a renewal of faith and Christian life."
  Click here for full text.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 28, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The meeting began on April 26 and concludes May 7.

  In opening remarks, the archbishop said that, although this Treaty "has contributed to international peace and security, there is still much to accomplish," especially because the Treaty's integrity and good faith application are being challenged today. "The NPT promised a world in which nuclear weapons would be eliminated and nuclear technological cooperation for development would be widespread."

  "The current geo-political environment," stated the nuncio, "especially considering the threat posed by global terrorist networks acquiring weapons of mass destruction, requires us to reinforce these commitments. At the same time, it is becoming obvious that nuclear business as usual cannot continue." 

  He then outlined three concerns: 1)    Nuclear-weapon States have not given evidence of fulfilling their obligations related to the elimination of their nuclear arsenals; 2) Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties have Article II obligations which include not receiving, transferring, manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons yet "it is becoming clear that peaceful (use of nuclear energy) can be too easily diverted into weapons programs"; 3) "Yet another problem is posed by States which remain outside or withdraw from the NPT."
  Archbishop Migliore reiterated the Holy See position that "a 'peace' based on nuclear weapons cannot be the peace we seek in the 21st century. ... A global dialogue is necessary" which "should be multilateral, informed by public opinion and the views of expert analysts." He affirmed Holy See support for "an international conference to identify ways to eliminate nuclear dangers, such as those explicitly mentioned in the U.N. Millennium Declaration."


VATICAN CITY, APR 28, 2004 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke about the second part of Psalm 26, "The prayer of the persecuted innocent." It is, he said, "a song of faith raised to the Lord on the dark day of assault by the wicked."

  "But even now, as in the first part of the psalm, the decisive element is the faith of the supplicant in the Lord Who saves us in times of trial and sustains us in tribulation."

  The Holy Father said that there are three symbolic elements in the psalm. "The first, which is negative, is the nightmare of the enemies ... described as false witnesses who breathe violence out of their nostrils. ... There is an aggressive evil in the world whose inspiration and guide is Satan."

   John Paul II said that the second image "clearly illustrates the serene confidence of the faithful, even when abandoned by their parents." In this context, he urged that these words of the psalm be a consolation to the elderly, the sick and those who are lonely, "so that they feel the fatherly and motherly hand of the Lord who silently and lovingly touches their faces which are sad and perhaps wet with tears."

  The Pope indicated that the third and last element which is repeated various times in the psalm is: "'Seek His face.  I will seek your face, Lord!  Do not hide your face from me.'  The face of God is the goal of the supplicant's spiritual search. ... In the language of the psalms 'seek the Lord's face' is often synonymous with entering the temple to celebrate and experience communion with God. ... In liturgy and in personal prayer, we obtain the grace to envision that face that we will never be able to directly see during our earthly existence."

  In concluding remarks at the audience, the Holy Father recalled that tomorrow is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, patron of Italy and Europe. "May the example of this great saint help everyone to persevere in the faith and to bear generous witness to Christ
and His Gospel in every moment."
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Monday, April 26, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, presented by Cardinal Desmond Connell upon having reached the age limit. Coadjutor Archbishop Diarmuid Martin succeeds him.

 - Appointed Bishop Claudio Stagni, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bologna, Italy, as bishop of Faenza-Modigliani (area 1,044, population 121,000, Catholics 116,000, priests 134, permanent deacons 3,  religious 219), Italy. 

  It was made public on Saturday April 24 that the Holy Father:

  - Elevated Msgr. Jan Kocis, protosyncellus of the Apostolic Exarchate for Catholics of the Byzantine Rite resident in the Czech Republic, to the dignity of bishop.

 - Appointed Sr. Enrica Rosanna, F.M.A., of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" of the Daughters of Mary, Our Help, as undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Nine prelates from the United States Bishops Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Leonard James Olivier, S.V.D., Kevin Joseph Farrell, and Francisco Gonzalez Valer, S.F.

    - Cardinal William Henry Keeler of Baltimore, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Gordon Dunlap Bennett, S.J., William Francis Malcoly, and William Clifford Newman.

    - Bishop George Vance Murry of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

  On Saturday April 24, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Carlos Abella y Ramallo, ambassador of Spain, accompanied by his wife on his farewell visit.

- Bishop Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura, accompanied by family members.

-  Archbishop Josef Michalik of Przemysl, Poland.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 26, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning received representatives of the National Association of Italian Municipalities which has gathered to celebrate the centenary of Giorgio La Pira, whom the Pope called "an eminent figure in politics, culture and spirituality of the last century."

  He noted that La Pira worked "for the cause of fraternal coexistence among nations," in particular "to favor friendship between the peoples whose reference is Abraham - Hebrew, Christian and Islamic." And he thanked the association for their tangible gift in La Pira's memory of "concrete aid for the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem."

  "Before the leaders of the world," said the Holy Father, Giorgio La Pira "set forth with firmness his ideas as a believer and as a man who loved peace, inviting his interlocutors to a common effort to promote this basic good in various spheres: in society, politics, the economy, cultures and among religions." The Pope added that, in an October 1964 letter to his friend Amintore Fanfani, a former Italian prime minister, La Pira "wrote words of a surprising actuality: 'Politicians are civil guides to whom the Lord entrusts, through the changing technologies of the times, the mandate to lead peoples towards peace, unity, and the spiritual and civil promotion of each people and of everyone together'."

  In closing, John Paul II urged the mayors present today to follow La Pira's example and "place yourselves generously at the service of your communities, with special attention to the younger generation. ... Thanks to everyone's contribution, the dream of a better world can become a reality."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 25, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Square, John Paul II beatified a priest, four women religious and a lay woman: Servants of God Augustus Czartoryski, Laura Montoya, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, Nemesia Valle, Eusebia Palomino Yenes and Alexandrina Maria da Costa.

  When speaking about Polish Blessed Czartoryski of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, the Pope recalled that this young prince "presented all his questions and doubts to God in prayer and then in a spirit of obedience followed the advice of his spiritual guides. In this way, he understood his vocation to live poverty in order to serve the least of his brethren." The Holy Father especially urged young people to learn from the new blessed "to ardently ask for the light of the Holy Spirit and prudent guides through prayer" in their lives.

  John Paul II noted that Colombian Blessed Laura Montoya, "realizing that so many indigenous people who lived far from big cities did not know God, decided to found the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena, in order to bring the Gospel to those who live in the jungle. ... Inspired by her peaceful message, we pray to her today so that the beloved nation of Colombia may soon enjoy peace, justice and integral progress."

  "Blessed Guadalupe Garcia Zavala from Mexico, who renounced marriage," he continued, "dedicated herself to the service of the poor, needy and sick, and founded the Congregation of the Servants of St. Margaret Mary and of the Poor. With deep faith, boundless hope and a great love for Christ, Mother Lupita sought holiness through love for the heart of Jesus and in fidelity to the Church."

  The Pope went on to say that the mission of Italian Blessed Nemesia Valle, virgin, of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Charity of St. Jeanne-Antida Thouret was "to show God's love to the needy, the poor and to all human beings in every corner of the earth. ... She is an example of luminous holiness, aiming for the high summits of evangelic perfection, and translated into the simple gestures of daily life entirely dedicated to God."

  The Spanish Salesian Eusebia Palomina Yenes, of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, "was driven by love for the Eucharist and for Our Lady.  What was important to her was to love and to serve; the rest did not matter. ... In a radical way and while adhering to her opinions, she forged a fascinating and demanding path of sanctity for all of us and especially for the young people of our age."

  The Holy Father concluded by speaking about Portuguese Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, lay person, of the Union of Salesian Cooperators. He emphasized her "strong will which accepted everything in order to show her love for God. ... She mystically relived Christ's passion and offered herself as a victim for sinners, receiving strength from the Eucharist which was her only sustenance during the last thirteen years of life."

  At the end of the Mass and before praying the Regina Coeli, John Paul II greeted pilgrims in their respective languages. Speaking in Polish about Blessed Czartoryski, he said, "For me it is a great joy to be able to welcome the Blessed's family to the Vatican on this occasion. I am very close to Poland as former bishop of Krakow, and especially to the prelate Stanislaw Czartoryski."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 24, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father this morning received 210 young people from the archdiocese of Rouen in France, accompanied by the diocesan administrator, Fr. Christian Nourrichard.

   "You came to Rome," the Pope told the priests, seminarians, religious and lay faithful, "to live a week of retreat and fraternal life. I especially pray for those of you who will be confirmed on Monday. I invite you to make this pilgrimage a time of spiritual  enrichment. You will be able to discern the will of the Lord who wishes to help you lead a beautiful life; your interior life will have new impetus. Do not be afraid of opening your heart and allowing Christ to speak to you. Learn to regularly make time for prayer and for mediating on the Gospel."
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Friday, April 23, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 23, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation to the pastoral care of the diocese of Rancagua, Chile, presented by Bishop Francisco Javier Prado Aranguiz, SS.CC., upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 23, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect6 of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 23, 2004 (VIS) - "Redemptionis Sacramentum, On Certain Matters To Be Observed Or To Be Avoided Regarding The Most Holy Eucharist," the document from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, was presented today at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office by Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation. Also present was Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which collaborated in preparing this document.

  The document consists of an Introduction, 8 Chapters and a Conclusion, divided into 186 paragraphs.

  Chapter I, "The Regulation of the Sacred Liturgy," speaks of the role of the Apostolic See, the diocesan bishop, the episcopal conference, priests and deacons in the regulation of the liturgy, drawing particular attention on "The Diocesan Bishop, High Priests of His Flock." Para 22 states: "The Bishop governs the particular Church entrusted to him and it is his task to regulate, to direct, to encourage, and sometimes also to reprove; this is a sacred task that he has received through episcopal ordination, which he fulfills in order to build up his flock in truth and holiness."

  Para 24 adds. "It is the right of the Christian people themselves that their diocesan bishop should take care to prevent the occurrence of abuses in ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and devotion to the saints."

  Regarding episcopal conferences, Para 28 states: "All liturgical norms that a conference of bishops will have established for its territory in accordance with the law are to be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the 'recognitio', without which they lack any binding force."

  In the section on priests, Para 31 says: "...They ought not to detract from the profound meaning of their own ministry by corrupting the liturgical celebration either through alteration or omission, or through arbitrary additions."

 Chapter II is entitled "The Participation of the Lay Christian Faithful in the Eucharistic Celebration." Para 36 notes that "the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical Priesthood, though they differ in essence and not only in degree, are order to one another, for both partake, each in its own way, of the one Priesthood of Christ."

  Para 42 clarifies: "Nor is the Eucharistic Sacrifice to be considered a "concelebration", in the univocal sense, of the Priest along with the people who are present. On the contrary, the Eucharist celebrated by the Priests 'is a gift which radically transcends the power of the community'. . . . The community that gathers for the celebration of the Eucharist absolutely requires an ordained Priest, who presides over it so that it may truly be a eucharistic convocation. On the other hand, the community is by itself incapable of providing an ordained minister. ... Accordingly, terms such as 'celebrating community' or 'celebrating assembly' (in other languages 'asamblea celebrante', 'assemblée célébrante', 'assemblea celebrante') and similar terms should not be used injudiciously."

  On the question of altar servers, Para 47 states: "It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of comprehension.  Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these.  Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers. Whenever such associations are international in nature, it pertains to the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to establish them or to approve and revise their statutes.  Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms."

    Chapter III, "The Proper Celebration of the Mass," highlights "The Matter of the Most Holy Eucharist" in Para 48: "The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition" and in Para 50 "The wine that is used in the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances."

  Para 52 underscores that "the proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer, which by its very nature is the climax of the whole celebration, is proper to the Priest by virtue of his Ordination."

  Para 59 affirms: "The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy."

  Para 62 continues: "It is also illicit to omit or to substitute the prescribed biblical readings on one's own initiative, and especially "to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God".

  The instructions states in Para 64 that a homily is given by a priest, occasionally by a concelebrating priest or deacon "but never by a lay person."

  At the moment of the sign of peace being extended before Holy Communion, says Para 72, "It is appropriate 'that each one give the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner'. 'The Priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so as not to disturb the celebration."

   This Chapter concludes with Para 79: "Finally, it is strictly to be considered an abuse to introduce into the celebration of Holy Mass elements that are contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books and taken from the rites of other religions."

   Chapter IV, "Holy Communion," includes the Dispositions for the Reception of Holy Communion, including Para 81: "The Church's custom shows that it is necessary for each person to examine himself at depth  and that anyone who is conscious of grave sin should not celebrate or receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession, except for grave reason when the possibility of confession is lacking; in this case he will remember that he is bound by the obligation of making an act of perfect contrition, which includes the intention to confess as soon as possible."

  "On First Communion of Children," Para 87 states: "The First Communion  of children must always be preceded by sacramental confession and absolution.  Moreover First Communion should always be administered by a Priest and never outside the celebration of Mass."

  Concerning the reception of communion, the document notes the right of all the faithful to receive it in the mouth or by hand. In this latter case, notes Para 92, "in areas where the Bishops' Conference with the 'recognitio' of the Apostolic See has given permission, ... special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand."

  Para 101 states: "In order for Holy Communion under both kinds to be administered to the lay members of Christ's faithful, due consideration should be given to the circumstances, as judged first of all by the diocesan Bishop." Para 104 underscores the prohibition: "The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand:"

  In Chapter V, "Certain Others Matters Concerning the Eucharist," it is underscored in Para 109  that "It is never lawful for a Priest to celebrate in a temple or sacred place of any non-Christian religion." Para 112 states "Except in the case of celebrations of the Mass that are scheduled by the ecclesiastical authorities to take place in the language of the people, Priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin."

  Regarding the sacred vessels, Para 117 states in part: "Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate."

  On priestly vestments, it says that "the vestment proper to the priest celebrant at mass ... is the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole. Likewise the Priest, in putting on the chasuble according to the rubrics, is not to omit the stole." Para 142 says: "A faculty is given in the Roman Missal for the Priest concelebrants at Mass other than the principal concelebrant (who should always put on a chasuble of the prescribed color), for a just reason such as a large number of concelebrants or a lack of vestments, to omit the chasuble, using the stole over the alb."

  Chapter VI is entitled "The Reservation of the Most Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Worship Outside Mass."  Para 130 states: "The Most Holy Sacrament is to be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church that is noble, prominent, readily visible, and adorned in a dignified manner. ... It should also be borne in mind that removing or retaining the consecrated species for a sacrilegious purpose or casting them away are graviora delicta, the absolution of which is reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."

  The Instruction recommends "both public and private devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist even outside Mass should be vigorously promoted, for by means of it the faithful give adoration to Christ, truly and really present."

  "Extraordinary functions of the Lay Faithful is the title of Chapter VII which recalls in Para 151 that "Only out of true necessity is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy." Para 153 adds. "Furthermore, it is never licit for laypersons to assume the role or the vesture of a Priest or a Deacon or other clothing similar to such vesture."

  Para 158 states: "Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged."

  In the question of preaching, Para 161 notes that "the homily on account of its importance and its nature is reserved to the Priest or Deacon during Mass." Para 162 adds:  "Therefore when it is difficult to have the celebration of Mass on a Sunday in a parish church or in another community of Christ's faithful, the diocesan Bishop together with his Priests should consider appropriate remedies. Among such solutions will be that other Priests be called upon for this purpose, or that the faithful transfer to a church in a nearby place so as to participate in the Eucharistic mystery there."

  In Para 164 we see that "if participation at the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible on account of the absence of a sacred minister or for some other grave cause,  then it is the Christian people's right that the diocesan Bishop should provide as far as he is able for some celebration to be held on Sundays for that community under his authority and according to the Church's norms. Sunday celebrations of this specific kind, however, are to be considered altogether extraordinary. ... (Para 165)  It is necessary to avoid any sort of confusion between this type of gathering and the celebration of the Eucharist."

  Para 167 underscores that "similarly it is unthinkable on the Lord's Day to substitute for Holy Mass either ecumenical celebrations of the word or services of common prayer with Christians from the ... Ecclesial Communities or even participation in these communities' liturgical services."

  With respect to "Those Who Have Left the Clerical State," they are "prohibited from exercising the power of order.  It is therefore not licit for him to celebrate the sacraments under any pretext whatsoever save in the exceptional case set forth by law,  nor is it licit for Christ's faithful to have recourse to him for the celebration, since there is no reason which would permit this according to canon 1335."

  In Chapter VII, entitled "Remedies," it is recalled in Para 171 that "Among the various abuses there are some which are objectively graviora delicta or otherwise constitute grave matters, as well as others which are nonetheless to be carefully avoided and corrected." Bearing in mind everything that is treated especially in Chapter I of this Instruction, attention should be paid to what follows.

  Para 172 says the "'Graviora delicta' against the sanctity of the Most August Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Eucharist are to be handled in accordance with the Norms concerning 'graviora delicta' reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,  namely:
 a) taking away or retaining the consecrated species for sacrilegious ends, or throwing them away;
b) the attempted celebration of the liturgical action of the Eucharistic Sacrifice or the simulation of  the same;
c) the forbidden concelebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice with ministers of Ecclesial Communities that do not have the apostolic succession nor acknowledge the sacramental dignity of priestly Ordination;
d) the consecration for sacrilegious ends of one matter without the other in the celebration of the Eucharist or even of both outside the celebration of the Eucharist.

 Para 175 underscores that "the things set forth in this Instruction obviously do not encompass all the violations against the Church and its discipline that are defined in the canons, in the liturgical laws and in other norms of the Church for the sake of the teaching of the Magisterium or sound tradition. Where something wrong has been committed, it is to be corrected according to the norm of law."

   The Diocesan Bishop, says the document, in Para 177, "Since he must safeguard the unity of the universal Church, the Bishop is bound to promote the discipline common to the entire Church and therefore to insist upon the observance of all ecclesiastical laws. He is to be watchful lest abuses encroach upon ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the Word,  the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and the veneration of the Saints.".

  Para 179 affirms: "Delicts against the faith as well as graviora delicta committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which 'examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law'. "

  "Any Catholic," says Para 184, "whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ's faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.  It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity."

  In concluding, Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Sorrentino, both of whom signed the document, expressed the hope that by the diligent application of those things that are recalled in this Instruction, human weakness may come to pose less of an obstacle to the action of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, and that with all distortion set aside and every reprobated practice removed,  through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, "Woman of the Eucharist", the saving presence of Christ in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood may shine brightly upon all people."

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VATICAN CITY, APR 23, 2004 (VIS) - Today at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, presented the congregation's document on the liturgy entitled "Redemptionis Sacramentum." Also present was Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which collaborated in preparing this document.

  In opening remarks Cardinal Arinze spoke of both the positive and negative developments on the liturgy that had occurred since Vatican Council II, stating, however, that abuses in liturgy have occurred over the years and "have been a motive of anguish for everyone." He said "there has been a temptation to think that paying attention to abuses is a loss of time, that they have always existed and will always exist. ... This can lead us into error. Abuses relative to the Holy Eucharist do not all have the same weight. Some threaten to make the sacrament invalid. Others show a lack of eucharistic faith. Others yet contribute to spreading confusion among the people of God and to taking the sacred out of Eucharistic celebrations. Abuses are not to be taken lightly."

  Archbishop Sorrentino underscored that "the Instruction does none other than reiterate existing norms." He said that "the request for the observance (of these norms) does not involve any ban to study more deeply and to propose, as happened in the history of the 'liturgical movement' and still today normally occurs within the sphere of theological, liturgical and pastoral studies. What is absolutely excluded is making liturgy a free zone for experimentation and personal choices, not justified by any good intentions."

  For his part, Archbishop Amato referred to the doctrinal meaning of the Instruction, saying that "liturgical norms are the concrete expression of the ecclesiality of the Eucharist. The oneness and indivisibility of the Eucharistic Body of the Lord implies oneness of His Mystical Body, which is the Church, one and indivisible."

  "The Instruction," he concluded, "should arouse in the Church a healthy curiosity and a generous welcome, to contemplate with renewed stupor this great mystery of our faith and to give incentives to appropriate Eucharistic behavior and attitudes."


VATICAN CITY, APR 23, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul today welcomed the members of the Italian group Circolo San Pietro and told them that "the mission you fulfill with admirable apostolic zeal is very precious. By going out to help the poor, bringing aid to the sick and suffering, you witness in a concrete way to that "'creativity in charity' to which I invited people in the Apostolic Letter 'Novo millennio ineunte'."

  The Pope thanked them for their annual donation for Peter's Pence, saying that this gift "is a further sign of this openness to our brothers in difficulty And it is, at the same time, a concrete anticipation in the commitment of the Apostolic See to answer the growing urgencies of the Church, especially in the poorest countries."

  In expressing his gratitude, the Holy Father remarked that their commitment is also "animated by a convinced fidelity and adhesion to the Successor of Peter. You nourish this every day in prayer and listening to the Word of God. It is important that your life is centered around the mystery of the Eucharist. The secret of the efficacy of our every prayer is fidelity to Christ."
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Thursday, April 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Jose Francisco Sanches Alves, auxiliary of Lisbon, as bishop of Portalegre-Castelo Branco (area 9,150, population 252,942, Catholics 251,324, priests 114, permanent deacons 12, religious 209), Portugal. He succeeds Bishop Augusto Cesar Alves Ferreira da Silva, C.M., whose resignation the Holy Father accepted in conformity with Canon 401, para 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Manuel Neto Quintas, S.C.I., auxiliary of Faro, Portugal, as bishop of the same diocese (area 5,071, population 391,819, Catholics 340,000, priests 62, permanent deacons 7, religious 106). He succeeds Bishop Manuel Madureira Dias whose resignation to the pastoral care of this diocese was accepted by the Holy Father in conformity with Canon 401, para 2 of he Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Antonio Augusto dos Santos Marto, auxiliary of Braga, Portugal, as bishop of Viseu (area 3,400, population 293,445, Catholics 278,773, priests 176, religious 168), Portugal.

- Appointed Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, apostolic nuncio in Belarus, as apostolic nuncio in Ukraine.

- Appointed Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio in Algeria and Tunisia, as apostolic nuncio in Madagascar and the Seychelles, and apostolic delegate in the Comore Islands and in La Reunion.

- Appointed Archbishop Thomas Yeh Sheng-nan, apostolic nuncio in Sri Lanka, as apostolic nuncio in Algeria and Tunisia.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences:

- Andreas Khol, president of the Austrian Parliament, with his wife and an entourage.

- Cardinal Ricardo Maria Carles Gordo, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain.

- Bishops Wilton Daniel Gregory of Belleville, U.S.A. and William Stephen Skylstad of Spokane, U.S.A., and Msgr. William P. Fay,  respectively president, vice president and secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 21, 2004 (VIS) - On Tuesday, April 27 at 11 a.m., Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, O.F.M., metropolitan archbishop of Seville, Spain, will take possession of the title of Santa Maria in Montserrato degli Spagnoli on Via Giulia in Rome, according to an announcement by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.


VATICAN CITY, APR 21, 2004 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls, in a statement to journalists yesterday afternoon, said that "the Holy Father, on the occasion of the May 23 centenary of the synagogue in Rome, will send as his personal representative to the scheduled ceremony Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, accompanied by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity."


VATICAN CITY, APR 21, 2004 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke about Psalm 26, "Faith in God in the face of danger."

  John Paul II pointed out that the key theme of this psalm "is faith in God, in good times and in bad."  The first part, he said, "is marked by great serenity, based on faith in God on the dark day of the assault of the wicked."

  "The life of the believer," he continued, "is often filled with tensions and trials, sometimes even to the point of rejection and persecution. The behavior of the just causes annoyance because it serves as a reminder to the pompous and perverse."

  The Holy Father indicated that "the faithful are conscious that following God's law isolates them and even provokes scorn and hostility in a society that often chooses personal advantage, outward success, wealth, wanton enjoyment as a reference point.  Nevertheless, they are not alone and their heart possesses a surprising inner peace because - as the splendid opening antiphon of the psalm says - 'the Lord is light and salvation, He defends the life' of the just. ... However, inner peace, fortitude of the soul and peace are gifts that are obtained while finding refuge in the temple, while resorting to personal and community prayer."

  "The Lord," he ended, "creates a horizon of peace around the faithful, a horizon which protects them from evil. Communion with God is a source of serenity, joy, peace; it is like entering into an oasis of light and love."
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Tuesday, April 20, 2004


POPE JOHN PAUL II will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, April 25 at 10 a.m. during which he will proclaim six new Blesseds: Augusto Czartoryski, priest of the Salesians of St. John Bosco (1858-1893); Laura Montoya, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and of St. Catherine of Siena (1874-1949); Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, virgin, co-foundress of the Handmaids of St. Margaret Mary and of the Poor (1878-1963); Nemesia Valle, virgin, of the Congregation of Charity of St. Joan Antida Thouret (1847-1916);  Eusebia Palomino Yenes, virgin, of the Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (1899-1935); Alexandrina Maria da Costa, lay woman, of the Union of Salesian Cooperators ( (1904-1955).

CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO, SECRETARY OF STATE, sent a Message to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan and president of the Giuseppe Toniolo Institute of Higher Studies, on the occasion of the 80th Day of the Catholic University, which will be celebrated on Sunday, April 25 on the theme "Youth and Universities, Protagonists for A Better World." This Institute was authorized 80 years ago by Pope Pius XI to promote this special day. The cardinal wrote, in part: "Today we feel the need to invest once again in study, research and in deepening one's knowledge of culture, to promote the spiritual and ethical quality of mankind. In this an indispensable contribution is offered by the religious dimension of man, capable of conferring unity on speculative investigation, starting with reflections on the meaning of life and of history."

THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HANDING OVER of the Cross to young people by Pope John Paul, will be marked on Thursday, April 22 in the San Lorenzo International Youth Center in Rome at 5 p.m. with speeches, a round table discussion, the projection of the video "The Pilgrim Cross" and a concluding talk by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Fr. Francis Kohn, head of the youth section of this council which organizes World Youth Days, will also address the assembly.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 20, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter from the Holy Father to Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation, which will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in October.

  In the letter, dated February 22, the Pope notes that Communion and Liberation is present in 70 countries and proposes a faith "experience that profoundly changes people's lives because it promotes a personal encounter with Christ. ... This half century has been marked by a much-suffered counteroffensive to the ruling ideologies, by a crisis of utopian projects, and more recently, by a widespread tendency toward relativism, skepticism and nihilism which risk extinguishing the desires and hopes of new generations."

  John Paul II expresses the desire that this anniversary will help members of the movement to renew "the enthusiasm of its origins.  It is important to be faithful to the charism from the beginning  in order to be able to respond effectively to the concerns and challenges of the times."

  "The original pedagogical intuition of your movement is precisely to propose Christianity once again, seen as a source of new values which are capable of guiding one's entire life in an attractive way and in tune with modern culture. It is necessary and urgent to help others to know Christ in order that He become the greatest reason for living and working as modern men."

  The Pope concludes the message by asking Our Lord to allow these fifty years to offer to everyone in the movement an opportunity "to begin again refreshed and to approach the new apostolic duties of the third millennium with renewed enthusiasm. May this jubilee year be a providential occasion to deepen our knowledge of Jesus, His person and His message of salvation."


VATICAN CITY, APR 20, 2004 (VIS) - Participants in the annual plenary assembly of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, whose president is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, were welcomed this morning by Pope John Paul.

  In his address, the Pope noted that the members have gathered once again "to study more deeply a very important topic: the relation between the Bible and morals. This is a theme that regards not only believers, but in a certain sense every person of good will. In fact, through the Bible, God speaks and reveals Himself and indicates the solid basis and certain orientation for human behavior."

  He went on to say that "knowing God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, recognizing His infinite goodness, knowing with a grateful and sincere soul that 'all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights', discovering in the gifts that God has given us the duties that He has entrusted to us, acting in full awareness of our responsibilities in His regards - these are some of the fundamental behaviors of Biblical morality."

  "The duty of your common commitment," said the Pope in closing, "is to facilitate for the Christian people access to this treasure."

Monday, April 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 19, 2004 (VIS) - In recent weeks, the following prelates died:

- Bishop Fernando Claudio Gamalero Gonzalez of Escuintla, Guatemala on March 19 at age 73.

- Bishop Zbigniew Jozef Kraszewski, former auxiliary of Warszawa-Praga, Poland on April 4 at age 82.

- Bishop Antonio Monteiro Ramos, O.F.M.Cap,  of Viseu, Portugal on April 4 at age

- Bishop Martin  Joseph Neylon, S.J., emeritus of the Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia on April 13 at age 84.

- Archbishop Joseph Salame, emeritus of Alep of the Maronites, Syria on March 29 at age 89.

- Bishop Vincenzo Savio S.D.B., of Belluno-Feltre, Italy on March 31 at age 59.

- Bishop Jesus J. Sison, emeritus of Tarlac, Philippines, on March 27 at age 85.

- Bishop Guillaume Marie Van Zuylen, emeritus of Liege, Belgium on April 3 at age 94.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 19, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Jose Roberto Ospina Leongomez, rector of the St. Joseph Major Seminary in Bogota, Colombia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 3,423, population 4,140,000, Catholics 3,546,186, priests 1,251, permanent deacons 42,  religious 4,862).  The bishop-elect was born in 1947 in San Miguel de Sema, Colombia and was ordained a priest in 1972.

  On Saturday, April 17, is was made public that the Holy Father appointed Suzanne Cory, professor of Medical Biology of the University of Melbourne, Australia and director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Parkville, Victoria, Australia, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 19, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

- Archbishop Rino Passigato, apostolic nuncio in Peru.

- Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela, president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference.

  On Saturday, April 19, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Joaquim Alberto Chissano, president of the Republic of Mozambique.

- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, APR  19, 2004 (VIS) - On  Friday, April 23 at 11:30 in the Holy See Press Office there will be the presentation of the Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments "'Redemptionis Sacramentum', on several things that must be observed and avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist."

  Presenting the document will be Cardinal Francis Arinze, and Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation, and Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Also present will be Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative texts.


VATICAN CITY, APR 19, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall in the presence of the Holy Father, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the postulators of the respective causes, 15 new decrees were promulgated. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation, read a discourse about the lives of the Blesseds and Servants of God.

  The decrees concern the following causes:


- Blessed Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, Chilean, priest of the Society of Jesus (1901-1952).

- Blessed Felice Da Nicosia, Italian, ne Giacomo Amoroso, professed lay member of the Order of the Friars Minor Capuchin (1715-1787).

- Venerable Servant of God Pierre Vigne, French, priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament (1670-1740).

- Venerable Servant of God Jean du Sacre Coeur, French, ne Leon Gustave Dehon, founder of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Dehonians) (1843-1925).


- Servants of God Jose Tapies Sirvant, Spanish (born 1869), and six companions: Pascual Araguas Guardia (1899), Silvestre Arnau Pascuet (1911), Jose Boher Foix (1887), Francisco Castell Brenuy (1866), Pedro Martret Moles (1901) and Jose Juan Perot Juanmartí, French (1877), all priests of the diocese of Urgel, Spain, murdered due to hatred of the faith during the religious persecution in Spain in 1936.

- Servant of God Maria de los Angeles Ginard Marti, Spanish (1894), religious of the Congregation of Sisters, Zealous of Eucharistic Devotion, killed due to hatred of the faith during the religious persecution in Spain in 1936.


- Servant of God Francesco Maria Greco, Italian, priest and founder of the Congregation  the Little Sisters, Workers of the Sacred Hearts (1857-1931).

- Servant of God Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, Argentine, priest (1840-1914).

- Servant of God Silvio Gallotti,  Italian, priest (1887-1927).

- Servant of God Felice Prinetti, Italian, priest of the Congregation of the Oblates of Our Lady and founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Joseph (1842-1916).

- Servant of God Candelaria de San Jose, Venezuelan, nee Susana Paz Castillo Ramirez, religious and foundress of the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of the Third Order, now known as the Carmelite Sisters of Mother Candelaria (1863-1940).

- Servant of God Teresa del Corazon Inmaculado de Maria, Spanish, nee Teresa Guasch y Toda, religious, co-foundress of the Congregation of the Teresian Carmelite Sisters of St. Joseph (1848-1917).

- Servant of God Maria della Passione di Nostro Signore Gesu Cristo, Italian, nee Maria Grazia Tarallo,  religious of the Institute of the Sisters, Crucified Adorers of the Eucharist (1866-1912).

- Servant of God Mary Anne Barbara Cope, known as "Mother Marianne of Molokai," German, religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Syracuse, New York (1838-1918).

- Servant of God Maria del Pilar Cimadevilla y Lopez-Doriga, Spanish child (1951-1962).
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VATICAN CITY, APR 19, 2004 (VIS) - "The Philippines is truly a 'light' for the evangelization of the Asian continent," said John Paul II this morning during a meeting with the new ambassador of the Philippines, Leonida L. Vera, who presented her Letters of Credence to him.

  The Pope recalled that the Philippines "has kept the Christian faith strong" despite obstacles, and that the experience of World Youth Day, celebrated in Manila in 1995, "was an example of your Nation's desire to exercise this responsibility"of preserving the values of its heritage and extending the ideals of Christian culture in the world.

  Referring to the serious problem of poverty in the Philippines, and in Asia in general, the Pope said that in order "to deal with poverty effectively every sector of society must work together in search of solutions."

  The Holy Father went on to speak about capital punishment since it is currently a topic of national debate in the country. "I would reiterate that the ends of justice in today's world seem better served by not resorting to the death penalty. ... While civil societies have a duty to be just, they also have an obligation to be merciful."

  In light of the spread of violence in the Philippines, the Pope made an appeal to all parties "to end the terrorism which continues to cause so much suffering to the civilian population, and to embrace the path of dialogue which alone will enable the people of the region to create a society that guarantees justice, peace and harmony for all."

  "Building a society based on human dignity can only be achieved when those in authority espouse the principles of right governance and honesty in their personal and public lives and offer unconditional service to their fellow citizens for the common good.  Public servants, therefore, have an especially grave obligation to ensure that they are role models of moral behavior and do their best to help others form a correct conscience which at all times shuns any type of graft or corruption. These qualities of genuine leadership are of special concern as your country prepares for the coming elections. ... I am confident that the good will of those involved in the elections will lead to a stronger nation, truly based on equity and justice for all."


VATICAN CITY, APR 18, 2004 (VIS) - After praying the Regina Coeli today, John Paul II told the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square that he is "following with great sadness the tragic news that is coming from the Holy Land and Iraq. May the bloodshed of our brothers cease! Such inhuman acts are contrary to the will of God.

  "I am especially close in thought and prayer to the families of those living in trepidation for the fate of their dear ones, especially of all those who have been taken hostage.

 "I invite the kidnappers to show sentiments of humanity. I beg them to return to their families the persons who are in their hands while I pray to the all-merciful God  for the peoples of the Holy Land and Iraq and for all in those regions who are working for reconciliation and peace."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 18, 2004 (VIS) - During reflections this morning with the large crowd of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Regina Coeli with him, Pope John Paul reflected on Christ's legacy to us from the Cross of pardon and divine mercy, pointing out that today, the Second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

 "From high on the Cross on Good Friday Jesus bequeathed us pardon as His testament: 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do'. Tormented and derided, he invoked mercy on his killers. His open arms and his pierced heart thus became the universal sacrament of the paternal tenderness of God Who offers everyone pardon and reconciliation. The day of His Resurrection, the Lord, appearing to His disciples, greeted them: 'Peace unto you', and He showed them His hands and His side which bore the signs of His passion."

  "Jesus," underscored the Holy Father, "is our peace because He is the perfect sign of Divine Mercy. He infuses in the human heart, which is an abyss always exposed to the temptation of evil, the merciful love of God."

   "Today is Divine Mercy Sunday," said the Pope. "The Lord invites us to bring His peace to everyone, based on His pardon and the remission of sins. This is an extraordinary gift, that He wished to link to the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation. How much mankind needs to feel the efficacy of God's mercy in these times marked by growing uncertainty and violent conflicts!"
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VATICAN CITY, APR 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the talk given on April 8 by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations at Geneva, at the 60th session of the Commission on Human Rights. The meeting began on March 15 and will run to April 23.

  "The vast and growing phenomenon of human mobility reaches into the tens of millions today: every country, of origin, transit and arrival, is directly affected by it. These masses on the move are actors of globalization and development through the contribution of their culture, their work and the remittances they send home" but problems arise when "their presence in a new environment is the result of forced expulsions and violent conflicts, ... (as) in the case of trafficked and smuggled persons."

  "Among the  violations of migrants' rights, traffic in humans is the worst," stated the archbishop. "It involves up to one million persons transported annually across national borders. It  is carried out for various types of exploitation of children, women and men, subjecting them to slave-like conditions in work, sexual abuse and begging, thus stripping people of their God given dignity and fuelling instead corruption and organized crime. Trafficking has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry."

  Archbishop Tomasi noted the presence of international organisms to combat such violations, adding that there was need also "for regional mechanisms and national legislation to eradicate this scourge." He also said that "clear legal protection for victims must be assured," suggesting that "temporary residence permits be issued to the victim as an encouragement to cooperate with the judicial system but also as a possible opening for social integration in the host society."


VATICAN CITY, APR 17, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the Holy Father's Letter to Msgr. Walter Brandmueller, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding by Pope Pius XII on April 7, 1954.

  In the Message, dated April 16, the Pope highlighted the importance of cultivating
"serious historical knowledge in the different fields in which the life of the individual and of the community is carried out. ... Ignorance of our past always leads to crisis and to a loss of identity of individuals and communities."

  "Historical research, free of prejudices and linked uniquely to scientific documentation has an irreplaceable role in breaking down barriers among peoples.  Often, great barriers have been built up throughout the centuries due to partiality of historiography and of reciprocal resentment. The consequence has been that even today misunderstandings persist which are an obstacle to peace and fraternity among men and peoples."

  John Paul II affirms that the Church "is extremely interested in an ever-deeper knowledge of history. With this purpose, today more than ever accurate teaching of Church history is necessary for candidates to the priesthood, as the Vatican Council II Decree 'Optatam totius' recommended. In order to study Church tradition properly, however, a solid knowledge of Latin and Greek is indispensable. Without these languages, it is impossible to access the sources of ecclesiastical tradition. Only with their help, is it possible to rediscover even today the richness of the experience of life and faith that the Church, especially under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has accumulated in the past 2000 years."


VATICAN CITY, APR 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Pope this morning received participants in the international congress of the Christian Union of Associations Among and For Italian Migrants, saying that, through them, he wished to greet all Italian migrants spread throughout the world.

  "You work," the Holy Father noted, "in numerous Christian emigrant associations, well inserted into parish communities, in a spirit of generous and fraternal collaboration. For this I rejoice, and I encourage you to always cultivate the religious dimension of your associations, to keep alive the values inherited from your ancestors and to transmit them to the new generations. In this way you offer an important contribution to evangelization. This, in fact - as has been true in the past, and is in our time - is closely linked to the phenomenon of migration. Make sure that your faith is always accompanied by a witness of fraternal love and active attention to those in difficulty."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 17, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning welcomed to the Vatican Joaquim Alberto Chissano, president of Mozambique and also president of the African Union and, addressing him in Portuguese, pointed to the "serious challenges and great hopes of this continent, whose peoples are always in my heart and whom I greet at this Easter time of the Resurrection."

  He wished the president well in his undertakings and asked "the heavenly Spirit to watch over the great human family and to arouse in the hearts of  all people peace and the gift of life. May God bless your family and the entire people of Mozambique. May He bless Africa and all those who help it!"

Friday, April 16, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 16, 2004 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission will hold its annual Plenary Assembly from April 19 to 23 in Vatican City's Domus Sanctae Marthae under the presidency of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Fr. Klemens Stock, S.J. secretary general of this commission, will lead the work sessions. The theme of the plenary  is the relationship between the Bible and morals. Each member has been asked to prepare a contribution which will serve as a basis for the assembly's discussion.


VATICAN CITY, APR 16, 2004 (VIS) - The Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, which was founded in 1954 by Pope Pius XII to "promote historical research through international collaboration," marked its 50th anniversary on April 7 and has organized three major events to commemorate this golden jubilee.

   In the first of the three events, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano will celebrate Mass today at 5:30 p.m. in the basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso at Rome's Piazza della Cancelleria. Following Mass, the cardinal will preside at a solemn official act in the Room of the Hundred Days in the Palazzo della Cancelleria, during which Msgr. Walter Brandmueller and Fr. Cosimo Semeraro, respectively president and secretary of the PCSS, will speak.

  The second commemorative service will take place later this year with the solemn presentation of two books linked to the life and times of the pontifical committee as well as a round table discussion. The third anniversary event, a study seminar on the theme of  the Historiography of Christianity in the last 50 years, will take place at the end of the jubilee year.

  When Pius XII instituted this committee 50 years ago, says a communique from the PCSS,  it was at the invitation of the then-president of the International Committee for Historical Sciences, asking the Holy See to become part of this organization. In welcoming this invitation, the PCSS was born, following in the footsteps of the earlier Cardinals' Commission for Historical Studies, which had been instituted by Pope Leo XIII following the opening of the Vatican Secret Archives.

  The tradition established in 1954 by Pius XII, who called upon eminent scholars from various countries representing the different disciplines of historical sciences, continues today.

  The communique adds that, "since historical sciences must face the ever growing problem of ignorance of the classical languages that is starting to threaten their very existence, the PCSS is taking upon itself the duty of stopping this unfortunate void; a historical science that, instead of basing itself directly on the Latin and Greek sources, trusts only more or less reliable traditions, can not be considered serious and this would involved, at the same time, the end of western culture and learning itself."


VATICAN CITY, APR 16, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, after the strenuous liturgical ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter, took a welcome breather from a heavy schedule yesterday afternoon when he left the Vatican for an unannounced excursion of several hours to Altipiani di Arcinazzo, a fir tree-covered area of plains and mountains 60 kilometers east of Rome.

  Located in the Italian region of Lazio, Altipiani di Arcinazzo is known for its two peaks, Mount Altuino and Mount Scalambra and for its archeological ruins, including the vast and imposing ruins, now undergoing restoration, of the villa of Roman Emperor Trajan. The nearby town of Arcinazzo Romano is home to about 1,500 people.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 15, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation to the pastoral care of the apostolic vicariate of Bontoc-Lagwe, the Philippines, presented by Bishop Francisco F. Claver, emeritus of Malaybalay, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Cornelio Galleo Wigwigan as apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagwe (area 4,616, population 302,062, Catholics 199,343, priests 30, religious 23), the Philippines. Bishop-elect Wigwigan was born in Sabangan, the Philippines in 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1966.

- Appointed as members of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura Cardinals Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Peter Erdo and Jean-Louis Tauran.
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