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Tuesday, October 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2004 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Oscar Felix Villena, emeritus of San Rafael, Argentina, on October 8 at the age of 87.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2004 (VIS) -  The Holy Father appointed:

-  Bishop Christopher Cardone, O.P. of Gizo, the Solomon Islands, as bishop of Auki (area 4,234, population  122,620, Catholics 35,220, priests 18, religious 15), the Solomon Islands. He succeeds Bishop Gerard Francis Loft whose resignation was accepted in conformity with Canon 401, para 2 of the Code of Canon Law

- Bishop Arnold Orowae, auxiliary of the diocese of Wabag, Papua New Guinea as coadjutor bishop of the same diocese (area 10,790, population  260,000, Catholics 68,000, priests 18, religious 45).
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Bishops Wilton Daniel Gregory of Belleville and William Stephen Skylstad of Spokane, and Msgr. William P. Fay, respectively president, vice president and secretary general of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

- Franjo Zenko, ambassador of Croatia on his farewell visit.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2004 (VIS) - Delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, led by Rabbi Shar Yishuv Cohen and the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, headed by Cardinal Jorge Mejia, started three days of meetings and dialogue on October 17 in Grottaferrata, Italy. Participants have been discussing the theme, "A Common Vision of Social Justice and Ethical Behavior."

  The following statement to the press was issued today after the meeting:
  "1. We are not enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of human society.

  "2. Jerusalem has a sacred character for all the children of Abraham. We call on all relevant authorities to respect this character and to prevent actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that reside in Jerusalem and hold her dear.

  "3. We call on religious authorities to protest publicly when actions of disrespect towards religious persons, symbols and Holy Sites are committed, such as the desecration of cemeteries and the recent assaults on the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. We call on them to educate their communities to behave with respect and dignity towards peoples and towards their attachment to their faith."

  According to a communique published yesterday afternoon, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews and Riccardo Segni, chief rabbi of Rome, will analyze the state of Jewish-Catholic dialogue during the first session today at 6 p.m. of a seminar on Catholic-Jewish dialogue that has been organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University.

  Pope Paul VI established the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews on October 22, 1974. In commemoration of that event. Cardinal Kasper, accompanied by  Cardinal Mejia and a delegation of the commission, will visit Rome's synagogue on Friday October 22 during which the Jewish community will gather for the celebration of Shabbat.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II today welcomed Bishop Jan Bernard Szlaga and 300 faithful from the diocese of Pelplin in Poland, and in his remarks to them noted that the purpose of their pilgrimage is to pray for the beatification of Servant of God, Bishop Konstantyn Dominik.

  "It is right," he told his fellow countrymen, "that through prayer you seek to support the process of recognizing his holiness, a process that began in 1961. This is an important contribution because it gives witness to the veneration enjoyed by this candidate to the honors of the altar, and at the same time it creates a spiritual atmosphere of openness to grace that prepares conditions for miraculous interventions. May the faithful pastor of your diocese continue to guard these with special care."
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