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Thursday, December 2, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu, archbishop emeritus of Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 18 at age 92.

- Bishop Genaro Alamilla Arteaga, emeritus of Papantla, Mexico on November 20 at age 90.

- Bishop Danilo Catarzi, S.X., emeritus of Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo, on November 23 at age 86.

- Bishop James Corboy, S.J., emeritus of Monze, Zambia, on November 24 at age 88.

- Bishop Boleslaw Lukasz Taborski, former auxiliary of Przemysl of the Latins, Poland  on November 18 at age 87.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, as a member of the Pontifical Commission  for Latin America.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Teodoro Obiang Guema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea.

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

    - Bishop Roger Joseph Foys of Covington.

    - Bishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Knoxville.

- Bishop Ronald William Gainer of Lexington.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Archbishop John P. Foley spoke at a conference on film and spirituality which is taking place in the Free University of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven (LUMSA) in Rome. The theme of the conference is "Hybridization of man and machine, identity and conscience in post-modern film." 

  The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications emphasized that the film industry "has been able to represent effectively the anxieties and fears related to a future in which human beings must deal with the consequences of a hybridization with machines carried to the extreme, something which they themselves made possible."

  "I hope that machines built by mankind," said the archbishop, "continue to be instruments for professionals, responsible men and women, capable of leaving their imprint so that the spiritual sense of life is not lost and so that respect for all human beings is considered and may contribute to their maturity."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - Made public this morning was a Message from Pope John Paul to Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch, permanent representative of Austria to the United Nations Organizations in Geneva and president of the First Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction, which is being held in Nairobi, Kenya.

  The Message, written in French, was read today, the penultimate day of the November 29 - December 3 conference and the opening day of the high level segment of the meeting, by Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and head of the Holy See delegation.

  The Pope began by expressing his joy at the action being undertaken "to eradicate in a definitive manner this terrible scourge of modern times. ... Five years after entering into force, this Convention has become for the ratifying countries a fundamental and inescapable norm that reinforces the strict application of international humanitarian law and is a tangible proof of solidarity between nations and peoples."

   He underscored that "the Holy See, who was among the first to ratify this convention, intends to contribute in an active way to seeing to its implementation, in a sincere and constructive dialogue with the other signatory States. ... The Holy See has launched a campaign to sensitize local Churches to the problem of anti-personnel landmines, to spread information on this grave problem," and is asking for involvement and for "prayers for the victims of landmines and for the success of  this conference."

   Most important, said the Holy Father, is "the destruction of landmine stockpiles" and "the socio-economic reintegration of victims," the great majority of whom are innocent people, who are mutilated or killed. There must also be "bilateral and multilateral cooperation" between countries in order to make the correct decisions to eradicate mines. ... When States unite, in a climate of understanding, mutual respect and cooperation, to oppose a culture of death and to build confidently a culture of life, it is the cause of peace that advances in the consciences of people and all of mankind."

  The Holy Father stated that victims of landmines deserve special attention, even after stockpiles are reduced or eliminated. The international community must allot both financial and human resources to helping people become the protagonists of their own development, to rehabilitating the handicapped, and to reintegrating victims of mines into society."
  He closed with "a fervent appeal for the universalization of the Ottawa Convention, inviting the nations who hesitate to adhere to it, to join the side of peace by definitively neutralizing these engines of death."


VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II this morning received 180 members of the secular institute "Servants of Suffering," including the founder, Msgr. Pietro Galeone, and Archbishop Benigno Luigi Papa of Taranto, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its foundation. He noted that this institute "was born from an explicit wish of St. Pio of Pietrelcina with the aim of serving all those who suffer."

  "Over this period of ten years," said the Holy Father, "the institute has grown notably, becoming a vehicle of hope for so many people who are sorely tried, both physically and in spirit. You are called to proclaim the Gospel of suffering illuminated by faith." He went on to say that "looking at the clouds of physical and spiritual pain that envelop humanity, how much more necessary is the witness that you give! As 'Servants of Suffering' you are silent 'cyrenians' who help all those undergoing trials assuring them that God forgets no tears, but rather gathers them and writes them in His book."

  He urged members of the institute to "follow in the wake of Padre Pio, whose teachings are always current: be constantly inspired by them. Be apostles, like him, of prayer and suffering! Prayer illuminates the heart and makes it ready to accept suffering: suffering, welcomed with docile abandonment in God, opens the soul to understanding the pain of others."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 2, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received Teodoro Obiang Guema, president of Equatorial Guinea, and recalled his trip to that country in 1982 where "the Church, through evangelization, develops with the means at her disposal generous achievements in education, health care, and in promoting the poor."

  The Church, he said, "inspired by the Gospel, only wants to serve in promoting man's dignity, in a normal climate of freedom, cooperation, reconciliation, understanding and respect that facilitates the peaceful and fruitful execution of its spiritual and humanitarian mission."

  John Paul expressed his desire that this meeting "may contribute to mutual understanding and cordial and peaceful relations between the public authorities and the Christian community, and that they will help all citizens in their desire to improve their conditions in life, so that they may be realized as persons and as sons and daughters of God."

  "Grateful for your visit," he concluded, "I convey my best wishes for the entire Guinean people and I invoke God's blessings upon them to encourage them in their hopes and legitimate aspirations."
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