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Thursday, March 17, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Msgr. Luigi Negri of the clergy of the archdiocese of Milan, Italy, professor of the history of philosophy and introduction to theology at the Sacred Heart Catholic University, as bishop of San Marino-Montefeltro (area 800, population 65,725, Catholics 63,130, priests 76, permanent deacons 1, religious 99), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Milan in 1941 and was ordained a priest in 1972.

 - Cardinals Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, and Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy, as members of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, librarian of Holy Roman Church, arrived in Jerusalem on March 15 to attend, as the Holy Father's representative, the inauguration of the new Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem Mausoleum. His speech, given yesterday morning, was published today.

  He assured the audience of "the spiritual closeness of Pope John Paul II, as well as the solidarity of the Catholic Church." The Pope visited Yad Vashem on March 23, 2000 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It is a monument to the memory of victims of the Holocaust and contains, among other things, several urns of ashes of victims from various concentration camps.

  "The building that we have just inaugurated," added Cardinal Tauran, "is, for the whole world, a warning, a witness and an appeal. In acknowledging the immensity of Jewish suffering, we come face to face with the obligation to be vigilant, with the need to reject indifference and with the terrifying void of a world without God."

  Quoting from the Pope's Message of January 15, 2005, for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, he stated that "Pope John Paul II repeats once again this morning to all those who are willing to listen that when we remember the 'horrible crime committed against the Jewish nation' that was the Holocaust, we do so because 'these terrible events are for contemporary men and women a summons to responsibility, in order to build our history'."

  "The Catholic Church," affirmed Cardinal Tauran, "respecting the uniqueness of Judaism and remaining linked in faith to its heritage, teaches that there is no place or reason for the hatred of Jews. This would be a sin against God and humanity."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2005 (VIS) - Today at midday, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano received, in the Pope's name, the Letters of Credence of the new ambassador from Panama to the Holy See, Lawrence Edward Chewning Fabrega.

  In his speech, a copy of which was given to the diplomat, the Pope expresses his happiness at the continuing "good understanding and close collaboration between the public authorities and the Church in Panama."

  "I am aware," the Pope writes, "of your government's concern to fight the poverty in which a part of the population still lives, establishing more favorable conditions for the creation of jobs and combating the blight of corruption. For her part, the Church has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to the true progress of people by proclaiming the Good News."

  After recalling that Panama "has already celebrated the first hundred years of republican life," John Paul II goes on to say that "the road traveled to affirm this historical and geographical identity offers reasons for hope. Solidly rooted in this identity, your country can continue to make an important contribution, favoring communication and good relations between the other peoples of the world."

  The Holy Father affirms that "now, the goals attained must be consolidated by firm commitments in order to face up to the phenomena that could endanger them. On this matter it is necessary to: Orient the investment of available resources in projects that aim to eradicate poverty and remedy the huge differences in the distribution of wealth; form the different generations in respect for the dignity of each ethnic group; improve the educational system; streamline the implementation of judicial power, and make the situation of prisoners more humane and just in order to facilitate their reinsertion into society; and finally, find the means necessary for the overall development of the men and women of Panama."

  The Holy Father concludes by expressing the desire to encourage "the government of a people with such deep Christian roots as the Panamanians, a people so welcoming and open to dialogue, to put all its efforts in achieving better conditions for the true development of the family, safeguarding the role of women in the various areas of society and generating greater opportunities for young people."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano read a message from the Pope addressed to Cardinal Renato R. Martino and to participants in the conference for the 40th anniversary of the Vatican Council II Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes." The meeting, which is being held in the Vatican from March 16 to 18, has been promoted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, of which Cardinal Martino is president.

  After recalling the theme of the conference, "The Call to Justice," the Holy Father writes that "at times, the huge advances in science and technology can result in the fundamental questions of justice being forgotten, despite a shared aspiration for greater solidarity between peoples and for a more human structuring of social relationships."

  John Paul II highlights the fact that "the sad persistence of armed conflict and recurring displays of violence in many parts of the world constitute a further proof of the inseparable relationship between justice and peace, in keeping with the fundamental teaching proposed with courageous clarity in Gaudium et Spes. On this subject, I wish to reaffirm once again that peace is the work of justice; indeed it is born from that order upon which the Divine Founder Himself wanted human society to be built."

  "How, then," the Pope asks, "can we not approve and encourage those men and women of good will who make such efforts to create conditions of greater justice in the world? Indeed, true peace on earth means the firm determination to respect others in their dignity, both individuals and peoples, and the constant will to increase fraternity among the members of the human family."

  The Pope concludes his message by referring to the need "never to forget the virtue of love that leads to forgiveness and reconciliation, and that animates Christian commitment in favor of justice. In any case, it remains unquestionable that the theme of justice is the foundation for the correct regulation of the social order."
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