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Wednesday, November 19, 2003


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Bishop Adolfo Rodriguez Vidal, emeritus of Los Angeles, Chile, on November 9 at age 83.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy today received in audience Archbishop Rino Passigato, apostolic nuncio in Peru.

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

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

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

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