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Wednesday, March 31, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 31, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Francis Xavier Dilorenzo of Honolulu, U.S.A. as bishop of Richmond (area 86,071, population 4,674,975, Catholics 208,008, priests 201, permanent deacons 34, religious 61), U.S.A.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 31, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul sent a Message to the participants in the Eighth International Youth Forum, whose meeting started today in Rocca di Papa near Rome on the theme "Young People and the University: Witnessing to Christ in the University World." The youth will join the Pope tomorrow afternoon in St. Peter's Square and again when their meeting concludes on April 4 for the Palm Sunday Eucharistic celebrations in the square. The Message is dated March 25.
  "It is important in our age," he writes, "to rediscover the bond that unites the Church to the world of higher education. For the Church not only played a decisive role in founding the first universities, but throughout the centuries she has been a workshop of culture, and continues in the same direction today through the Catholic universities and various forms of presence in the vast world of higher education."

   "In the university," he tells the students, "you are not only recipients of services, but you are the true protagonists of the activities performed there. ... Fortunately, the influence of ideologies and utopias fomented by the messianic atheism that had such an impact in the past on many university environments has waned considerably today. But there are also new schools of thought, which reduce reason to the horizon of experimental science alone, and hence to technical and instrumental knowledge, sometimes enclosing it within a sceptical and nihilistic vision. These attempts to evade the issue of the deepest meaning of existence are not only futile; they can also become dangerous."

  "Jesus is the truth of the universe and of history, the meaning and the destiny of human existence, the foundation of all reality! It is your responsibility, you who have welcomed this Truth as the vocation and certitude of your lives, to demonstrate its reasonableness in the university environment and in your work there. ... But if your faith is linked merely to fragments of tradition, fine sentiments or a generic religious ideology, you will certainly not be able to withstand the impact of the environment you are in. You must therefore seek to keep your Christian identity steadfast, and rooted in the communion of the Church."

  Pope John Paul urged the young people to persevere in prayer, play an active part in Church life and "build the Church within your Universities, as a visible community which believes, prays, gives account for our hope, and lovingly welcomes every trace of good, truth and beauty in University life."

  Click here for text:


VATICAN CITY, MAR 31, 2004 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke about a canticle, the "Hymn of those who are saved," in Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Revelation.

  The Holy Father explained that this canticle "depicts a glorious heavenly scene.  At the center of this hymn is the throne of God, Whose name is not even invoked out of veneration. Later, a lamb, a symbol of the risen Christ, appears on the throne. ... Around these figures is the chorus of the heavenly court."

  "This assembly of the People of God sings a hymn to the Lord exalting 'the glory, honor and power' that were manifested in the act of the creation of the universe. At this point, a symbol of particular importance is introduced, a 'biblion' or book in Greek, which is completely inaccessible: there are seven seals that prevent it from being read." 

  John Paul II indicated that this book "contains a series of divine decrees that must be fulfilled in the course of human history so that perfect justice may reign. If the book remains sealed, these decrees will not be known or carried out and evil will continue to be spread and to oppress believers. This is why authoritative intervention is necessary by the immolated and risen Lamb. ... Christ is the great interpreter and lord of history."

  "Christ has been 'immolated' and with His blood He has 'saved' all of humanity from the power of evil.  His redemption has not only the function of saving us from our past of evil but also of cleansing our wounds and relieving us of our miseries. Christ gives us a new interior life."

  The Pope concluded by affirming that "referring to the words that God proclaimed on Mt. Sinai - 'you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation' - the hymn emphasizes that the people of the redeemed God is made up of kings and priests who must guide and sanctify all of creation. It is a consecration that has its origin in the Paschal mystery of Christ and takes place during baptism. This is where an appeal to the Church to recognize its dignity and mission comes from."
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio in Haiti, as apostolic nuncio in Cuba.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

    - Archbishop John Clement Favalora of Miami, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Felipe de Jesus Estevez.

    - Bishop John Kevin Boland of Savannah.

    - Bishop Norbert M. Dorsey, C.P., of Orlando, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Thomas Gerard Wenski.

    - Bishop Gerald Michael Barbarito of Palm Beach.

- Bishop-elect Alberto Ricardo da Silva of Dili, East Timor.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2004 (VIS) - On Friday, April 2 at 11:30 a.m. in the Holy See Press Office, there will be a presentation of the book "Spiritus et Sponsa," Acts of the Commemorative Day of the 40th Anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy "Sacrosanctum concilium" (Rome, December 4, 2003).

  Those who will speak at the presentation include Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Fr. Juan Javier Flores Arcas, director of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St. Anselm (Rome), and Msgr. Giuseppe Liberto, choir master of the Pontifical Musical Chorus.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2004 (VIS) - On March 24 Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,  Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland, addressed the 60th session of the Human Rights Commission on Item 7: The Right to Development.  The session began March 15 and ends April 23.

  He began by stating that the Holy See views the current discussion "as an especially important and timely dialogue within the United Nations at this time when the gap between incomes in the richest and poorest countries seems widening. Globalization has allowed the emergence of a true planetary conscience more sensitive to injustice, to poverty, to discrimination, to degradation of the environment."
  "The Declaration on the Right to Development adopted by the General Assembly in 1986 is unique among other international human rights standards in that it identifies the individual person as the focus and beneficiary of the right, with the State as the primary duty bearer. At the same time, it makes an explicit connection between this right and the obligation for international cooperation to assist individual States in their duties as the primary promoter and protector of the individual's right to development."

   Globalization "imposes greater responsability on the international community" in allocating resources to help those people who, as Pope John Paul notes, are "perhaps the majority today, (and who) do not have the means which would enable them to take their place in an effective and humanly dignified way within a productive system in which work is truly essential."

   The nuncio underscored that "the interdependence of rights and responsibilities among individuals, families, the State and international community is a frequent theme in the social teaching of the Holy See. ... However, we believe that States have the primary responsibility to promote, protect and implement the Right to Development."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 30, 2004 (VIS) - Following is the schedule of Holy Week activities to be presided over by John Paul II:

SUNDAY, April 4: Palm Sunday and Our Lord's Passion. 19th World Youth Day on the theme: "We want to see Jesus." At 10:00 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father will bless palms and olive branches and, at the end of the procession, will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Passion.

THURSDAY, April 8: Holy Thursday. In St. Peter's Basilica at 9:30 a.m., the Holy Father will preside at the concelebration of the Chrism Mass with cardinals, bishops, diocesan and religious priests present in Rome, as a sign of the close union between the pastor of the universal Church and his brothers in the priestly ministry. The Easter Triduum of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection begins in the Vatican Basilica at 5:30 p.m. with the Mass of Our Lord's Last Supper. The Holy Father will preside at the concelebration of the Mass. After the homily, the rite of the washing of the feet of 12 priests will take place. During this rite, those present will be invited to give alms for sick children in Rwanda and Burundi. The sum collected will be given to the Holy Father at the presentation of the gifts. At the end of the celebration the Blessed Sacrament will be transferred to the chapel of reposition.

FRIDAY, April 9: Good Friday. The Holy Father will preside at the celebration of the Passion of Our Lord in the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m. He will lead the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum at 9:15 p.m. and, in conclusion, will speak to the faithful and will impart his apostolic blessing.  This year, the meditations have been entrusted to Fr. Andre Louf of Belgian, a Cistercian monk of strict observance who was responsible for the publication of the writings of the Flemish mystics. After 35 years as abbot of the monastery of Notre Dame de Mont-des-Cats, France, he retired to a hermitage in the south of France where he currently resides, dedicating prayer and study to the Fathers of the Church.

SATURDAY, April 10: The Easter Vigil will begin at 7:00 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, when the Pope will bless the new fire in the atrium of the church. After the entrance procession with the Easter candle and the singing of the "Exultet," he will preside at the Liturgy of the Word and the baptismal and eucharistic liturgies, which he will concelebrate with the cardinals.

SUNDAY, April 11. At 10:30 a.m., John Paul II will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Square, after which he will impart the "Urbi et Orbi" ("to the city and the world") blessing. 

Monday, March 29, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 29, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

    - Archbishop John Francis Donoghue of Atlanta.

    - Bishop Robert Joseph Baker of Charleston, accompanied by Bishop emeritus David Bernard Thompson.

    - Bishop Peter Joseph Jugis of Charlotte, accompanied by Bishop emeritus William George Curlin.

    - Bishop Francis Joseph Gossman of Raleigh.

- Msgr. Ambrose Madtha, nunciature counselor, charge d'affaires "ad interim."

  On Saturday, March 27,  the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians, Ukraine.
- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

- Archbishop Arturo Antonio Szymanski Ramirez, emeritus of San Luis Potosi, Mexico

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of  the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 29, 2004 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received the president and members of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and told  them that "your visit is yet another sign of the bonds of friendship between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church, bonds which we hope will grow ever stronger."

  This committee was founded in 1914 with the purpose of assisting Palestinian Jews caught in the throes of World War I. Throughout the years, the JDC has helped millions of Jews in 85 countries.  Its mission is to serve the needs of Jews throughout the world, particularly where their lives as Jews are threatened or made more difficult.

  "God has created man," continued the Pope, "in His image and has endowed human beings with the capacity to love. It is through love that we fulfill our destiny to act in the likeness of God. From this stems our duty to serve one another according to the commandment found in the Book of Leviticus: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.'  We are called especially to serve those who need our help to live in security, justice and freedom."
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 28, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul II, in reflections made today before reciting the Angelus at noon with the faithful in St. Peter's Square, referred to his Lenten Message this year which centered on the precarious situation of countless children in the world who are victims of illness, lack of education and hunger, and asked the faithful to listen to "the anguished appeal" for help by these children.

  He stressed that many children suffer not only from malnutrition and "worrisome sanitary deprivations" but lack "even the minimum necessary for survival." In addition, he said, "in several places of the world, especially the poorest countries, there are children and adolescents who are victims of a horrible form of violence: they are enlisted to fight in the so-called 'forgotten conflicts'. They undergo in fact a scandalous double aggression: they become both victims and at the same time protagonists of the war, overcome by the hatred of adults. Deprived of everything, they see their future threatened by a nightmare that is difficult to remove.

  "These little brothers and sisters of ours who suffer hunger, war and illness," he said, "are making an anguished appeal to the world of adults. May their silent cry of pain not go unheard! Jesus reminds us: 'Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me'."

  After reciting the Angelus, John Paul II noted that almost "ten years have passed since April 7, 1994 when in Rwanda serious clashes broke out between Hutu and Tutsi, culminating in genocide where hundred of thousands of people were barbarically killed. Let us pray to the Lord that such a tragedy never happens again." He encouraged the people and civil and religious leaders of Rwanda, and the international community, to "not be discouraged" and to work to bring peace to the Great Lakes region.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Marcel Madila, rector of the John Paul II University Seminary of Kinshasa, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Kananga (are3a 33,000, population 2,200,000, Catholics 1,320,000, priests 159, religious 294), Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bishop-elect Madila was born in 1955 in Demba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and was ordained a priest in 1981.

- Appointed Fr. Andrzej Dziuba, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Gniezno and teacher of moral theology at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University of Warsaw, as bishop of Lowicz (area 5,806, population 606,414, Catholics 604,354, priests 370, religious 566), Poland. He succeeds Bishop Alojzy Orszulik whose resignation the Pope accepted upon having reached the age limit. Bishop-elect Dziuba was born in 1950 in Zegocin, Poland and was ordained a priest in 1975.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, spoke on March 22 during the 60th session of the Human Rights Commission during the debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. This session started March 15 and ends April 23.

  In his talk, which was published today, the nuncio noted that "the wound of racism keeps returning to poison human relations. The forms taken by contemporary manifestations of racism are evident in spontaneous, officially tolerated or sometimes institutionalized behavior. In recent events intolerance, based on the idea of group superiority on the basis of the group's origin or attributed characteristics, provokes new violence and death, ethnic cleansing, refugee flows and untold misery."
  In the ongoing fight against racism, affirmed Archbishop Tomasi, "the cornerstone remains the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with its principles of equality without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

  "The challenge now facing us is to implement the growing body of directives protecting human rights and aiming in particular at the elimination of every form of racism and related intolerance. ... The achievement of these objectives has to begin from an attitude of acceptance of the ''other' and of a genuine appreciation of the multiplicity of gifts that human groups and cultures contribute to the work of the human family."

  In concluding remarks, the archbishop said that "the struggle against racism and all forms of intolerance stands a chance of success when human dignity and equality are recognized as the true foundation of social relations."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004  (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace today published the itinerary for the pastoral visit to Mexico of council president, Cardinal Renato Martino.

  His trip, which starts tomorrow and ends April 2, will include the inauguration of the Third World Congress of Families in Mexico City on March 29 and a speech to the congress on Wednesday, March 31. The aim of the world congress, says a council communique, "is to sensitize the government for concrete legislative and social initiatives in defense of the family, the primary and basic cell of society."

  On March 29 the cardinal will speak to students and teachers at the Iberoamericana University on the Church's commitment in favor of the poor. He will speak again on poverty in the afternoon to academicians of the Research Institute on Sustainable Development and Social Equity at this same university.

  On March 30 Cardinal Martino will visit the Minister for Social Development, dedicating special attention to the problems of indigenous peoples and will visit one of their towns, Aquixtla, near Puebla.

  The head of the pontifical council will address the World Congress of Families on Wednesday, March 31 on "The Family, Culture and Globalization." The following day, he will meet with the bishops of Mexico and members of the Episcopal Commission for Social Ministry and, in the afternoon, with the Mexican Institute of Social Doctrine. Before his departure on April 2, Cardinal Martino will meet with the Mexican Minister of Labor and Social Security.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - This afternoon the Pope celebrated Mass in the Paul VI Hall for the faithful of the Roman parishes St. John of the Cross, St. Felicity and the Seven Brothers Martyrs and Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria.

  In the homily, the Holy Father said that the parishioners had prepared for this gathering by reflecting on the "pastoral priorities and the most urgent and important apostolic challenges." They arrived at the conclusion that "for incisive Christian witness in today's world promoting fraternal communion among all members of the parish is indispensable."

  "A united parish," he continued, "in which the diversity of ministries and charisms is respected, shows its face as an embracing family, uniquely inspired by the desire to announce and bear witness to the Gospel! Continue on this path, dear brothers and sisters!"

  John Paul II reiterated his invitation to "set out into the deep" and urged the faithful "to worry about those who are far from the faith, in addition to those who are believers. In the first place, take special care of families and young people. May the privileged objective of your evangelical activity be the pastoral care of young people. ... Furthermore, never tire of nurturing vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life with prayer and example. ... In addition, be attentive to the spiritual and material needs of your brothers and sisters, near and far. In this respect, I thank you for the commitment that every community wanted to show me today in adopting a child in another country."

  After urging them to allow themselves to be "conquered by Christ," he concluded by saying: "May His word of salvation and merciful love penetrate your consciences and guide you in your daily decisions. ... It is necessary to spread the Gospel to many people who are waiting for it perhaps without even knowing it. Christ is counting on you.  Do not let Him down!"
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning received the participants in the course on the internal forum that is organized each year by the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary, headed by the major penitentiary, Cardinal James Francis Stafford.

   When the new "Rite of Penance, so rich in biblical, theological and liturgical references," entered into force in Italy thirty years ago, said the Holy Father, "the Church placed in our hands an opportune aid to live the Sacrament of pardon in the light of the Risen Christ."

  John Paul II noted that "the fruit of this   sacrament is not only the remission of sins, necessary for who has sinned. It also performs an authentic "spiritual resurrection', restores the dignity and the good of the life of the children of God, the most precious of which is friendship with God. It would be illusory to desire to reach holiness, according to the vocation that each one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and sanctification," that, together with the Eucharist, "accompanies the path of the Christian towards perfection."

  "Penance, by its nature," he explained, "involves purification, in both the acts of the penitent who lays bare his conscience because of the deep need to be pardoned and reborn, and in the effusion of sacramental grace that purifies and renews."

  The Pope stated that "Penance is a sacrament of enlightenment. ... Those who go to confession frequently and do so with the desire to make progress, know they have received in this sacrament, through pardon from God and grace from the Spirit, a precious light for the path of perfection."

  "Finally," he said, "the Sacrament of Penance achieves a 'unifying encounter with Christ'. Progressively, from confession to confession, the faithful feel an ever deeper communion with the merciful Lord - up to fully identifying with Him - that one has in that perfect 'life of Christ' in which true holiness consists."

  The Holy Father underlined that this Sacrament "is also a gift for us priests who, called to exercise the sacramental ministry, also ask to have our sins pardoned. The joy of pardoning and being pardoned go hand in hand."

  "All confessors," he concluded, "have the great responsibility to exercise this ministry with benevolence, wisdom and courage. Their duty is to make lovable and desirable this encounter which purifies and renews us on the path to Christian perfection and on our pilgrimage to our home."
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Friday, March 26, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Rev. Canon Kevin John Dunn of the clergy of the archdiocese of Birmingham, episcopal vicar for the religious of this archdiocese, as bishop of Hexham and Newcastle (area 7,700, population 2,515,442, Catholics 223,060,  priests 223, religious 230, permanent deacons 2), England. He succeeds Bishop Michael Ambrose Griffiths O.S.B., whose resignation was accepted by the Pope upon having reached the age limit. Bishop-elect Dunn was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1950 and was ordained a priest in 1976.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences:

- Three prelates of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference:

    - Bishop Peter William Ingham of Wollongong.

    - Bishop Christopher Henry Toohey of Wilcannia-Forbes.

    - Bishop Gerard Hanna of Wagga Wagga.

- Rev. Dr. William Chris Hobgood, general minister of the Disciples of Christ, with his wife, and Rev. Dr. Robert L. Welsh, president of the Council on Christian Unity, with his wife.

- Archbishop Raffaelo Funghini, president of the Court of Appeals of Vatican City, with family members.

- Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - The Eighth International Youth Forum will take place at  the Centro Mondo Migliore (Center for a Better World) in Rocca di Papa near Rome from Wednesday, March 31 to Sunday, April 4. The Forum is organized by the Youth Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and each bishops' conference is asked to send two young delegates, as are other ecclesial movements, associations and Catholic groups involved in the university world.

  The theme this year is "Youth and University: Witnessing to Christ in the University World." Four days of work sessions, with guest speakers from every continent, will precede the participation of the young people in the Palm Sunday 19th World Youth Day celebrations in St. Peter's Square with Pope John Paul. The theme of this world day is "We Wish to See Jesus."

  On Thursday April 1, in their first encounter with the Pope, the estimated 300 Forum participants will join other young people from the diocese of Rome as they meet with the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square.

  Previous International Youth Forums were held in Buenos Aires (1987), Santiago di Compostela (1989), Czestochowa (1991), Denver (1993), Manila (1995), Paris (1997) and Rome (2000).
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of he Pontifical Council for Social Communications spoke today at noon at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum at a meeting that studied Consecrated Life and the Culture of Communications and the Magisterium of the Church in the field of communications.

  In his talk, which focussed on a brief history of the Church in the field of communications, the archbishop listed six phases in this history: 1. the Bible, which "with Gutenberg, became the first book printed with movable type"; 2. printing, which made possible the multiplication of books; 3. the birth of periodicals, including religious ones,  among which is the Vatican's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano; 4. the advent of the cinema in the 1890s; 5. the founding of Vatican Radio and 6: the establishment of the Vatican Television Center in 1983 by Pope John Paul II.

  The Archbishop said "we should pay attention not only to the Holy Father's words about communications, but also to his example as a communicator. He is effective and credible because he is authentic."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, presided at a Mass this morning in St. Mary Major Basilica - of which the king of Spain is an honorary canon - for the victims of the attack on March 11 in Madrid. A number of cardinals, bishops and priests concelebrated with him. Among the faithful present were the ambassadors of Spain to Italy, to the Holy See and to the Sovereign Military order of Malta, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps and members of the Italian government.

  In his homily Cardinal Sodano affirmed that "in the hour of pain, the Christian community felt the need to gather in prayer in this stupendous Roman basilica, to witness to their faith, to revive their own hope and to entrust into the merciful hands of the Father Who is in heaven, our brothers and sisters of Madrid, victims of the horrendous massacre that was perpetrated by murderous hands on March 11. Once again Cain has killed Abel! Once again man's hatred has brought death to innocent persons!"

  The cardinal secretary of State said that faith in the Resurrection "brings us here today to look at the power of Christ. ... He can move even the hearts of the most rebellious of men, can open the eyes of who is blind. For this, today we wish to invoke God Almighty and All Merciful to help us in this hour of trial, helping even the most hardened of hearts to understand what is the only path to follow for those who see themselves as sons of the Father Who is in heaven."

  After underscoring the general concern in the face of  "the inhuman and anti-Christian phenomenon of terrorism," the cardinal exhorted those presented to reflect on "the explosive mixture of hatred, which can close itself within the heart of man and can explode when one least thinks. Our duty will be, therefore, to continue to remind the men and women of our times of those great moral values that alone can give a secure foundation to human society. It will be our duty to remind everyone of the primacy of God in our lives, of that God Who created us and Who one day will judge us."

  Cardinal Sodano invited everyone to that hope "which makes us strong even in the harshest of trials during our earthly pilgrimage. The Providence of God always watches over us, in fact." And he added that "trust in God does not release us from our personal commitment to work to make those evils disappear which afflict our society."

  With the certainty that God is Almighty, "we will look serenely to the future, continuing to pray and to work for a better world. Certainly, there are in the world those who speak of violence and death. But with the Pope today we wish to cry out to the world: ' Love is stronger than death! Love will triumph!'"


VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - Bishops from Australia, in Rome for their "ad limina" visit, were welcomed by the Holy Father this morning.

  "The joy and hope of Christian discipleship mark the lives of countless Australian priests, Religious, and faithful men and women who together strive to respond to Christ's call," said the Pope. "Yet it is also true that the pernicious ideology of secularism has found fertile ground in Australia. At the root of this disturbing development is the attempt to promote a vision of humanity without God. ... Your own reports unequivocally describe some of the destructive consequences of this eclipse of the sense of God: the undermining of family life and a drift away from the Church."

  "In the face of such challenges," he stated, "Bishops must stand out as fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of the hope of Christ" and proclaim hope "which springs from the Cross, ... leading men and women from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking into the radiance of Christ's truth and love."

  Turning to the Church's witness through worship, the Holy Father emphasized that "Sunday is the 'supreme day of faith', 'an indispensable day', 'the day of Christian hope!' Any weakening in the Sunday observance of Holy Mass weakens Christian discipleship. ... When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens."
  "Intimately linked to the liturgy is the Church's mission to evangelize," he continued. "Sent by the Lord himself into the vineyard - the home, the workplace, schools, civic organizations - disciples of Christ find no room for 'standing idle in the marketplace', nor can they be so deeply immersed in the internal organization of parish life, that they are distracted from the command to evangelize others actively."

  John Paul II then remarked on "the 'communio' that exists between a Bishop and his priests," saying this demands "that the well-being of the presbyterate be close to every Bishop's heart. ...I encourage you always to listen to your priests, as a father would listen to a son." He added that "the contribution of consecrated men and women to the mission of the Church and the building up of civil society has been of immeasurable worth to your nation," yet noted that "this deep appreciation of consecrated life is rightly accompanied by your concern for the decline in Religious vocations in your country."
  He acknowledged the bishops' "steadfast efforts to uphold the uniqueness of marriage as a life-long covenant based on generous mutual giving and unconditional love. ... Incisive and faithful explanation of Christian doctrine regarding marriage and the family is of utmost importance in order to counter the secular, pragmatic and individualistic outlook which has gained ground in the area of legislation and even a certain acceptance in the realm of public opinion. Of particular concern is the growing trend to equate marriage with other forms of cohabitation. This obfuscates the very nature of marriage and violates its sacred purpose in God's plan for humanity. ... It is the Bishop's particular task to ensure that within civil society - including the media and entertainment industry sectors - the values of marriage and family life are supported and defended."
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Thursday, March 25, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 25, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Jean-Charles Descubes of Agen, France as metropolitan archbishop of Rouen (area 4,228, population 841,287, Catholics 680,000, priests 319), France. The archbishop-elect was born in Tonnay-Charente in 1940 and was ordained a priest in 1965 and a bishop in 1997.

 - Cardinals Jean-Louis Tauran and Attilio Nicora as members of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

 - Msgr. Lorenzo Civili, participating apostolic protonotary and auditor emeritus of the Roman Rota, as judicial vicar of the Ecclesiastic Tribunal of Vatican City State. 

 - Msgr. Antonio Nicolai, defender of the bond, as promoter of justice at the Ecclesiastic Tribunal of Vatican City State.

 - Msgr. Georg Schmettermayr of the diocese of Augsburg, Germany as a consultor of the Congregation for Clergy.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 25, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Prof. Wolfhart Puhl.

- Archbishop Ramiro Moliner Ingles, apostolic nuncio in Ethiopia and Djibouti,
 and apostolic delegate in Somalia.

- Five prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Geoffrey Hilton Jarret of Lismore.

    - Bishop Michael John Malone of Maitland-Newcastle.

    - Bishop Kevin Michael Manning of Parramatta.

    - Archbishop Max Leroy Davis, military ordinary.

    - Bishop 'ad Abikaram of Saint Maron of Sydney of the Maronites.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 25, 2004 (VIS) - The eighth meeting of the Post-Synodal Council of the Special Assembly for Lebanon was held March 16 and 17 in the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops under the presidency of Secretary General, Cardinal Jan P. Schotte, C.I.C.M. The Synod for Lebanon was held from November 26 to December 14, 1995.

  Three cardinals, 4 archbishops, 4 bishops and 4 staff members of the Synod of Bishops were present. They discussed the work done by the secretariat since their last meeting, and presented individual reports on the ecclesial, religious, civil and political situation in Lebanon. They also dedicated attention to the methods of promoting and implementing the post-synodal apostolic exhortation and discussed initiatives to making it better known. They also referred to the "Balance," a document on the results of the initiatives promoted thus far, and suggested that this document, up to now reserved to the bishops, be widely published.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 25, 2004 (VIS) - An extraordinary edition of the International Charlemagne Prize, a prestigious award given annually by the city of Aachen, Germany for distinguished service on behalf of European unity, was bestowed on Pope John Paul II in a ceremony yesterday afternoon in the Vatican by Jurgen Linden, the mayor of Aachen and by Walter Evershein, president of the executive council of the Charlemagne Prize. The Aachen Cathedral Choir performed at both the opening and the conclusion of the ceremony.

  This award, named for the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne, who is viewed as a symbol of European unity, given the vast expanse of his realm which included several modern-day European countries, has been given every year since 1950. The committee which announced the award on January 22 cited the Pope's "extraordinary contribution to the process of European integration, but also his particular effort to exert an influence from Europe on the shaping of the world order." His role in bringing down the Iron Curtain that once divided the continent was also noted.

  On January 23, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls announced that this award would be conferred on the Holy Father "in recognition of his personal commitment, and that of the Holy See, in favor of unity among the peoples of Europe on the basis of the values rooted in the common human nature and efficaciously promoted by Christianity."

  Upon receiving the award, Pope John Paul addressed the assembly in German, thanking them for the honor. He said that, "aware that the union of Europe means much to the Catholic Church, you have come to pay homage to the Successor of Peter" with this prize "which, for good reason, takes the name of the Emperor Charlemagne. In fact, the king of the Franks, whose kingdom had Aachen as its capital, made an essential contribution to the political and cultural foundations of Europe and, for this, earned the name among his contemporaries of 'Pater Europae'. The happy union of classical culture and the Christian faith with the traditions of various peoples took form in Charlemagne's empire and was developed in various forms as the spiritual-cultural legacy of Europe throughout the centuries."

    He remarked that "as the Holy See is located in Europe, the Church has special relations with the people of this continent" and "has always taken part in the process of European integration." Pius XII, he said, "explicitly supported the idea of the formation of a 'European union'," for which it would be "necessary to refer to Christianity as a factor which creates identity and unity."

  The Holy Father then spoke of his vision for European unity.

  "I am thinking of a Europe without egotistical nationalism, where nations are seen as living centers of cultural riches that must be protected and promoted to everyone's advantage. I am thinking of a Europe where advances in science, the economy and social well-being are not oriented towards consumerism" but rather serve mankind. "I am thinking of a Europe whose unity is based on true freedom" for "without freedom there is no sense of responsibility to God or man."

  "I am thinking," he continued, "of a Europe united thanks to the commitment of young people. ... But how can a young generation be born that is open to truth, beauty and nobility and what is worth making sacrifices for, if in Europe the family is no longer presented as an institution open to life and to unselfish love?"

  "The Europe I have in mind," concluded John Paul II, "is a political unity, a spiritual one in fact, in which Christian politicians from all countries act in the awareness of the human riches that faith brings with it: men and women committed to making these values fruitful, placing themselves at the service of everyone for a Europe of men in whom shines the face of God."
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Wednesday, March 24, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 24, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of Auxiliary of the archdiocese of Fortaleza, Brazil, presented by Bishop Adalberto Paulo da Silva, O.F.M.Cap., upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Helio Adelar Rubert, auxiliary of Vitoria, Brazil, as bishop of Santa Maria (area 21,316, population 486,000, Catholics 383,600, priests 107, permanent deacons 18, religious 636), Brazil.  He succeeds Bishop Jose Ivo Lorscheiter whose resignation the Pope
 accepted upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 24, 2004 (VIS) - The latest book written by John Paul II, entitled "Rise, Let Us Be Going," will be published in Italian on May 18th which is the Pope's 84th birthday. Mondadori Publishers announced at a press conference in Rome this morning that they expected the book to also be available on that date time in English, French, Spanish and German.

  The title of the book is taken from Jesus' words in the Gospel according to Mark (14:42) and refers to the passage in which He speaks to Peter, James and John in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to being arrested. The book is 200 pages long and contains 40-50 short chapters. The Pope, who wrote part of the book by hand and dictated part of it, narrates the twenty years of his ministry as bishop, from his ordination in 1958 up to his election to the pontificate in 1978.  "It is a collection of memories and reflections on the events of that period," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, during the conference.

  Navarro-Valls affirmed that John Paul II wrote this book between March and August of 2003. A heavy work load for the Holy Father, leaving him little time to review it and make any revisions or additions, as well as demands of the editorial process, delayed its publication until this year.
  After the publication of the book on priesthood on the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, the Pope welcomed suggestions, according to Navarro-Valls, that he write another book about his pastoral experience as a bishop.

  A representative of Mondadori Publishers, which is responsible for the Italian edition of the book, recalled the success of the Pope's book, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," which sold 20 million copies.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 24, 2004 (VIS) - During today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope reminded the pilgrims that tomorrow is the feast of the Annunciation "which allows us to contemplate the Incarnation of the Eternal Word made man in Mary's womb."

  Our Lady's "fiat" or "yes" in the moment of the Annunciation, said the Pope, "echoes that of the Word Incarnate" to which we must add "our 'yes' with respect to God's mysterious plans. Only through full adhesion to the divine will do true joy and peace flourish, which we all hope for ardently for our times."

  John Paul II recalled three moments in his pontificate when he entrusted the Church, the world and mankind to Mary: December 8, 1978 when he entrusted the Church and world to her; June 4, 1979, renewing this vow at the shrine of the Black Madonna in Poland and again in 1984. "I remember especially March 25, 1984, the Holy Year.  Twenty years have gone by since that day when in spiritual union with all the bishops of the world I entrusted all of mankind to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in response to Our Lady's plea in Fatima."

  After emphasizing that "in those moments humanity was living difficult times of great apprehension and uncertainty," he added. "Twenty years later, the world is still marred by hatred, violence, terrorism and war. Among the many victims that make the news every day, there are so many innocent people who are killed while they carry out their work. Today, which is dedicated to commemoration and prayer for the 'martyr missionaries', we must also commemorate the priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who died in mission territory in 2003. So much blood continues to be shed in many regions around the world. It is still urgent that men open their hearts to a courageous effort of reciprocal understanding. The wait for justice and peace becomes longer and longer in every part of the world. How can we respond to this thirst for hope and love if not with Christ through Mary?"

  The Pope concluded by repeating his petition to Our Lady in 1984:  "Mother of Christ, may the infinite saving power of the Redemption, power of divine love, reveal itself once again in the history of the world! May it stop evil! May it transform our consciences! May the light of hope in your Immaculate heart be revealed to us all!"
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Tuesday, March 23, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 23, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Six prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Julian Charles Porteous and Anthony Colin Fisher.

    - Bishop Luc Julian Matthys of Armidale.

    - Bishop Patrick Dougherty of Bathhurst.

    - Bishop David Louis Walker of Broken Bay.

- Participants in the General Chapter of the Missionary Sisters of the Pallottine Catholic Apostolate.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 23, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, there was a presentation of the book "Faith and Martyrdom: The Eastern Churches in Twentieth Century Europe" (Proceedings of the meeting on contemporary Church history, Vatican City, October 22-24, 1998).

 Among those who spoke during the presentation were Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Bishop Pavlo Vasylyk of the eparchy of Kolomyia-Chernivtsi, Ukraine and Msgr. Tertulian Ioan Langa of the eparchy of Cluj-Gherla, Romania.

  Cardinal Daoud indicated that this book documents "the suppression of various Eastern Catholic Churches: Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovakian and Ruthenian. After being erased from history, these Churches have come back into existence and today strive to never forget the persecution they suffered."

  After emphasizing that the publication "gives a voice to those who suffered so much," he said: "Despite this, there is no rancor. Despite difficult relations in the past, in many cases during the 'century of martyrs', Eastern Catholics and people of other confessions learned how to suffer together in prisons, in the 'gulags', in the forced labor camps."

  The prefect of the congregation assured everyone that they will continue to collect documentation about the faith experience of Eastern Catholics, "reflecting on the witnesses of the faith of our Churches, which can explain the root of so many prejudices."

  Professor Riccardi said that "the martyrdom of Eastern Catholics is connected to their specific situation, that is the fact that they belong to two worlds: the world of Eastern tradition and the world of the Catholic Church."

  "Eastern Catholics," he continued, "belonged to a group that communist policy did not admit in any part of the Eastern empire (from the former Czechoslovakia to Romania), with rare exceptions, such as in the small and tormented Bulgarian community and in Hungary. These pages illustrate the Soviet design to exterminate Eastern Catholicism."

  The founder of the Sant'Egidio Community explained that "the big problem is religious freedom. Depriving Eastern Catholic communities of life means denying religious freedom and freedom of diversity. It was that diversity that the communist regimes could not accept."

  Referring to the term "martyr," he affirmed that "this is a word which is abused in our language." In this way, people speak about "suicide martyrdom which is very different from Christian martyrdom." Christian martyrs "do not die in order to kill others but rather give their life to save the life of others, so that they do not have to give up their faith, to support other believers out of love. They are not seeking death, but they do not renounce their faith or human behavior in order to save their own life. This is the story that is told in these pages."
  Msgr. Tertulian Ioan Langa, 82, spoke of his 16 years in communist prison camps, describing the "massive and threatening atheistic Soviet presence on the Romanian borders," the "violent and atrocious presence of atheistic communism" and "the brutal and humiliating presence of Soviet troops who had occupied almost a third of the national territory."

  In spine-tingling terms he described the indescribable: the countless times he was interrogated, the years of torture, deprivation, humiliation, and unspeakable suffering, the "diabolic rituals" prisoners underwent to make them talk. What became important for him and helped him to survive were his own rituals: praying, composing litanies, remembering and reciting Psalms.

  "I have never written much about these dramatic experiences," said Msgr. Langa today. "Who can believe what seems unbelievable? Who can believe that the laws of biology can be overcome by the will. ... But even Jesus was not believed by all who saw Him. 'After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with him'. Nothing is pure chance in life. Every second the Lord gives us is laden with grace - the impatient benevolence of God - and with our chance to either answer it or, filled with fear, to refuse it."

  He spoke of his bishop and his intellectual guides, "all victims of atheistic communism," whose lives and teachings marked his own life. "Through them I discovered the meaning of communism, what it means to eliminate Christ from society and how mutilated the human soul can become" without Him. He underscored "the flagrant difference of perception and reaction to communism "between the Christians and intellectuals of the West" and those in the East who had lived through and undergone communism.

  Bishop Pavlo Vasylyk, 77, and one of 11 children, was imprisoned many times over many decades by Soviet authorities. During his first term in prison from 1947 to 1956, he was ordained a deacon and performed his ministry in prison, saying he only found the strength to do so because "what is impossible for a human person is possible for the Lord. The conditions we lived in the concentration camps were pitiless, worse than the German concentration camps. ... The Gospel ... kept us human, kept us Christian."

  Shortly after being freed in 1956 he was ordained a priest, imprisoned again from 1959 to 1964 and exiled upon his release, forbade to minister in western Ukraine, though he did anyway. Ordained a bishop in 1974, he was constantly threatened by the KGB, but continued his episcopal ministry. On August 4, 1987, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church "announced to the entire world our Church's exit from the catacombs to a full and normal religious life."
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 23, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Pope John Paul to Sister Stella Holisz, superior general of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate on the occasion of their 15th General Chapter during which they are reflecting on the theme: "Rekindle your first love - respond to the challenges of today."

  "Your vocation as missionaries," he writes in the Letter, dated January 24, "patterned on the lives of the Apostles, eloquently shows that the more one lives in Christ the better one serves Him in others, going even to the furthest missionary outposts and facing the greatest dangers."

  The Holy Father stated that "in a world where the shadows of poverty, injustice, and secularism are cast over every continent, the need for authentic disciples of Jesus Christ remains as urgent as ever. It is precisely witness to Christ's Gospel that dispels the darkness and illuminates the way of peace, fostering hope in the hearts of even the most marginalized and dejected of people. The men and women you encounter from many religions, cultures, and social groups searching for meaning and dignity in their lives can never have their longings fulfilled by some vague religiosity."

   "Dear Sisters," he concluded, "the Church looks to you to 'speak' of Christ to those whom you serve and to "show" him to them. Such witness demands that you yourselves first contemplate the face of Christ. Your initial and ongoing formation programs must therefore assist all the Sisters to conform themselves totally to Christ and His love of the Father."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Joseph Anthony Galante, coadjutor of Dallas, U.S.A., as bishop of Camden (area 6,967, population 1,337, 476, Catholics 450,271, priests 353, permanent deacons 115, religious 406 ), U.S.A. 

 - Erected the new ecclesiastic province of Raipur (area 135,242, Catholics 367,028, priests 496, religious 1,380), India, taking it from the ecclesiastic province of Bhopal.  The new province will consist of the suffragan dioceses of Ambikapur, Jagdalpur of the Siro-Malabars and Raigarh.

 - Appointed Bishop George Thomas, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Seattle, U.S.A., as bishop of Helena (area 134,426, population 509,439, Catholics 67,693, priests 82, permanent 34, religious 49), U.S.A.  

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Syracuse, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Thomas Joseph Costello upon having reached the age limit.
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Monday, March 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 20, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul celebrated Mass this evening in the Paul VI Hall for the faithful of four Roman parishes - St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Patrick, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Mary, Help of Christians - thus bringing to 314 the number of parishes that he has encountered during his more than 25 years as Pope and bishop of Rome.

He began his homily by noting that "we have reached the fourth Sunday of Lent, traditionally known as Laetare Sunday, and we have a foretaste, in a certain way, of the spiritual joy of Easter."

Turning to the parishes, which are on the eastern periphery of Rome, the Pope highlighted their "constant effort at evangelization. I congratulate all those who, notwithstanding the precarious nature of the structures, assiduously follow the itineraries of Christian formation and catechesis, dedicate themselves to the liturgy and to charity towards our needy brothers, and prepare young people for matrimony and family life."

He pointed out that Tor Vergata, which hosted the "unforgettable" World Youth Day in August of the Jubilee Year 2000, is part of the same area as St. Margaret Mary Alacoque parish. "At the center of that memorable event was the Cross of the Holy Year of the Redemption. Dear young people, make the Cross your basic point of reference. Draw from the crucified and risen Christ the courage to evangelize our world, so overwhelmed by divisions, hatred, wars and terrorism, but rich in so many human and spiritual resources. I look forward to seeing many of you in St. Peter's Square on Thursday, April 1" and "on Palm Sunday for World Youth Day."

The Holy Father remarked on how "open and welcoming" the parishes are. "Among you there are many Polish and Latin American faithful. These brothers and sister of ours feel loved as Christ loved and served every man and every woman right up to the sacrifice of Himself, And this is the concrete witness of faith that touches the hearts of those who are distant."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 20, 2004 (VIS) - Today in the Clementine Hall John Paul II received 400 participants in an international congress promoted by the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) and by the Pontifical Academy for Life.

After recalling that conference members focussed on the theme of the clinical condition known as the "vegetative state," the Pope affirmed that "the intrinsic value and the personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the specific circumstances of their life. Human beings, even if they are seriously ill and impaired in the exercise of their highest functions, are and always will be human beings and will never become 'vegetables' or 'animals'. Our sisters and brothers who are in a 'vegetative state' fully preserve their dignity."

"Physicians and health workers, society and the Church have a moral duty toward these persons which they cannot shirk, without neglecting the requirements of professional deontology as well as Christian and human solidarity. Sick people in a vegetative state, waiting to recover or for a natural end, have the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, hygiene, warmth, etc)."

The Holy Father emphasized that water and food, even when administered artificially, are "a natural means of preserving life, not a medical procedure. Therefore, their use must be considered ordinary and appropriate and as such, morally obligatory."

The probability that there is little hope for recovery, "when the vegetative state lasts longer than a year, cannot ethically justify abandoning or interrupting basic care, including food and hydration, of a patient." Death by starvation or dehydration carried out "consciously or deliberately is truly euthanasia by omission."

The Pope recalled the "moral principal according to which even the slightest doubt of being in the presence of a person who is alive requires full respect and prohibits any action that would anticipate his or her death. . The value of the life of a man cannot be subjected to the judgement of quality expressed by other men; it is necessary to promote positive activities to counteract pressure for the suspension of food and hydration, as a means to putting an end to the life of these patients."

"Above all," he added, "we must support the families" that have a patient in the vegetative state. "We cannot leave them alone with the heavy human, economic and psychological weight." Society must promote "specific programs of assistance and rehabilitation; economic support and help at home for the family; . and support structures when there are no family members able to address the problem." In addition, he said, volunteers provide "fundamental support to help the family to escape isolation and to help them to feel a valuable part of society and not abandoned by social institutions."

John Paul II ended by emphasizing that "in these situations spiritual and pastoral help is especially important in order to understand the deeper meaning of a seemingly desperate situation."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 21, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father celebrated the Eucharist and beatified four Servants of God: Luigi Talamoni (1848-1926); Matilde del Sagrado Corazon Tellez Robles (1841-1902); Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz Real (1842-1916) and Maria Candida dell'Eucharistia (1884-1949). Before praying the Angelus, the Pope encouraged Spaniards to keep up their "hope, courage and generosity," after the March 11 attacks in Madrid.

Speaking about the new Blesseds, John Paul II said that the Italian priest Luigi Talamoni, who taught the future Pope Pius XI in the seminary, "was committed to the ministry of confession and to the service of the poor, those in prison and especially the poor who are sick. What a brilliant example he is for everyone! I urge you all, especially the priests and the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Gerard which he founded, to follow his example."

The Pope said that Spanish Blessed Matilde Tellez Robles, virgin and foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of the Church, "consecrated herself through an intense prayer life to transforming the society of her time by taking care of orphan girls, making home visits to the sick, promoting women workers and by collaborating in ecclesial activities. Profoundly devoted to the Eucharist, . her luminous witness is a call to live in adoration of God and in service to our brothers and sisters, two fundamental pillars of the Christian commitment."

Referring to Mother Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz Real, Spanish virgin and founder of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Holy Father said that "she united different groups of young people who wanted to show the love of the provident Father, manifested in the heart of Jesus, to

the poor, giving life in this way to a new religious family. A model of Christian and religious virtue and in love with Christ, Our Lady and the poor, she leaves us the example of austerity, prayer, and charity to those in need."

Blessed Maria Candida dell'Eucharistia of Italy, virgin and nun of the Order of the Decalced Carmelites, "was an authentic mystic of the Eucharist which she made the unifying center of her entire existence, following the Carmelite tradition, especially St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross. She was so in love with Jesus that she was aware of a constant and ardent desire to be a tireless apostle of the Eucharist. I am sure that from heaven Maria Candida continues to help the Church so that it may grow in stupor and love for this great mystery of our faith."

Before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the authorities and pilgrims present in the ceremony and addressed Spaniards in a special way, saying: "I encourage you to keep up your hope, courage and generosity in the face of the pain of so many families, the people of Madrid and all of Spain upon the recent terrorist attack. Love is stronger than hated and death!"


VATICAN CITY, MAR 20, 2004 (VIS) - On Tuesday March 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the Holy See Press Office, there will be a presentation of the book "Faith and Martyrdom: The Eastern Churches in Twentieth Century Europe" (Proceedings of the meeting on contemporary Church history, Vatican City, October 22-24, 1998), published by the Vatican Publishing House 2003.

Among those who will present the book are Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Bishop Pavlo Vasylyk of the eparchy of Kolomyia-Chernivtsi, Ukraine and Msgr. Tertulian Ioan Langa of the eparchy of Cluj-Gherla, Romania.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2004 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls, in answer to journalists who asked about the killing this morning of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, replied with the following declaration:

"The Holy See joins the international community in deploring this act of violence which is unjustifiable in any State of law.

"The position and the sentiments of the Holy See are clearly expressed in the Holy Father's words to the diplomatic corps last January 12 when he repeated 'to the leaders of these two peoples (Israelis and Palestinians): the choice of arms, the recourse on the one hand to terrorism and on the other to vendettas, humiliating one's adversary, and rancorous propaganda, lead nowhere. Only respect for the legitimate aspirations of each other, a return to the negotiating table and a concrete commitment by the international community can lead to the start of a solution'.

"Authentic and lasting peace can never be the fruit of a mere show of strength: 'above all it is the fruit of moral and juridical action'-"

Yassin was killed in a missile attack by an Israeli helicopter early Monday as he left a mosque following morning prayers.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Six prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech of Sandhurst.

- Archbishop Barry James Hickey of Perth, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Donald George Sproxton.

- Bishop Christopher Alan Saunders of Broome.

- Bishop Gerard Holohan of Bunbury.

- Bishop Justin Joseph Bianchini of Geraldton.

- Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites.

On Saturday March 20 the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Six prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Denis James Hart of Melbourne, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Hilton Forrest Deakin, Mark Benedict Coleridge and Christopher Charles Prowse.

- Bishop Peter Joseph Connors of Ballarat.

- Bishop Jeremiah Joseph Coffey of Sale.

- Brother Roger, superior of the Taize Community.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

On Friday March 19, he received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain.

- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Regensburg, Germany, presented by Bishop Vinzenz Guggenberger upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday, March 20, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Alberto Maria Careggio of Chiavari, Italy, as bishop of Ventimiglia-San Remo (area 714, population 155,450, Catholics 150,000, priests 130, religious 378), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Giacomo Barabino whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Pope accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Salvatore Ligorio of Tricarico, Italy, as archbishop of Matera-Irsina (area 2,020, population 140,899, Catholics 140,000, priests 92, permanent deacons 1, religious 84), Italy.

- Appointed Msgr. Vincenzo Carmine Orofino, vicar general of the diocese of Tricarico, as bishop of the same diocese (area 1,237, population 45,000, Catholics 44,000, priests 32, religious 49), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1953 in San Severino Lucano, Italy and was ordained a priest in 1980.

- Bishop Alberto Tanasini, auxiliary of Genoa, Italy, as bishop of Chiavari (area 559, population 142,000, Catholics 14,600, priests 175, permanent deacons 4, religious 354), Italy.

- Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, as pontifical legate for the closing of the meeting of Catholics in Central Europe - Mitteleuropaischer Katholikentag 2003/2004 - which will take place at the shrine of Mariazell in Austria on May 22-23, 2004.
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Thursday, March 18, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning welcomed the rector, faculty and seminarians of Rome's "Redemptoris Mater" diocesan seminary, founded more than 16 years ago as "a new and meaningful experience, in view of the formation of priests for the new evangelization." More than 30 "Redemptoris Mater" seminaries, whose students were formed in the Neocatechumenal Way, have been established worldwide.

The Pope said he thanked God for "the abundant good fruits produced over the course of these years by your seminary. . I would also like to thank the Neocatechumenal Way within which your vocations were born and grew. My grateful thoughts also go to the founders of the Way, whose happy intuition it was to propose the erection of your seminary and who did so much to promote, within the Way, vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. . In the past 16 years a great number of enthusiastic priests have come from your seminary," he added, noting that they are "priests dedicated in part to the pastoral service in the diocese of Rome and in part to the mission in every corner of the world as 'fidei donum' priests."

"The common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood are in fact ordained one for the other and intimately linked, both participating, each in its own Way, in the one priesthood of Christ. They differ, however, essentially, and not just by degree. By virtue of the Sacrament of Orders priests are configured in a special way to Jesus Christ as Head and Pastor of His people and they must - in the image of Christ - spend and give their entire life in service to this people."

The Holy Father told the seminarians that when they are ordained they will belong "to the diocesan priesthood which has the bishop as the main reference point, and at the same time will (live) the deep bond that links you to the Neocatechumenal Way." Quoting their Statutes, he said: "Candidates to the priesthood find in participating in the Neocatechumenal Way a specific and fundamental element of the formational path and, at the same time, are prepared for the genuine priestly choice of serving the entire people of God, in the fraternal communion of the priesthood."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate

- Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, apostolic nuncio in Spain and Andorra.

- Three prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton.

- Bishop William Martin Morris of Toowoomba.

- Bishop Michael Ernest Putney of Townsville.

- Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, with Archbishop Luigi Moretti, vice gerent of the diocese of Rome, accompanied by Fr. Tomasz Porzycki, pastor of St. Mary Mediator with the parochial vicar, Fr. Carmine Antonio Uras, parochial administrator of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish, Fr. Duilio Colantini of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish with the parochial vicar and Fr. Arnaldo D'Innocenza of St. Patrick Parish with the parochial vicar.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that:

- On Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m., Cardinal George Pell, metropolitan archbishop of Sydney, Australia, will take possession of the title of St. Mary Dominic Mazzarello, Piazza Salvatore Galgano.

- On Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, metropolitan archbishop of Genoa, Italy, will take possession of the title of St. Mary, Help of Christians.

- On Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m., Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P., pro-theologian of the Papal Household, will take possession of the diaconate of Sts. Dominic and Sixtus, Largo Angelicum, 1.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Meru, Kenya, presented by Bishop Silas Silvius Njiru upon having reached the age limit. Coadjutor Bishop Salesius Mugambi succeeds him.

- Erected the ecclesiastic province of Raipur (area 135,242, population 19,057,921, Catholics 367,028, priests 608, religious 1,933), India, with territory taken from the ecclesiastic province of Bhopal, assigning Ambikapur, Jagdalpur of the Siro-Malabars and Raigarh as its suffragan dioceses.

- Appointed Fr. Joseph Kallarangatt, president of the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Religious Studies Paurastya Vidyapitahm, as bishop of the eparchy of Palai of the Siro-Malabars (area 1,166, population 683,482, Catholics 345,982, priests 481, religious 4,266), India. The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Kayyoor, India and was ordained a priest in 1982. He succeeds Joseph Pallikaparampil whose resignation from the pastoral care of the eparchy the Holy Father accepted in accordance with Canon 210, para. 2, of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Appointed Jose Porunnedom, of the clergy of Mananthavady, India and chancellor of the Major Siro-Malabar Archbishopric Curia of Ernakulam-Angamaly, as bishop of the eparchy of Mananthavady of the Siro-Malabars (area 48,250, population 10,000,000, Catholics 165,653, priests 266, religious 1,610). The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Anchiri, India, and was ordained a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Msgr. Andrews Thazhath, president of the Association of Eastern Canon Law in India, as auxiliary bishop of Trichur of the Siro-Malabars (area 2,000, population 2,510,965, Catholics 456,759, priests 380, religious 2,984), India. The bishop-elect was born in 1951 in Pudukad, India and was ordained a priest in 1977.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004


VATICAN CITY. MAR 17, 2004 (VIS) - On Sunday March 21 at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul will beatify Servants of God: Luigi Talamoni (1848-1926), priest, founder of the Congregation of the Merciful Sisters of St. Gerard; Matilde del Sagrado Corazon Tellez Robles (1841-1902), virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Mother of the Church; Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz Real (1842-1916), virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Maria Candida dell'Eucaristia (1884-1949), virgin, nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2004 (VIS) - Psalm 20, "Thanksgiving for the victory of the Messiah-King," was the theme of the Pope's catechesis during the general audience celebrated this morning in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope said that this psalm, "one of the royal psalms," expresses the gratitude of the people for "what God has done in favor of the Hebrew sovereign on the solemn day of his enthronement."

God, he continued, showers blessing on the king who is "a reflection of the light of God in the midst of humanity. ... The prophet Nathan also assured David of this blessing which is a source of stability, sustenance and safety."

"When we recite this psalm, we see the face of Christ, the Messiah King in the figure of the Hebrew king . ... He is the Son of God in the fullest sense and is therefore the presence of God in the midst of humanity. He is the light and the life. ... In this way, the psalmist announces His resurrection from the dead and that He, risen from the dead, is immortal. ... Based on this certainty," he concluded, "Christians cultivate hope in the gift of eternal life."

While greeting pilgrims in Polish, John Paul II recalled that Friday is the solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of Our Lady. "This solemnity," he affirmed, "urges families of today, comforted by the example of Mary and Joseph, who lovingly cared for the Word Incarnate, to be inspired by their lifestyle when making daily decisions and to gather strength to overcome difficulties. Only in an authentic family, one that is united and loving, can children mature in a healthy way, following the example of unconditional love, fidelity, reciprocal self-giving and respect for life. I ask Polish families to strive to be this way. May God bless you all."

The Holy Father also addressed a group of pilgrims from the Italian archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia, accompanied by a delegation that just returned from the Holy Land where they lit the Benedictine torch of peace a few days ago in Nazareth and, after the stop in Rome, will proceed to Norcia. "I am pleased," he said, "by your renewed commitment to harmony among peoples. I hope that your region, land of St. Francis and St. Benedict, may be ever more conscious of the spiritual values that forged the thought, art and culture of Italy and Europe."
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Paolo Trombetta as general accountant of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Magdeburg, Germany presented by Bishop Leopold Nowak upon having reached the age limit.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 16, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience five prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Philip Edward Wilson of Adelaide.

- Bishop Edmund John Patrick Collins of Darwin.

- Bishop Daniel Eugene Hurley of Port Pirie.

- Archbishop John Alexius Bathersby of Brisbane.

- Bishop James Foley of Cairns.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 16, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, there was the presentation of an international congress on the theme, "Life-sustaining treatments and the vegetative state: Scientific advances and ethical dilemmas," which will take place from March 17 to 20 in Rome. The congress is organized and promoted by the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) and the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The following people spoke during the press conference: Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Professor Gianluigi Gigli, president of the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Dr. Alan Shewmon, professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Bishop Sgreccia explained that during the congress problems of an ethical and anthropological nature which affect patients in the vegetative state will be addressed. "Some say," he indicated, "that when a person loses the use of reason, he or she ceases to be a person and then there is the possibility of interrupting feeding and hydration in order to facilitate his or her death. As long as there is life in the person," he continued, "that person continues to exist in all of his or her dignity, with all of his or her soul."

Another question that will be discussed during the congress, added Bishop Sgreccia, is whether or not extreme therapeutic care can be suspended in certain situations. The problem lies in defining the methods of therapy and in deciding if the treatment is necessary until the patient's death.

The vice-president of the Academy for Life also referred to another theme to be analyzed at the congress: the principle of patient autonomy and whether or not a patient can decide to eat if he or she is in a vegetative state, as well as medical insurance for those who cannot afford it and necessary support.

Professor Gigli said that 370 people from 49 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Kazakhstan, will participate in the congress. Forty talks by scientific experts in the field are scheduled as well as 30 reports.
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Monday, March 15, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul today received the staff and members of the Pontifical Council for Culture at the end of their plenary assembly on the theme "The Christian Faith at the Dawn of the New Millennium and the Challenge of Unbelief and Religious Indifference." He remarked that this challenge that they have been studying "is a vital concern for the Church on all continents."

"You are mapping out," he said, "a new geography of unbelief and religious indifference throughout the world, in which you have noted a break in the process of transmitting the Christian faith and values. At the same time we see the search for meaning by our contemporaries - the desire of every man to understand the deep meaning of his existence - of which cultural phenomena are witnesses, notably in the new religious movements that are very present in South America, Africa and Asia."

The Holy Father continued: "Beyond the crisis of civilizations, of philosophical and moral relativism, it is up to the pastors and faithful to discover and delve into the basic questions and aspirations of the men and women of our time," to dialogue with them and "to propose the Gospel message and person of Christ, the Redeemer. Cultural and artistic expressions are not lacking in riches or resources for the transmission of the Christian message," but they must be known to be lived.

The Pope proposed "a new thrust in the intellectual domain" vis-a-vis the diffusion of ideologies. "It is through philosophical and catechetical formation that young people will learn how to discern the truth. A serious rational approach is a rampart against all that which refers to ideologies, leading to the desire to study ever more deeply, so that philosophy and reason become open to Christ."
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of the new ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua, Armando Luna Silva, and told him that on the occasion of his visits to that country in 1983 and 1996, he could attest to the fact that "Nicaraguans are a joyful, dynamic people, with deep Christian roots and a desire for a serene future in which all are able to benefit from constant development."

The Pope emphasized that despite the "many trials" that Nicaraguans have endured - natural disasters and internal problems - "there are reasons to be open to hope for a better future. There is greater solidarity not only among allied nations but also above all among citizens, conscious of the need to participate."

"While it is certain," he continued, "that foreign aid is necessary on occasions, we must keep in mind that Nicaraguans, with the rich qualities that characterize them, must be the main protagonists and architects of the daily building up of the country, committing themselves with vigor and persistence to overcoming difficult situations, so often aggravated by extreme poverty, unemployment and the lack of proper housing."

Referring to the problem of extreme poverty, the Holy Father encouraged the efforts of the government "to confront this evil that should not be considered endemic but rather a result of a series of factors that must addressed with decision and enthusiasm, so that quality of life can be truly be improved for Nicaraguans. Such efforts, united to the international community whose aid must be administered with transparent, honest and effective management, are proposals that are necessary to construct a peaceful, just and unified society, one that truly responds to the needs of Nicaraguans and which is compatible with their traditions." John Paul II added that "there is also an important factor in this fight against poverty, the eradication of corruption which undermines the just social and political development of so many peoples."

"In order to build up a more just and fraternal society, the guidance of Catholic social doctrine and the moral teachings of the Church will be of great help. ... We cannot walk toward true social peace," he concluded, "without an order in which the freedom of individuals is ever more solid and in which confidence in public institutions is stimulated in citizens for more active collaboration and responsible participation by all for the common good."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2004 (VIS) - This afternoon in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope presided at a Marian prayer vigil with thousands of Italian students on the occasion of the Second European Day of University Students. Students from ten countries, future members of the European Union, participated in the gathering via satellite link-up.

The encounter, whose theme was, "Christ, Hope for Europe," was promoted by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and the office of the vicariate of Rome for university pastoral ministry.

Before John Paul II's arrival there were satellite connections with university students in cities of those countries that will be incorporated into the European Union: Prague, Nicosia, Gniezno, Vilnius, Tallinn, Riga, Bratislava, Budapest, Valletta and Ljubljana.

Later the Pope lead the Holy Rosary and afterwards he greeted those present. "This Marian vigil," he said, "has great symbolic value. And you have an important role in the building up of European unity, which is deeply rooted in the traditions and spiritual values that have shaped it, dear university students. The university is, in this sense, one of the typical environments where, over the centuries, that culture which has been marked by a Christian influence has been formed. This rich heritage of ideals should not be lost."

The Holy Father then noted that the young people in Rome were going to participate in a pilgrimage in which they would carry the cross to the church of St. Agnes in Agony, "where you will renew your profession of faith. The university students in other countries, whom I cordially greet, will join you spiritually on this pilgrimage."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 20004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile and president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, and Archbishop Eduardo Vicente Miras of Rosario, president of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina, on the occasion of the solemn commemoration of the centenary today of the inauguration of the monument of Christ in the Andes.

"Indeed," writes the Holy Father in the message dated February 11, "if the location of this majestic monument represented a notable display of the efforts and close collaboration of numerous people and institutions, no less so were the efforts carried out earlier to give meaning to that event. In previous years, various agreements were achieved in order to resolve by peaceful means the different disputes between both peoples, resulting in four different peace treaties in 1902."

John Paul II recalls that "the threat of conflict was overcome, achieving friendly coexistence between two neighboring, sister countries. The jubilation and satisfaction at having reached the invaluable triumph of peace were well-justified. The profound spirit of the faith of Argentines and Chileans recognized in those events an inestimable gift of God, and ... sought to represent their gratitude on the peaks of the Andes so that the divine blessing would arrive from on high to all the neighboring lands and make the border a place of encounter and never one of antagonism."

"At the beginning of the third millennium," he continues, "at a time when peace is threatened, I would like to invite the beloved sons and daughters of Argentina and Chile, in commemoration of this centenary, to direct their gaze toward the Redeemer in order to ask Him for light and the necessary strength to confront the challenges of today with hope and determination."

Finally the Pope asks for "fraternal coexistence to increase, as well as the forums of mutual collaboration and the commitment to build a society founded above all on the recognition of the inalienable dignity of the human person. In this way, peace will be guaranteed and a heritage will be left to new generations which allows them to build a better future on solid and lasting foundations."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as his special envoy to the fourth centenary of the arrival in Lithuania of Pope Clement VIII's brief "Quae ad sanctorum" which authorized the celebration of the feast of St. Casimir in Poland and Lithuania. The festivities will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on May 9, 2004.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of the telegram sent by the Holy Father to Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria, upon the death of Cardinal Franz Koenig, emeritus of the same archdiocese, at age 98. He was the last of the cardinals created by Blessed John XXIII.

"With deep sadness, I learned of the news of the death of His Eminence, Cardinal Franz Koenig, your illustrious predecessor as archbishop of Vienna from 1956 to 1985. Faithful to his motto 'Veritatem facientes in caritate,' the late cardinal shaped the Church and the life of Austria with his long and intense pastoral work. His witness to Christ's message and his commitment to peace and reconciliation went beyond the borders of his homeland. He represented a special resource in sustaining believers in Eastern Europe during the time of unhappy division of the European continent. At the same time, as a builder of bridges, he was recognized by the Churches in the East. I join the archdiocese of Vienna in prayers in memory of the late pastor whom I entrust to the goodness of the Lord of life and death. May God Almighty welcome him in eternal peace and grant him eternal happiness, reserved for him for his faithful service. Through the intercession of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, I impart the apostolic blessing as a sign of divine consolation upon all, especially those in mourning and for the eternal salvation of the late cardinal,."
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