Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


VATICAN CITY, FEB 24, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff published the calendar of celebrations that are scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in February, March and April:


- Wednesday, 25. In the Vatican Basilica at 10:30 a.m., Celebration of the Word, blessing and distribution of ashes.

- Saturday, 28. Mass at 6 p.m. in Paul VI Hall with the following Roman parishes: St. Anselm, St. Mary, Star of Evangelization, St. Charles Borromeo, St. John the Baptist de la Salle.

- Sunday, 29: First Sunday in Lent. Beginning of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace at 6 p.m.


- Saturday, 6. Conclusion of spiritual exercises in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel at 9 a.m. At 6 p.m. in the Paul VI Hall, Mass with the following Roman parishes: St. Bridget, St. Hilary, St. Maximus.

- Saturday, 13. At 6:30 p.m. in the Paul VI Hall, Rosary with university students.

- Saturday, 20. In the Paul VI Hall at 6 p.m., Mass with the following Roman parishes: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Patrick, St. Mary Mediatrix and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

- Sunday, 21: Fourth Sunday in Lent. At 9:30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Beatification of Servants of God Luigi Talamoni, Matilde del Sagrado Corazon Tellez Robles, Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz Real, Maria Candida dell'Eucaristia.

- Saturday, 27. At 6 p.m. in the Paul VI Hall, Mass with the following Roman parishes: St. John of the Cross, St. Felicity and Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria.


- Sunday, 4: Palm Sunday, 19th World Youth Day in St. Peter's Square at 10 a.m. Blessing of palms, procession and Mass.

- Thursday, 8: Holy Thursday. Chrism Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 9:30 a.m. At 5:30 p.m., also in the Vatican Basilica, the beginning of the Easter Tridium with the Mass of the Last Supper.

- Friday, 9: Good Friday. In the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m., Celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9:15 p.m. in the Colosseum, Way of the Cross.

- Saturday, 10: Holy Saturday. In the Vatican Basilica at 7 p.m., Easter Vigil.

- Sunday, 11: Easter Sunday. In St. Peter's Square at 10:30 a.m., Mass and "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

- Sunday, 25: Third Sunday of Easter. In St. Peter's Square at 10 a.m., Beatification of Servants of God Augusto Czartoryski, Laura Montoya, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, Julia Nemesia Valle, Eusebia Palomino Yenes and Alexandrina Maria da Costa.


VATICAN CITY, FEB 24, 2004 (VIS) - Javier Moctezuma Barragan, the new ambassador from Mexico to the Holy See, today presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father who recalled that the first foreign apostolic trip of his pontificate was to Mexico 25 years ago. He also noted that in October 2004 the 48th International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Guadalajara.

The Pope underscored the re-establishing of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See in September 1992, saying that "over the years, marked by rapid and deep changes in the political, social and economic spheres of the country, the Catholic Church, faithful to her own pastoral mission, has continued promoting the common good of the Mexican people, seeking dialogue and understanding with diverse public institutions and defending her right to participate in national life."

"It is to be hoped," the Holy Father continued, "that the Church in Mexico will be able to enjoy full freedom in all areas where she develops her pastoral and social mission. The Church does not seek privileges nor does she wish to be in spheres not proper to her, but rather desires to fulfill her mission in favor of the spiritual and human good of the Mexican people without barriers or impediments. Thus, it is necessary that State institutions guarantee the right to religious freedom of persons and groups, avoiding all forms of intolerance or discrimination. In this sense, it is to be hoped that in a not too distant future, . steps will be taken to advance in areas such as religious education in diverse milieux, spiritual assistance in health care, social and welfare centers in the public sector, as well as a presence in the media.

"One must never give in," stressed the Pope, "to the pretences of those who, having an erroneous concept of the principle of Church-State-separation and of the lay character of the State, aim to reduce religion to a merely private sphere for the individual, not recognizing the Church's right to teach her doctrine and to give moral judgments about matters that affect the social

Turning to the question of "building a democratic culture and consolidating the State of law," John Paul II noted that "recently the Mexican bishops made a pressing appeal for national unity and dialogue among the leaders of social life."

He highlighted "the sad and vast problem of poverty," calling it "an urgent challenge for politicians and leaders in the public sector. Its eradication requires means of both a technical and political nature" but "one must never forget that these means will be insufficient if not animated by authentic ethical values. . A model of development that does not decisively confront social imbalances cannot prosper in the future."

The Holy Father dedicated closing remarks to the many indigenous peoples in Mexico, asking that special attention be devoted to them "for they are often relegated to the realm of the forgotten." He also expressed concern for the "growing phenomenon of migration of Mexicans to other countries, especially the United States," noting how negatively this affects families. The causes of emigration "must be found and remedied," he said, and "Mexicans residing abroad must never feel forgotten by the nation's leaders."
CD/./MEXICO VIS 20040224 (520)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 24, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Franc Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

- Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, apostolic nuncio in Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Krygyzstan and Uzbekistan.

- Bishop Paul-Marie Guillaume of Saint-Die, France on his "ad limina" visit.
AP:AL/./. VIS 20040224 (60)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 24, 2004 (VIS) - The Joint Committee between the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Permanent Committee of al-Ahzar for Dialogue with Monotheistic Religions, established in Rome on May 28, 1998, will be meeting in Rome today and tomorrow on the topic "Avoiding Generalization in Speaking of the other's Religion or Community, The Ability to be Self-Critical." A public session will be held this afternoon at 4 at the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

A special Agreement, built on already-existing contacts, was made in 1998 with the al-Azhar Institute because of this institution's millennia-old history and its outreach to Muslims throughout the world.

The purpose of the Joint Committee, according to Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the council for inter-religious dialogue, "is to foster research into common values, work for the promotion of justice and peace, and for the promotion of respect for religions. It provides a forum for exchanges on matters of mutual interests, such as the defense of human dignity and of human rights, and the promotion of mutual knowledge and respect among Catholics and Muslims. The Committee pays special attention to the role of religious leaders in promoting these values."

Archbishop Fitzgerald and Sheikh Fawzy al-Zafzaf, president of the Permanent Committee of al-Azhar for Dialogue with Monotheistic Religions, are co-presidents of this Joint Committee. Other members include a co-secretary and a maximum of three members on each side. Experts are invited to meetings as necessary.

The Committee meets at least once a year, alternately in Cairo and in Rome. The meeting usually take place on or near February 24, in commemoration of Pope John Paul II's historic visit to al-Azhar on that date in 2000.


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

- Erected the ecclesiastical province of Lodz, Poland elevating the same diocese to metropolitan Church and assigning the diocese of Lowicz as its suffragan. At the same time, he raised Bishop Wladyslaw Ziolek of Lodz to the dignity of metropolitan archbishop.

- Erected the diocese of Bydgoscz, Poland with territory taken from the archdiocese of Gniezno and from the dioceses of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg and Pelplin, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan Church of Gniezno.

- Appointed Bishop Jan Tyrawa, auxiliary of Wroclaw, Poland, as bishop of Bydgoszcz (area 4,000, population 596,202, priests 377, religious 4), Poland.

- Erected the diocese of Swidnica, Poland, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Wroclaw and the diocese of Legnica, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan Church of Wroclaw.

- Appointed Msgr. Ignacy Dec, rector of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Wroclaw, Poland as the first bishop of Swidnica (area 4,500, population 687,514, Catholics approximately 653,138, priests 366, religious 508), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in Hucisko, Poland in 1944 and was ordained a priest in 1969.

- Appointed Msgr. Stanislaw Budzik, rector of the Diocesan Seminary of Tarnow, Poland as auxiliary bishop of same diocese (area 7,566 population 1,126,920, Catholics 1,121,252, priests 1,301, religious 1.328). The bishop-elect was born in 1952 in Lekawica, Poland and was ordained a priest in 1977.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Warmia, Poland presented by Bishop Julian Wojtkowski upon having reached the age limit.
ECE:NER:NEA:RE/./. VIS 20040224 (260)
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service