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Thursday, December 16, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Fr. Jaime Rodriguez Salazar, M.C.C.I., diocesan administrator of the diocese of Huanuco, Peru and pastor of St. Peter Parish, as bishop of the same diocese (area 44,000, population 800,453, Catholics 720,407, priests 49, permanent deacons 8, religious 102). The bishop-elect was born in Michoacan, Mexico in 1939 and was ordained a priest in 1966.

- Fr. Paul J. Bradley, vicar general and moderator of the Curia of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of the same diocese (area 10,594, population 1,967,494, Catholics 812,078, priests 576, permanent deacons 50, religious 1,616), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in McKeesport, U.S.A. and was ordained a priest in 1971.

- The following as members of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See: Cardinals Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic, archbishop  of Toronto, Canada and Claudio Hummes, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Bishop Luigi Padovese, apostolic vicar of Anatolia.

- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

- Aaron Valency, mayor of Upper Galilee and his wife.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) -  The Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has announced the Holy Father's schedule for December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1, 2005:

- Friday, 24: Solemnity of Our Lord's Birth.  Midnight Mass in the Vatican Basilica.

- Saturday, 25: Solemnity of Our Lord's Birth.  "Urbi et Orbi" blessing at midday in St. Peter's Square.

- Friday, 31: Vespers and "Te Deum" of thanksgiving in the Vatican Basilica at 6 p.m.

- Saturday, January 1, 2005: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and World Day of Peace. Eucharistic liturgy presided over by Pope John Paul at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica. Cardinal Angelo Sodano will celebrate the liturgy.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) -  Pope John Paul's Message for World Day of Peace, January 1, 2005 was published today in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese. As the Pope himself wrote in the Message, dated December 8, 2004: "For the theme of this 2005 World Day of Peace I have chosen Saint Paul's words in the Letter to the Romans: 'Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good' (12:21)."

  Following are excerpts from the 13-page document:

  "The great Apostle brings out a fundamental truth: peace is the outcome of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil is defeated by good. If we consider the tragic scenario of violent fratricidal conflicts in different parts of the world, and the untold sufferings and injustices to which they have given rise, the only truly constructive choice is, as Saint Paul proposes, to 'flee what is evil and hold fast to what is good' (cf. Rom 12:9).

  "Peace is a good to be promoted with good: it is a good for individuals, for families, for nations and for all humanity."

"Evil, good and love
  "From the beginning, humanity has known the tragedy of evil and has struggled to grasp its roots and to explain its causes. Evil is not some impersonal, deterministic force at work in the world. It is the result of human freedom. ... Evil always has a name and a face: the name and face of those men and women who freely choose it. ... Each of these choices has an intrinsic moral dimension."
  "At its deepest level, evil is a tragic rejection of the demands of love. Moral good, on the other hand, is born of love, shows itself as love and is directed towards love."
"The 'grammar' of the universal moral law
  "If we look to the present state of the world, we cannot help but note the disturbing spread of various social and political manifestations of evil: from social disorders to anarchy and war, from injustice to acts of violence and killing. To steer a path between the conflicting claims of good and evil, the human family urgently needs to preserve and esteem that common patrimony of moral values bestowed by God himself."
  "This common grammar of the moral law requires ever greater commitment and responsibility in ensuring that the life of individuals and of peoples is respected and advanced. In this light, the evils of a social and political nature which afflict the world, particularly those provoked by outbreaks of violence, are to be vigorously condemned. I think immediately of the beloved continent of Africa, ... or the dangerous situation of Palestine, the Land of Jesus, ...  the troubling phenomenon of terrorist violence, which appears to be driving the whole world towards a future of fear and anguish, ... the drama unfolding in Iraq, which has given rise to tragic situations of uncertainty and insecurity for all."
"The good of peace and the common good
  "When the common good is promoted at every level, peace is promoted. ... Each person, in some way, is called to work for the common good, constantly looking out for the good of others as if it were his own. This responsibility belongs in a particular way to political authorities at every level."
  "The common good therefore demands respect for and the integral promotion of the person and his fundamental rights, as well as respect for and the promotion of the rights of nations on the universal plane."
  "Certain reductive visions of humanity tend to present the common good as a purely socio-economic state of well-being lacking any transcendent purpose, thus emptying it of its deepest meaning. Yet the common good has a transcendent dimension, for God is the ultimate end of all His creatures."
"The good of peace and the use of the world's goods
  "Since the good of peace is closely linked to the development of all peoples, the ethical requirements for the use of the earth's goods must always be taken into account."
  "As a member of the human family, each person becomes as it were a citizen of the world, with consequent duties and rights. ... By the mere fact of being conceived, a child is entitled to rights and deserving of care and attention; and someone has the duty to provide these. The condemnation of racism, the protection of minors, the provision of aid to displaced persons and refugees, and the mobilization of international solidarity towards all the needy are nothing other than consistent applications of the principle of world citizenship."
  "The good of peace will be better ensured if the international community takes on greater responsibility for what are commonly called public goods" such as "the judiciary system, the defense system and the network of highways and railways."
  "The principle of the universal destination of goods can also make possible a more effective approach to the challenge of poverty."
  "The tragedy of poverty remains closely linked to the issue of the foreign debt of poor countries."
  "What is urgently needed is a moral and economic mobilization. ... New impulse should be given to Public Aid for Development, and new forms of financing for development should be explored, whatever the difficulties entailed."
  "In my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, I spoke of the urgent need for a new creativity in charity. ... This need is clearly seen when we consider the many difficult problems standing in the way of development in Africa: numerous armed conflicts, pandemic diseases aggravated by extreme poverty, and political instability leading to widespread insecurity."
  "May the peoples of Africa become the protagonists of their own future. ... May Africa cease to be a mere recipient of aid, and become a responsible agent of convinced and productive sharing!"
"The universality of evil and Christian hope"
  "Based on the certainty that evil will not prevail, Christians nourish an invincible hope which sustains their efforts to promote justice and peace."
  "No man or woman of good will can renounce the struggle to overcome evil with good. This fight can be fought effectively only with the weapons of love. When good overcomes evil, love prevails and where love prevails, there peace prevails."
  "Christians ... should show by their lives that love is the only force capable of bringing fulfillment to persons and societies, the only force capable of directing the course of history in the way of goodness and peace."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented Pope John Paul II's Message for the 38th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1, 2005.

  Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi and Msgr. Frank J. Dewane, secretary and under-secretary of the same dicastery, also participated in the presentation.

  Cardinal Martino explained that this year the Pope has chosen a verse from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans as a theme for reflection: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." The apostle, he said, "invites us to a discernment, both personal and communal, on the crucial questions of evil and its dramatic influence on human lives and admonishes us to take up, with mature responsibility, the good and its diffusion."

  The Message is composed of three parts. In the first section, the cardinal said that "peace is considered in its rapport with moral good. In the second, peace is seen in its rapport with a classic principle of the social doctrine of the Church, the principle of the common good. In the third, peace is treated in its close connection with the use of the goods of the earth and with a very pertinent reference to another great principle of the social doctrine, the universal destination of goods."

  "At the center of the drama of evil there is a protagonist: the human person with his liberty and his sin." In this sense, the Pope indicates that "in order to face the multiple social and political manifestations of evil, modern humanity must treasure the common patrimony of moral values received as a gift from God." John Paul II recalls the appeal he made in 1995 before the General Assembly of the United Nations referring to the "grammar of the universal moral law, the only capable way to unite people among themselves in their diversity of cultures."

  In the Message, the Holy Father condemns the violence that is so rampant in our age and he highlights the "conflicts in Africa, the dangerous situation of Palestine, terrorism which seems to push the whole world towards a future of fear and anxiety, and the Iraqi drama which multiplies uncertainly and insecurity."

  "After calling for everyone's commitment to the common good and, above all, the commitment of public authorities, the Holy Father binds the promotion of the common good to respect for the person and his fundamental rights, as well as to respect for the rights of Nations in a universal perspective, asking for the commencement of real international cooperation." The Pope urges everyone not "to reduce the common good to mere socio-economic well-being. This is possible if the common good remains open to the transcendental dimension."

  Cardinal Martino indicated that the third part of the Message is dedicated to the use of the goods of the earth which the Holy Father considers in the context of the social doctrine of the universal destination of these same goods. The principles of the universal destination of the goods of the earth and world citizenship "constitute two beacons capable of illuminating political choices of the international community for the promotion of the development of peoples from an ethical and cultural perspective cast towards an integral and solidary development of humanity."

  In this ethical-cultural context, Cardinal Martino continued, the Pope confronts some very urgent questions. Their "solution is generally bound to the affirmation of the right to peace and the right to development," he said.  The first question regards "the use and destination of those new goods which are the fruit of scientific knowledge and technological progress."  The second one, he added, refers to the "public goods, goods which all citizens enjoy automatically without having made precise choices and which are however expressions of common interests."  The third question is "the fight against poverty, which remains the principle objective of the action of the International Community at the outset of this Millennium."

  In order to deal with poverty, John Paul II indicates that the first priority is to resolve the issue of the foreign debt of poor countries. In addition, he adds, "a renewed international commitment in financing for development" is necessary through "a new impulse" to public aid development.

  Cardinal Martino said that, at the center of the fight against poverty, the Holy Father places the African continent, which is "blocked in its development by many difficult problems; armed conflicts, pandemic diseases, conditions of misery, political instability and social insecurity." The solution to these problems lies in "respect for the promises related to official development assistance, a substantial alleviating of the weight of international debt, the opening of markets and an increase in commercial exchange."

  The cardinal concluded by saying: "In the face of terrible scenarios drawn from the presence of evil, the Holy Father invites everyone to raise their eyes to God who, in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has rendered possible for all the victory of good over evil."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received participants in the Seventh International Congress of the Pastoral Care for Circus and Fair Workers. The meeting, which is taking place in Rome from December 12 to 16, was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

  After recalling the theme of the congress, "Welcoming Circus and Fair Workers: from diversity to the coexistence of differences," the Pope said that their work, "which is difficult and very special, can be a privileged occasion to proclaim the authentically human values in the world's fora. In a time when it seems as if the frenzy of producing and getting rich is the only thing that matters, spreading joy and cheer is true testimony to those non-material values that are necessary to live fraternity and gratitude."

  "Your world, that of the circus and amusement parks," concluded the Pope, "can be turned into a new field of the great themes of pastoral care, ecumenism and the encounter of members of other religions, and the common commitment to building a universal brotherhood."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II welcomed five new ambassadors to the Holy See this morning and, after accepting their Letters of Credence, he addressed them as a group in French. At the end of his speech the Pope greeted each one individually and gave them a personal written message of welcome that made reference to the specific situations in their countries.

  The new ambassadors are: Gilton Bazilio Chiwaula of Malawi, Pradap Pibulsonggram of Thailand, Georges Santer of Luxembourg, Raychelle Awour Omamo of Kenya and Lars Petter Forberg of Norway.

  "Our world today," said the Pope, "has been marked by the scourge of war. In the face of humanitarian dramas, the international community is called to initiate inventive actions on the levels of charity, the economy and politics. It is important that diplomacy, for its part, does all that it can to make peace triumph. I appeal once again to all men and women of good will to definitively lay down arms and to commit themselves to the path of a trusting and fraternal dialogue. Violence never serves the cause of peoples, nor their development."

  John Paul II expressed the wish that "our contemporaries, especially those who guide the destinies of peoples, will always have at heart concern for serving man and the common good."

  He asked each ambassador to transmit his greetings to the citizens and civil and religious authorities in their respective countries, "with a special thought for the Catholic communities" and offered his "best wishes for your new mission."
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