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

Monday, July 14, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2003 (VIS) - Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., vice director of the Holy See Press Office, released the following statement today to journalists: "From September 11 to 14 the Holy Father John Paul II will undertake an apostolic trip to Slovakia, where he will visit the cities of Trnava, Banska Bystrica, Roznava and Bratislava."

OP;POPE TRIP SLOVAKIA;...;...;VIS;20030714;Word: 60;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 13, 2003 (VIS) - Today at noon, in the inner courtyard of the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo, Pope John Paul recited the Angelus with the faithful present and reflected on the future of Europe where, he said, there appears to be "a certain loss of Christian memory accompanied by a sort of fear to face the future."

"In this historic moment," the Pope stated, "during which the important process of the reunification of Europe is taking place through the enlargement of the European Union to other countries, the Church looks with love to this continent. Joining the many lights are a number of shadows. A certain loss of the Christian memory is accompanied by a sort of fear to face the future." He underscored "the spread of individualism and a growing weakness of inter-personal solidarity, and a loss of hope at whose root lies the attempt to make an anthropology without God and Christ prevail. Paradoxically the cradle of human rights risks losing its foundation, eroded by relativism and utilitarianism."

The Holy Father then referred to the Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Europe," saying that Jesus Christ, Who seems to be disappearing from European life, is urgently needed now, at a time of "serious uncertainties at a cultural, anthropological, ethical and spiritual level."

"European culture," said the Pope, "gives the impression of a 'silent apostasy' on the part of men who are sated, who live as if God did not exist. The greatest urgency, therefore, throughout Europe, 'in the East as in the West, lies in a growing need for hope, to thus be able to give meaning to life and to history and to walk forward together'." Only Christ can give man this hope, he said.

After praying the Angelus, John Paul II greeted the inhabitants of Castelgandolfo, the civil and religious authorities and the director and personnel of the pontifical villa.

He also noted that "two initiatives aimed at the university world will take place at the end of this week in Rome. The first is a series of sporting and cultural games on the occasion of the seventh centenary of La Sapienza University. The second is the symposium "University and Church in Europe. I cordially greet the participants in anticipation of meeting them next Saturday."

ANG;...;...;CASTELGANDOLFO;VIS;20030714;Word: 370;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Wurzburg, Germany, presented by Bishop Paul-Werner Scheele upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday July 12 it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Bishop Zacarias Ortiz Rolon, S.D.B., apostolic vicar of Chaco Paraguayo, Paraguay, as bishop of Concepcion (area 30,984, population 302,413, Catholics 300,600, priests 31, religious 77), Paraguay.

RE; NER;...;...;SCHEELE; ORTIZ ;VIS;20030714;Word: 80;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2003 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue organized a meeting for its members, consultors and some guests which took place from July 7 to 9 at the Convent of St. Thomas of the Greek-Melkite Patriarchate of Saydnaya, Syria. Participants in the meeting came from Lebanon, Jordan, the Holy Land, Turkey, North Africa, France and Canada.

Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, council president, led the workshops. The following prelates attended the opening ceremony: His Holiness Ignace Zakka I Iwas, Syrian-Orthodox patriarch, Their Beatitudes Gregory II Lahham, Catholic Greek-Melkite patriarch, Ignace Pierre VIII Abdel-Ahad, Syrian-Catholic patriarch, Jean Pierre XVIII Kasparian, patriarch emeritus of the Armenian Catholics, and Archbishop Diego Causero, apostolic nuncio in Syria. His Beatitude Ignace IV Hazim, patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Orthodox, was represented by Msgr. Ghattas Hazim, patriarchal vicar.

A communique made public today notes that on the first day of the meeting there were three conferences on "Inter-religious dialogue and social development," "Inter-religious dialogue and human rights," and "Inter-religious dialogue and the search for common values."

Participants in the meeting presented various reports on the situation of Islamic-Christian relations in their respective countries and expressed their appreciation for "the position of John Paul II, Catholic leaders and leaders of other Churches in the world, on the Middle East especially, on peace in the world, the condemnation of the war against Iraq and the request for a just and global peace for the Middle East, especially in Palestine."

The communique ends by noting how the participants in the meeting in Saydnaya underscored the "importance of the work carried out by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and its role in the promotion of fraternal relations with Muslims throughout the world, something which has become even more important and urgent after the events of September 11, 2001, the war in Iraq and the deterioration of the situation in Palestine."

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service