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Monday, October 20, 2003


VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2003 (VIS) - A Holy See delegation, led by Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, apostolic nuncio in Ireland, was present at the Ministerial Conference on "New Challenges for Drug Policy in Europe," which was held in Dublin October 16-17.

Archbishop Lazzarotto, in his address to the assembly, stated that "there is no doubt that the phenomenon of drug abuse is connected to a crisis of civilization and with great dejection. One of the most important factors leading to drug abuse is the lack of clear motivation, the absence of values, the conviction that life is not worth living."

"Faced with the many suggestions ... for resolving the problem," the nuncio said, "the Holy See does not agree with the proposal to legalize the circulation and distribution of drugs, not even so-called light drugs. ... The State must not assist its most vulnerable citizens to alienate themselves from society and ruin their lives. Rather, the Holy See encourages above all the promotion of preventive information and education, and the possibility of the proper treatment and reintegration into society of those who unfortunately fall prey to drug addiction."



VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2003 (VIS) - In celebration of the 25th anniversary of his election to the pontificate, this afternoon in the Paul VI Hall John Paul II attended a concert offered by the choir and symphonic orchestra of Leipzig, Germany which performed Beethoven's entire Ninth Symphony, including the Ode to Joy. Cardinals, bishops, prelates of the Roman Curia and ambassadors were present.

At the end of the concert, the Pope thanked the members of the orchestra and chorus, saying: "The Ninth Symphony, Ludwig van Beethoven's last, has invited us to meditate on the richness and drama of human life. In the grand finale, the Ode to Joy has guided our thoughts, beyond humanity in its entirety, to the new Europe, that is extending its borders to other countries. Drawing on the heritage of the human and Christian values of its past, may the European continent be able to contribute to building a future rich in hope and peace for all of humanity."

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul will hold an Ordinary Public Consistory in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday, October 21 at 10:30 for the creation of 31 new cardinals, including one "in pectore." That afternoon, from 4:30 to 6:30 in the Paul VI Hall, Fabbrica di San Pietro and the Apostolic Palace, friends may pay courtesy calls on the new cardinals.

Guests must use the Sant'Uffizio entrance to greet the cardinals who will be in the Paul VI Hall and the Fabbrica di San Pietro. To greet the cardinals in the Apostolic Palace, entrance is through the Bronze Gate (Portone di Bronzo).

Following is a list of the rooms to which the new cardinals have been assigned:


- Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, O.F.M.

- Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien

- Cardinal George Pell

- Cardinal Josip Bozanic

- Cardinal Peter Erdo

- Cardinal Bernard Panafieu

- Cardinal Philippe Barbarin

- Cardinal Gustaaf Joos


- Cardinal Angelo Scola

- Cardinal Ennio Antonelli

- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.

- Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S.

FABBRICA DI SAN PIETRO (ST. PETER'S FABRIC)- Cardinal Francesco Marchisano


- Cardinal Julian Herranz
- Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan


- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran


- Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino


- Cardinal Attilio Nicora


- Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao


- Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man


- Cardinal Stanislas Nagy, S.C.I.


- Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie

- Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako

- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

- Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo


- Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid, S.C.I.

- Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno


- Cardinal Georges Marie Martin Cottier, O.P.

- Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, S.J.

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2003 (VIS) - At the end of the four-day meeting celebrated in the Vatican for the 25th anniversary of his pontificate, the Pope addressed the participants, the members of the College of Cardinals, patriarchs and presidents of the episcopal conferences.

The Holy Father thanked them for their message read by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, on behalf of all those who attended the symposium.
Upon recalling the twenty-five years that have passed since the beginning of his pontificate, John Paul II specifically referred to the numerous times that the cardinals have helped him with their advice in order "to understand better the important questions regarding the Church and humanity."

"The profound changes that have come about in the last 25 years," he continued, "involve our ministry as pastors. ... The courage to proclaim the Gospel should never diminish; on the contrary, up to our last breath it must be our principal commitment, confronted with ever-renewed dedication."

The Pope emphasized that "Christ's commandment is this: to announce the one Gospel with one heart and one soul. ... For this reason, we must cultivate among ourselves deep unity which is not limited to an affective fraternity, but which is based on complete doctrinal agreement and translates into a harmonious understanding from an operative point of view."

"How can we be authentic teachers for humanity and credible apostles of the new evangelization if we allow the seed of division to enter into our hearts? ... God sent us to the world as one, undivided college that must bear witness with a unanimous voice to His person, His word, His mystery. Our credibility depends on it! How much more effective our work will be the more we know how to make the face of the Church radiate, the Church that loves the poor, that is humble and is on the side of the weakest of society. Mother Teresa who tomorrow I will have to joy to inscribe in the book of Blesseds, gave us an emblematic example of this evangelical attitude."

John Paul II concluded by assuring them of prayers "for each one of you. ... I ask you to continue to pray for me so that I may faithfully fulfill my service to the Church as long as the Lord wishes."

In their message to the Holy Father, the cardinals write: "As a pilgrim of the Gospel, you, like the apostles, have put yourself on the path and have traversed continents to proclaim Christ, the Kingdom of God, forgiveness, love and peace. You have tirelessly ... announced the Gospel and in its light you have called everyone back to the fundamental human values: respect for the dignity of man, the defense of life, the promotion of justice and peace. You have especially reached out to young people."

"You have reached out to men of other religions in order to reawaken in everyone the desire for peace and the willingness to become an instrument of peace. In this way, you have become, for all of humanity, above all barriers and divisions, a great messenger of peace."

After the encounter, the Pope invited the cardinals to have lunch at the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. John Paul II thanked the entire College of Cardinals for the "generous gift" of 700,000 Euro that they gave him, saying "it will go to Christian communities in the Holy Land that are suffering so much."

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2003 (VIS) - Shortly after 8 this evening, Pope John Paul II, to the surprise of the thousands of pilgrims assembled in St. Peter's Square, appeared at his study window to watch the firework display organized by the city of Rome as part of the celebrations in honor of his silver jubilee as Pope.

At the end of the pyrotechnic display, the Holy Father told the crowd that he "greatly enjoyed the fireworks" for which he thanked the mayor of Rome and "the beloved city of Rome for the affection that even in this manner it wishes to show me. For this I bless all the citizens. May Christ bless you all!" The public continued to applaud and wave handkerchiefs, prompting the Pope to "wish everyone a beautiful evening. Good night," he said, as he left the window, having appeared for almost a half hour.

The fireworks were accompanied by and synchronized to the music of "Missa pro Pace," which was composed for Pope John Paul by the Polish musician, Kilar Wojciech, and performed in the Vatican, in the presence of the Holy Father, on December 7, 2001 by the chorus and National Philharmonic Orchestra of Warsaw.

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2003 (VIS) - Today in St. Peter's Square, before 300,000 people, including members of twenty-seven official delegations who were in Rome for the ceremony, John Paul II beatified Servant of God Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Sr. Nirmala Joshi, superior general of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa, attended the Mass, accompanied by thousands of sisters. Three thousand poor and destitute occupied seats close to the altar.

In the homily which was read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, and Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, the Pope noted that the foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity became a servant to all. "I am personally grateful to this courageous woman," he said, "whom I always felt alongside me. An icon of the Good Samaritan, she went everywhere to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor. Not even conflicts and wars held her back."

The Pope recalled what Mother Teresa said when she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979: "If you know of any woman who does not want to keep her baby and wants to abort, try to convince her to bring that child to me. I will love that child, seeing in him or her the sign of the love of God."

"Is it not significant that her beatification takes place on the day in which the Church celebrates World Mission Day? With the witness of her life Mother Teresa reminds us that the evangelizing mission of the Church is transmitted through charity, nourished in prayer and listening to the word of God. ... Mother Teresa proclaims the Gospel with her life completely dedicated to the poor, but at the same time, full of prayer."

Referring to Jesus' words on the cross, "I am thirsty," the Holy Father indicated that "satiating Jesus' thirst for love and for souls in union with Mary, the mother of Jesus, had become the sole aim" of the new blessed.

"Mother Teresa," he continued, "shared in the passion of the Crucifixion especially during the long years of 'interior darkness'. It was a trial, at times excruciating, welcomed as a singular 'gift and privilege'. In the darkest hours she relied more on prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This spiritual tribulation made her identify even more with those whom she served every day, experiencing sorrow and even rejection. She liked to say that the greatest poverty is to be unwanted, to not have anyone to take care of you."

John Paul II concluded by asking that "we give praise for this small women in love with God, humble messenger of the Gospel and tireless benefactor of humanity. We honor in her one of the most relevant personalities of our time. Let us welcome her message and let us follow our example."

At the end of the Mass, before the Angelus, the Pope saluted those present in English, Macedonian, Albanian and Italian. He then circled St. Peter's Square in the open white jeep to greet the faithful who had filled both the square and the broad street leading up to it, Via della Conciliazione.

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 20, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Henry Joseph Mansell of Buffalo, U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Hartford (area 5,926, population 1,863, 384, Catholics 719,953, priests 499, permanent deacons 308, religious 1,191), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in 1937 in New York, U.S.A., and was ordained a priest in 1962. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese presented by Archbishop Daniel Anthony Cronin upon having reached the age limit.
It was made public on Saturday October 18 that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Luis Alberto Parra Mora, vicar general of the diocese of Yopal, Colombia, as bishop of Mocoa-Sibundoy (area 25,282, population 264,400, Catholics 175,000, priests 38, religious 104), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Tenza, Colombia in 1944 and was ordained a priest in 1971. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Fabio De Jesus Morales, C.SS.R., in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Victor Tonye Backot of Edea, Cameroon, as metropolitan archbishop of Yaounde (area 4,964, population 1,545,300, Catholics 680,235, priests 302, religious 270), Cameroon.

- Appointed Fr. Jonas Ivanauskas, vicar general of the archdiocese of Kaunas, Lithuania, as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area 8,750, population 750,000, Catholics 506,000, priests 133, religious 327). The bishop-elect was born in Alytus, Lithuania in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1985.

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received in audience the pilgrims who participated yesterday in the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to whom, he said, "he was bound by great esteem and sincere affection."

Speaking about the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, John Paul II affirmed that "there is no doubt that the new blessed was one of the greatest missionaries of the 20th century. The Lord made a chosen instrument of this simple woman, who came from one of the poorest areas of Europe, in order to announce the Gospel to the whole world, not with preaching but with daily gestures of love toward the poor. Missionary with the most universal language: charity without limits and exclusions, without preferences even toward to most abandoned."

The Holy Father indicated that Mother Teresa also was "a missionary of charity, a missionary of peace and a missionary of life. ... She always spoke out in defense of human life, even when her message was unwelcome. Mother Teresa's whole existence was a hymn to life. ... Her very smile was a 'yes' to life, a joyful 'yes', born of profound faith and love, a 'yes' purified in the crucible of suffering. She renewed that 'yes' each morning, in union with Mary, at the foot of Christ's Cross."

"Teresa of Calcutta," he continued, "was really a mother. Mother of the poor, mother of children. Mother of so many young girls and boys who had her as their spiritual guide and who shared her mission. From a small seed, the Lord made a big tree grow, full of fruit."

Addressing her spiritual sons and daughters, the Pope said: "You are the most eloquent signs of this prophetic fecundity. Preserve her charisma and follow her example, and she, from heaven, will always sustain you on your path every day."

"Mother Teresa's message is more than ever an invitation directed at everyone. Her whole life reminds us that to be Christian means to be witnesses to charity. These are the instructions of the new blessed. Echoing her words, I urge each one of you to follow with generosity and courage the footsteps of this genuine disciple of Christ. Mother Teresa walks alongside you on the path of charity."

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