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, November 11, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received representatives from 'Solidarnosc,' the Polish trade union founded on Christian ethics and the social teaching of the Catholic Church, which included former President Lech Walesa, and Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski, head of pastoral care in the work force of the Polish Episcopal Conference.

In his speech, the Pope recalled that this meeting takes place on November 11, the anniversary of the institution of the Polish Republic in 1918. 'National freedom was regained that day,' said the Holy Father, 'after years of fighting that cost our nation so much deprivation and sacrifice. ' This exterior freedom did not last but we have always been able to call upon it in the fight to preserve interior freedom, freedom of spirit.'

Afterward, he reviewed the history of 'Solidarnosc,' which was born among those who fought against 'the programmed suppression of man's freedom, the humiliation of his dignity and the negation of his fundamental rights' and he affirmed that these principles went on to become 'the foundation for peaceful changes' in Poland. The Pope especially recalled 1979 when 'the sense of unity in the good and the common desire for prosperity in the oppressed nation prevailed over hatred and the desire for vengeance and became the seed for building a democratic state.' He then referred to 1989 when he entrusted the union, which was by then legal, to Our Lady of Jasna Gora.

Nevertheless, he observed, these events 'seem to be forgotten with time. Younger generations are not familiar with them. We could then ask ourselves if they are able to appreciate the freedom they possess, if they do not realize the price that was paid for it.' John Paul II affirmed that these events are a 'heritage which must be constantly remembered so that freedom does not turn into anarchy but rather takes on the form of common responsibility.'

The Pope, quoting from his speech to members of the union in 1981, emphasized that they had 'duties of enormous importance ' which are connected to the need for the full assurance of the dignity and efficacy of human work, through respect for the personal, familial and social rights of each person who is the subject of labor. ' Your activity has, and should always have, a clear reference to social morality.'

'Today,' he continued, 'this urgency to guarantee the dignity and efficacy of human work has not lost its importance.' He cited current problems in the labor force in Poland: unemployment, temporary work, laying off 'without any concern for the plight of employees and their families,' as well as the difference between public and private employment.

'It is necessary that your union openly defends workers who are denied the right to speak out, or to express opposition to the phenomena that violate the fundamental rights of the worker.' John Paul also recalled the issue of non-payment in Poland, defining it as 'a grave sin that cries out for vengeance from heaven,' and 'denying workers the right to rest, medical care and even maternity leave.'

At the end, the Pope warned them that in recent years the fact that the union has become politicized, 'probably due to historical necessity, has contributed to its debilitation. ' Today if Solidarnosc really wants to serve the nation, it must return to its roots ' All workers, regardless of who is in power in the country, depend on your help in defending their lawful rights.'

The gathering concluded with the Holy Father greeting the National Polish soccer team as well as players from the National Italian soccer team who will play each other tomorrow in Warsaw.

AC;@;...;SOLIDARNOSC ;VIS;20031111;Word: 600;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, military ordinary for Italy, as a member of the Council of the Central Office for the Coordination of the Pastoral Care of Military Ordinates, constituted within the Congregation for Bishops.

NA;@;...;BAGNASCO ;VIS;20031111;Word: 50;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience three prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their 'ad limina' visit:

Bishop Antony Anandarayar of Ootacamund.

Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore.

Bishop Leon Augustine Tharmaraj of Kottar.

AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031111;Word: 50;


VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2003 (VIS) - Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto and Fr. Michael Blume, S.V.D., president, secretary and undersecretary respectively of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, presented today in the Holy See Press Office the program of the fifth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. The congress whose theme is, 'Starting Afresh from Christ. Towards a renewed pastoral care of migrants and refugees,' will take place from November 17 to 22 in Rome.

Cardinal Hamao indicated that the congress' program includes various conferences on the current situation of migrants and refugees in the world, in addition to existing pastoral challenges, the Church's vision on human mobility, its mission in a multicultural or intercultural society and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Delegates representing the Anglican Communion, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the World Lutheran Federation and the World Council of Churches will also participate. The challenge of charity and the creation of a world that is more just, free and peaceful will be discussed. Finally, some considerations on the importance of the Eucharist, as a sign and instrument of the Christian community, will be presented.

During his speech, Archbishop Marchetto spoke about the phenomenon of migration. He recalled that there are 'almost one billion persons each year who leave their home country for work, tourism or on pilgrimage or in exile, or to escape war, afflicted by poverty or forced to seek asylum.' According to the International Organization for Migration (OIM), the United States, with 35 million people and the Russian Federation, with 13,300,000 people, are the countries with highest number of immigrants.
The secretary of the dicastery emphasized that the terrorist attacks of September 11 'have had an notable impact on migration' and their effects 'have highlighted the importance of the efficient management of immigrant waves and provoked increased awareness about the insufficiency of solely local measures.'

'It is necessary,' he continued, 'to find a solution to the difficult problem of consolidating the unity of all of humanity with the diversity of peoples, ethnicities, cultures and religions that compose it. This implies welcoming our neighbor, with a culture of dialogue and reciprocity, solidarity and peace.'

Fr. Blume then spoke about the situation of refugees today: 'There are 12 million refugees under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) and another 4 million under the United Nations Relief and Aid Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).'

He concluded by saying: 'If the pastoral care of refugees can assume different forms, according to the circumstances, its starting point should always be the comprehension of a situation in all its dimensions ' personal, social, economic, political ' in the light of the Word of God and the social doctrine of the Church.'
Keys: ;MIGRANTS; REFUGEES;...;HAMAO ;VIS;20031111;Word: 480;
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service