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, December 15, 2003


VATICAN CITY, DEC 13, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, Pope John Paul welcomed members of the European Olympic Committees, the Italian Association of Opticians and the 'Interdis' group.

In addressing the president and members of the 49 European Olympic Committees who are participating in the annual assembly of the International Olympic Committee, the Holy Father said: 'I welcome this occasion to underline once again the value and importance of sports, especially in the formation of young people. Europe is the cradle of modern sports which come from the competitive exercises of the ancient Greeks which were marked by reciprocal respect and friendship. May the well-known motto of the modern Olympics, 'Citius, Altius, Fortius' (faster, higher, stronger), continue to mark the sporting practices of the new generations.'

The Pope then greeted the Italian Association of Opticians and the Italian Association of Research for Eye Diseases. 'May your patron saint, St. Lucy, whose feast is today, help you to undertake with every greater commitment your activity in favor of those who have eye problems. This is an important service that you perform for society.'

Lastly, in brief remarks, he thanked the 'Interdis' Group for Commercial Distribution for 'the generous support you have given to the Pope's charity initiatives in favor of the most needy.'

AC;SPORTS; OPTICIANS;...;@ ;VIS;20031215;Word: 230;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 14, 2003 (VIS) - At noon today, in remarks made before praying the Angelus with pilgrims who had gathered below his study window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul noted that this third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called 'Gaudete' Sunday, as it is a day that calls the faithful to joy.

'Advent is a time of joy,' he said,. 'because it makes us relive the anticipation of the most joyful event in history; the birth of the Son of God to the Virgin Mary. To know that God is not far but near, not indifferent but compassionate, not extraneous but a merciful Father Who lovingly follows us in respect for our freedom: all of this is reason for a deep joy that daily events cannot mar.'

The Holy Father added that 'an unmistakable characteristic of Christian joy is that it can coexist with suffering because it is all based on love. In fact, the Lord Who is 'near', to the point of becoming man, comes to infuse us with His joy, the joy of loving. Only in this way can we understand the joyful serenity of martyrs in the midst of trials or the smile of the saints of charity before those in pain: a smile that does not offend but rather consoles.'

After praying the Angelus, the Pope addressed the children gathered in St. Peter's Square who had brought him their statues of Baby Jesus for the traditional blessing before Christmas. 'When you place these statues in the nativity scene,' he told them,. 'say a prayer for me and for the many people who turn to the Pope in their difficulties. Merry Christmas to all!'

ANG;GAUDETE SUNDAY;...;@ ;VIS;20031215;Word: 300;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 13, 2003 (VIS) - The funeral for Cardinal Paulos Tzadua, who died Thursday in Rome at the age of 82, will be held on Tuesday, December 16 at 11 a.m. at the Altar of the Confession in St. Peter's Basilica. Cardinal Tzadua, of the title of The Most Holy Name of Mary on Via Latina, was archbishop emeritus of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

The funeral liturgy will be presided over by the Holy Father who will delivery the homily and lead the rite of Final Commendation and of 'valedictio.' Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, will concelebrate Mass with other cardinals present.



VATICAN CITY, DEC 13, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was the speech given in Geneva on December 11 by Archbishop John Foley, head of the Holy See delegation to the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society. He focussed on the role of communication and information technologies in promoting development and human rights.

The archbishop stated that 'the Holy See is most interested in the human and moral implications of the information society.Thus, we are particularly grateful that agreement has been reached on the 'Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society' in the Declaration of Principles.' He added that, 'in our commendable concern to make information and communications technology available to the broadest possible range of persons, I would hope that we might remember three basic moral foundations of communication: the overriding importance of truth, the dignity of the human person and the promotion of the common good.'

'In this context,' remarked Archbishop Foley, 'access to information is essential to the development of a healthy society in which all citizens might be well informed and active participants, in keeping with their dignity and in light of the common good. All of us are committed to avoiding the possibility that information and communications technologies and programs might aggravate any inequalities which already exist.' And, he said, 'development must be understood in a fully human way, concretely enhancing every individual's dignity and creativity.'

Noting the Holy See's interest in the role of the media in preserving and constructing peace, the head of delegation said: 'In these days, we cannot build a lasting peace without the cooperation of media networks. They can serve the culture of dialogue, participation, solidarity and reconciliation without which peace cannot flourish.' To this end, he said, 'a courageous contribution of media, instead of featuring violence, immorality and superficiality' could help 'to build better reciprocal knowledge and respect and to foster reconciliation and a more fruitful relationship among peoples of different cultures, ideologies and religions.'

DELSS;MEDIA; ETHICS;...;FOLEY ;VIS;20031215;Word: 330;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 15, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul today welcomed the prelates of the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference, as they conclude their 'ad limina' visit to Rome and, in his talk to them in English, highlighted 'the figures of two intrepid witnesses to the faith, two holy individuals whose lives are intimately connected with your land: St. Josephine Bakhita and St. Daniel Comboni.'

'From her earliest years,' said the Pope, 'St. Josephine Bakhita knew the cruelty and brutality with which man can treat his fellow man. ' Her life inspires the firm resolve to work effectively to free people from oppression and violence, ensuring that their human dignity is respected in the full exercise of their rights. It is this same resolve that must guide the Church in the Sudan today as the nation makes the transition from hostility and conflict to peace and concord. ' Tribalism and forms of discrimination based on ethnic origin, language and culture do not belong in a civilized society and have absolutely no place in the community of believers.'

Highlighting 'the hardships and pain that afflict those fleeing war and violence ' especially women and children,' the Holy Father noted the efforts of Church agencies to help refugees and displaced persons in these situations. He also pointed to the Church's many contributions to Sudan's social and cultural life and lauded the 'reactivation of the Commission for Interreligious Dialogue. You should do all that you can to encourage this, even as you insist that religious pluralism, as guaranteed by the Sudanese Constitution, should be respected.'

'As you know so well,' John Paul II told the prelates, 'it belongs to the Church to speak out unambiguously on behalf of those who have no voice and to be a leaven of peace and solidarity, particularly where these ideals are most fragile and threatened.'

He noted that St. Daniel Comboni 'was keenly concerned that Africans should have a key role in evangelizing the continent. ' In the course of his missionary activity, he did not let the great suffering and many hardships that he endured ' privation, exhaustion, illness, mistrust ' divert him from the task of preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Bishop Comboni was moreover a strong advocate of inculturating the faith.'

On the formation of the laity, especially catechists, the Pope suggested that 'It would prove helpful if a simple catechism in the language of the people were prepared and made available. Similarly, suitable texts in local languages could be prepared and distributed as a means of presenting Jesus to those who are unfamiliar with the Christian message and as a tool for interreligious dialogue. This could be especially helpful in those areas exempt from Shari'ah law, particularly in the Federal Capital of Khartoum.'

Urging the bishops 'to cherish your priests with a special love and to regard them as precious co-workers and friends,' he stated that priests 'are called to be detached from material things and to devote themselves to the service of others through the complete gift of self in celibacy. Scandalous behaviour must at all times be investigated, confronted and corrected.'

He also counselled the bishops to, as much as possible, have contact with the faithful and to be attentive to their human and spiritual needs. 'Time and resources should never be spent on diocesan or parochial structures or on development projects at the expense of the people.' He said that 'equity and transparency must be the indispensable traits characterizing all financial matters, with every effort being made to see that contributions are truly used for the purposes intended.'

In concluding, the Pope addressed the question of ecumenical and interreligious cooperation, saying that it would be helpful 'to establish an agency for coordinating the various programs aimed at lending assistance and humanitarian aid throughout the various regions of the country. Such coordination would undoubtedly serve to increase the effectiveness of these programs and could even prove helpful in making contacts for the issue of the government permits necessary for travel to certain areas.'

AL;@;...;SUDAN ;VIS;20031215;Word: 690;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 15, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of the new ambassador of the Dominican Republic, Carlos Rafael Conrado Marion Landais-Castillo. The Pope expressed his joy due at the 'good relations between the Church and the State' in the country and his desire that they 'continue in the future.'

'It is appropriate,' he said, 'to recognize the activity carried out in your country through the dioceses, parishes, religious communities and apostolic movements.' He mentioned specifically 'ecclesial activity in favor of the disabled, AIDS patients, ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees,' as well as the 'presence of the Church in the field of education.'

John Paul II recalled that although the Church does not propose 'solutions in the public or technical sphere, it must however indicate the motivations and guidance offered in the Gospel in order to illuminate the search for responses and solutions.' Therefore, he continued, its mission is 'to recall, defend and consolidate the genuine ethical, spiritual and transcendental values, particularly at the present moment during which internal and external causes have produced grave deterioration in your country and a descent in the quality of life of Dominicans. While solving these problems, one must never forget that the common good is the objective to achieve for which the Church lends its collaboration to the government and society, without interfering in other realms beyond its mission.'

'In today's world,' he continued, 'it is not enough to limit oneself to the law of the market and its globalization; we must foster solidarity, avoiding the evils that come from a capitalism that puts profit before the person and makes man the victim of so many injustices. A model of development that does not keep in mind these inequalities or confront them decisively would not prosper in any way.'

After emphasizing that 'those who suffer the most are always the poor,' the Pope indicated that 'they must be the objective of the vigilance and attention of the State. ' It is essential to highlight the importance of education and formation as elements in the fight against poverty, as well as respect for fundamental rights that cannot be sacrificed to the detriment of other objectives, as this would attack the true dignity of man.'

John Paul II concluded by expressing his closeness 'to all those who were affected by the earthquake this past September and the recent floods. I applaud the effective solidarity of other regions of the Dominican Republic and other countries in the Caribbean. I ask the Lord to grant the victims the strength and capability to generously give of themselves in order to deal with the devastation suffered, and that they may have the necessary help to be able to lead an ordinary life.'

CD;CREDENTIALS;...;MARION ;VIS;20031215;Word: 470;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Bernard Hombach Lutkermeier of Juigalpa, Nicaragua, as bishop of the diocese of Granada (area 7,453, population 540,112, Catholics 483,682, priests 54, religious 161), Nicaragua. He succeeds Bishop Leovigildo Lopez Fitoria, C.M. whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

NER; RE;HOMBACH; LOPEZ VIS 20031215 (70);...;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences three prelates of the Episcopal Conference of France:

- Cardinal Bernard Panafieu, archbishop of Marseille, with Auxiliary Bishop Benoit Rivierre.

- Bishop Claude Fedit of Aix.

On Saturday, December 13, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, apostolic nuncio in Sudan and apostolic delegate in Somalia.

- Three prelates of the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of Yei.

- Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid.

- Bishop Antonio Menegazzo, apostolic administrator 'sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedi' of El Obeid.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

AP; AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031215;Word: 120;
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service