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Tuesday, June 15, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Metropolitan Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach of Tarragona, Spain, as metropolitan archbishop of Barcelona (area 3,041, population 4,301,346, Catholics 3,956,616, priests 1,512, permanent deacons 55, religious 4,730), Spain. He succeeds Cardinal Ricardo Maria Carles Gordo whose resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Barcelona was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the office of auxiliary of Barcelona, Spain, presented by Bishop Pere Tena Garriga upon having reached the age limit.

- Erected the dioceses of Terrassa and Sant Felieu de Llobregat with territory taken from the archdiocese of Barcelona.

- Erected the ecclesiastical province of Barcelona, Spain, elevating the same archdiocese to Metropolitan Church and assigning the new dioceses of Terrasa and Sant Feliu de Llobregat as its suffragan churches.

- Appointed Fr. Jaume Pujol Balcells, professor of theology and director of the Superior Institute of Religious Sciences in the Faculty of Theology at University of Navarre as metropolitan archbishop of Tarragona (area 2,700, population 456.526, Catholics 437,000, priests 184, permanent deacons 5, religious 623), Spain.  The archbishop-elect was born in Guissona, Spain in 1944 and was ordained a priest in 1973.

- Appointed Bishop Josep Angel Saiz Meneses, auxiliary of Barcelona, Spain, as bishop of Terrassa, Spain.

- Appointed Bishop Agustin Cortes Soriano of Ibiza, Spain, as bishop of Sant Feliu di Llobregat, Spain.

- Appointed Fr. Mariano Manzana, a fidei bonum priest in Brazil, as bishop of Mossoro (area 18,832, population 825,000, Catholics 793,000, priests 37, religious 63), Brazil.  The bishop-elect was born in Mori, Italy in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1973.  The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Jose Freire de Oliveira Neto upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Jose Clemente Weber, auxiliary of Porto Alegre, Brazil, as bishop of Santo Angelo (area 19,293, population 510,000, Catholics 392,000, priests 92, permanent deacons 3, religious 398), Brazil. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Estanislau Amadeu Kreutz upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Jacinto Bergmann, auxiliary of Pelotas, Brazil, as bishop of Tubarao (area 4,531, population 391,455, Catholics 290,704, priests 49, permanent deacons 1, religious 121), Brazil.  The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, presented by Bishop Hilario Moser, S.D.B., in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Accepted the resignation from the Office of Auxiliary of the diocese of Piura, Peru, presented by Bishop Augusto Beauzeville Ferro in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Archbishop Francois Bacque, apostolic nuncio in the Netherlands.
- Five prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Oscar Anibal Salazar Gomez of La Dorada-Guaduas.

    - Bishop Tulio Duque Gutierrez, S.D.B., of Pereira.

    - Archbishop Ivan Antonio Marin Lopez of Popayan.

    - Bishop Arturo de Jesus Correa Toro of Ipiales.

    - Bishop Luis Alberto Parra Mora of Mocoa-Sibundoy.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2004 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following statement today about the division of the archdiocese of Barcelona in Spain:

  "The Holy Father today erected the new dioceses of Terrassa and of Sant Feliu de Llobregat with territory taken from the archdiocese of Barcelona, and he named the respective bishops.

  "At the same time the archdiocese of Barcelona has been raised to a metropolitan see.

  "Dividing the great archdiocese of Barcelona has been under study for several decades. In the early 1980s, in fact, the then archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Narciso Jubany, B.M., had taken several steps with the prospect of creating two new dioceses. Following that, several ecclesiastics demonstrated to the Congregation for Bishops the pastoral usefulness that both the demarcation of El Valles and that of Baix Llobregat, Penedes I Garraf  be erected into dioceses.

"After this division, the population of the archdiocese of Barcelona will remain about 2.5 million.

  "The new diocese of Terrassa has about 1 million inhabitants and 12 deaneries (Montcada, Sant-Cugat-les-Planes, Terrassa, Rubi, Sabadell Centre, Sabadell Nord, Sabadell Sud, Granollers, Puigracios, Mollet, Montseny i Cardedeu-Llinars, Montbui) and 120 parishes.

  "The diocese of Sant Feliu de Llobregat has 670,000 inhabitants and 9 deaneries (El Prat de Llobregat, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Sant Felieu de Llobregat, Sant Vincenc dels Horts, Montserrat, Garraf, Vilafranca, Anoia, Piera-Capellades) and 121 parishes."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinals Roger Etchegaray, former president of the Central Committee of the Grand Jubilee of the Year 2000, Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church and George Cottier, O.P., pro-theologian of the Pontifical Household, presented a volume entitled "The Inquisition" which contains the acts of the International Symposium that took place in the Vatican October 29-31, 1998, organized by the Historical-Theological Commission of the Committee of the Jubilee Year. Professor Agostino Borromeo, responsible for the volume, also spoke during the conference.

  Cardinal Etchegaray read a message that the Pope wrote to him affirming that the celebration of the symposium responds to a desire expressed in the Apostolic Letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente" (1994): "As the second millennium of Christianity comes to an end, it is appropriate therefore that the Church assumes a greater awareness of the sins of its sons and daughters when recalling the circumstances in which, throughout history, they deviated from the spirit of Christ and His Gospel, offering to the world the spectacle of ways of thinking and acting that were true forms of 'counter-witness and scandal', instead of witness to a life inspired by the values of faith."

  "In public opinion," writes the Pope, "the image of the Inquisition represents in some way the symbol of this counter-witness and scandal. In what measure is this image faithful to reality?  Before asking for forgiveness, it is necessary to know exactly what are the facts and to recognize the shortcomings with respect to the evangelical needs in appropriate cases. This is why the Committee referred to historians whose scientific competence is universally recognized."

  John Paul II recalls that on March 12, 2000, a Day of Forgiveness was celebrated and forgiveness was asked "for the errors committed in the service of the truth when unethical methods were used."  This petition for forgiveness "is also valid for the drama related to the Inquisition as well as the wounds that are its consequence. ... This volume," he concludes, "is written in the spirit of this petition for forgiveness."

  Cardinal Cottier indicated that the fact that the volume has been published so late is not due "to opposition to its publication. I would like to make that clear. The delay is due to a series of health problems."

  Referring to the symposium, in which thirty speakers and experts from Italy, France, Portugal, Malta, England, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, the United States and Canada participated, Prof. Borromeo said they discussed "the events  that led to the Inquisition in the 13th century, the activity in the main places in which heresy flourished (especially France and Italy) and its procedures. When dealing with the modern history of this institution," added Borromeo, "the reports were divided into two categories. One was predominantly geographic (Spain and Portugal with their respective imperial colonies; Italy, with special reference to the Congregation of the Holy Office, the Netherlands and England). The other was mainly thematic: (the repression of the heresies with Jewish and Islamic tendencies, Protestantism and witchcraft were discussed, as well as the battle against circulating prohibited literary and scientific books and Bibles in the vernacular and the historical context in which the abolition of courts took place)."

  The acts of the symposium, said Borromeo, "are a point of reference for studies on the Inquisition; in the first place, for the scientific rigor of the reports, exempt from controversy or an apologetic nature which is typical of recent historiography; in the second place, for the richness of the information laid out which allows us to look at many places so widespread among non-specialists (the use of torture and the death penalty were not as frequent as once believed); in the third place, due to the amplitude of the volume, it is a reason to hope that intellectual debate on the theme is sparked and that there is stimulus for new research."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2004 (VIS) - A three-day international consultation on the "New Age" began yesterday in the Vatican, promoted by the Interdicasterial Commission for Reflection on "Sects and New Religious Movements" as a follow-up to the February 3, 2003 provisional document entitled "Jesus Christ Bearer of Living Water, A Christian Reflection on the 'New Age'." This document was prepared by the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Inter-religious Dialogue.

  The consultation now underway includes members of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity, for Culture and for Inter-religious Dialogue. This meeting was prepared on the basis of answers received from episcopal conferences to a questionnaire sent to them about the 2003 document. Joining the members of the Vatican dicasteries are an estimated 20 experts chosen by Episcopal conferences from diverse geographical areas who have shown a great interest in this subject.

  The program includes the presentation of a synthesis of  the answers that came from local Churches and reflections on two aspects that emerged which are considered worthy of attention: the discernment about and psychological techniques promoted by the 'New Age' and a deeper study between 'New Age' proposals and Christian spirituality. In conclusion, participants will  try to suggest some ideas for a pastoral reflection on the "New Age" for episcopacies.
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