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Friday, July 23, 2004


VATICAN CITY,  JUL 23, 2004 (VIS) - The following telegram was sent in the Holy Father's name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, to Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio in Turkey, upon hearing of the train crash that occurred last evening between Istanbul and Ankara:

  "Having learned of the dramatic train accident that happened between Istanbul and Ankara and which caused many victims, the Holy Father expresses his sympathy and his spiritual closeness to the families touched by this tragedy. He entrusts the deceased to the mercy of the All Powerful and he assures all the wounded and their families of his prayers, remembering also all the people who took part in the rescue operation. The Pope presents his sincere condolences to the authorities of the country and to the Turkish people, asking everyone to show support for those tried by this catastrophe. As a sign of comfort, he implores for everyone the support of divine blessings."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2004 (VIS) - "Priests for the Formation of Saints for the New Millennium, In the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul" is the theme of the International Congress for Priests, organized by the Congregation for the Clergy, which will take place in Malta from October 18 to 23.

  The congress will begin on Monday afternoon, October 18 in the capital city of Valletta with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, presided over by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

  On Tuesday October 19, Cardinal Castrillon and Archbishop Bruno Forte, recently appointed metropolitan archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, will speak respectively on "Paul, Evangelization and the Challenge of the Encounter of Cultures," and "Trinitarian Holiness of the Priest". In the afternoon, there will be a penitential celebration followed by confessions in different languages, after which Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Evangelization of Peoples, will preside at Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Mosta.

  On Wednesday October 20, the third speech on the theme "The Christocentric Holiness of the Priest" will be given by Msgr. Juan Esquerda Bifet, a theologian. Later, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap., preacher of the Papal Household, will speak on "Pneumatological-Pauline Holiness of the Priest."  In the afternoon in the Grotto of St. Paul the Apostle, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, will give a meditation on "Pauline Holiness and Evangelization" and Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India, will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle.

  On Thursday October 21, Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy, will speak on "The Eucharistic Holiness of the Priest" and Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, will then deliver a talk on "The Marian Holiness of the Priest." In the afternoon, the participants will attend Eucharistic adoration, followed by a Mass presided over by Cardinal Cormack Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, Great Britain.

  On October 22, there will be a pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Ta' Pinu on the island of Gozo. In addition, there will be the rosary with meditation and a Mass with the Christian community of Gozo presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State. Cardinal Castrillon will then make an act of consecration to Our Lady.

  In a letter addressed to priests with information on the program of the congress, Cardinal Castrillon indicates that it has not been possible to create a fund of solidarity in order to cover the costs of those who could not afford the conference.

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