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Thursday, October 28, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Rene Socrates Sandigo Jiron, of the clergy of the diocese of Granada, Nicaragua, episcopal vicar of the region of Rivas, Nicaragua and pastor of St. George, as bishop of Juigalpa (area 12,435, population 271,968, Catholics 131,000, priests 24, religious 46), Nicaragua.  The bishop-elect was born in Diria, Nicaragua in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1992.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2004 (VIS)  - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, addressed the Plenary Session of the U.N. General Assembly yesterday on Item 35, A Culture of Peace.

  Stating that "it is very clear that the world needs peace now as much as ever," he noted that "since 1967, the Popes too have played their part, sending a Message on the first day of January every year to all people of good will, each time proposing a fresh theme concerning peace and how to achieve it."

  The archbishop pointed to the work of the United Nations, listing its peacekeeping operations during the year, the creation of a Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the current International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. He noted that "the usually more dominant culture appears sometimes to trigger cultural reactions against true peace and create suspicions about it.  Similarly, globalization seems unable to prevent threats to peace because cultural revivalism tends to create walls that separate people from one another."
  "The defense of peace, so often a fragile entity, must be reinforced," he stated. "This can be achieved by cultivating in the minds of all people of good will the imperative to become in some way agents of peace. They are its architects, its builders and even its bridges."

  Citing UNESCO meetings in various regions of the world, he remarked that "we have to acknowledge that there is already a foundation to build upon in the area of inter-religious cooperation. ... These discussions covered areas such as terrorism, conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, the role of religious leaders in easing tensions, in counteracting the hijacking of religious values for use as a pretext to justify violence and in supporting disarmament and non-proliferation." The Holy See, said Archbishop Migliore, "calls for a more energetic commitment to underline the deep linkages between the promotion of the culture of peace and the strengthening of the disarmament and non-proliferation process."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon  in the offices of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, inaugurated the first world congress of Ecclesiastical organizations committed to promoting justice and peace.  The congress will conclude on Saturday.

  According to a communique made public yesterday afternoon, 300 representatives of various Church organizations from 92 countries, as well as delegates from 15 regional episcopal conferences and other international organisms are participating in the conference whose theme is "Announcing the Gospel of Justice and Peace."

  "Throughout its history," said Cardinal Sodano, "the Church, as an institution and through its faithful, has always been committed to promoting justice and peace.  We have the responsibility to follow this path, announcing the Gospel of Christ which is the Gospel of justice and peace."

  After recalling that in his 1967 Encyclical "Populorum progressio," Paul VI wrote that "the world was ill," the secretary of State affirmed: "Since then the illness has gotten worse and the injustices and violence have multiplied; all we have to do is think about the places where humiliation has become a way of life; in the areas where war, guerrilla warfare and terrorism spread; in refugee camps; in those in exile; in racial and religious discrimination; in the work place where people feel like they are being used; in the lack of political freedom and freedom to participate in unions and in so many situations where there is no justice and peace."

  Cardinal Sodano indicated that despite this negative outlook, "the economic, health, work, cultural and spiritual conditions have improved in many parts. However, so many people are subject to human exploitation and they must not be seen as another statistic to be studied in a cold way."

  In his speech, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, emphasized that the objective of the congress is to find more suitable and effective ways to present once again the pastoral activity of the Church in society and to be able to confront the great challenges of today."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2004 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received Romano Prodi, outgoing president of the European Commission, who is in Rome for the signing of the European constitution tomorrow. Representatives from twenty-five countries that are members of the European Union will also sign the treaty.

  "The Holy See," said John Paul II, "has promoted the formation of the European Union, before it was juridically structured, and has followed with active interest the subsequent phases. The Holy See has always felt the duty to openly express the just longing of a great number of Christian citizens in Europe who have asked it to show interest."

  "Therefore," he continued, "the Holy See reminded everyone that Christianity, in its different expressions, has contributed to the formation of a common conscience of Europeans and has greatly shaped civilizations. Whether or not it is recognized in the official documents, it is an undeniable fact that no historian can forget."

  The Holy Father congratulated Prodi for the work he has carried out during his service to the European Commission and expressed the desire that "the difficulties that have emerged in these days with regard to the new commission find a solution of reciprocal respect in a spirit of harmony among all interested parties."

  "May the European Union," he concluded, "always express the best of the great traditions of its member states, may it work actively on the international level for peace among peoples and may it offer generous help for the growth of the neediest peoples of other continents."

  In a brief declaration on the audience with Romano Prodi, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that following the meeting with the Pope, Prodi met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, who was accompanied by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States. "During the talks, several very current issues were discussed, with special reference to European unity and to the international role of Europe, above all for peace in the world, the development of peoples, especially those in Africa."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received 45 members of the administration of La Scuola Publishers, based in Brescia, Italy on the occasion of the centenary of this company which was founded, as he noted in his talk to them, in May 1904 by a group of Catholic lay people, including the father of  Pope Paul VI and by a number of priests.

  He spoke of the company's history and its "difficult days, including when it was bombed during World War II and destroyed," and then rebuilt with "the help and courage of many generous people." Also present this morning were Bishops Giulio Sanguineti of Brescia and Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who is from the diocese of Brescia.

  The Pope remarked that La Scuola, which means school in Italian, has in the last century "sought to always remain faithful, even in changing social and cultural situations, to the design and scope of the founders. ... It was conceived and planned to be an instrument to assure Christian inspiration in Italian schools. (It was) not an easy undertaking considering the orientations by not a small portion of current culture. ... The truth of Christ ... is a good for all school workers: parents and children, teachers and students, state and non-state schools."

  Reviewing the past, said John Paul II, is also a good time "to look at the future. Trials and problems are not lacking. The Church has great faith in you as you prepare opportune proposals for the scholastic formation of the new generations. In communion with your bishop and in cordial dialogue with the Italian Catholic community, continue to be sowers of hope, remaining faithful to the ideals of your founders."
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