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Thursday, November 11, 2004


VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno Larrain, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile, on October 14 at age 90.

- Cardinal James Aloysius Hickey, archbishop emeritus of Washington, U.S.A., on October 24 at age 84.

- Bishop Sebastian Dalis, former auxiliary of Baguio, the Philippines, on October 27 at age 79.

- Bishop Armido Gasparini, M.C.C.I., former apostolic vicar of Awasa, Ethiopia, on October 21 at age 91.

- Bishop Adolfo Hernandez Hurtado, former auxiliary of Guadalajara, Mexico, on October 15 at age 83.

- Bishop Stefan Moskwa, auxiliary of Przemysl of the Latins, Poland,  on October 18 at age 69.

- Archbishop Domenico Picchinenna, emeritus of Catania, Italy, on October 25 at age 91.

- Archbishop Maximos Salloum, emeritus of Akka of the Greek-Melkites, Israel, on October 28 at age 83.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Alfonso Milian Sorribas, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Zaragoza, Spain, as bishop of Barbastro-Monzon (area 8,321, population 97,800, Catholics 95,200, priests 104, religious 173), Spain.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Lech Walesa, former president of Poland.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - Upon learning of the death early this morning in a hospital near Paris of Yasser Arafat, 75, president of the Palestinian National Authority, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following statement to journalists:

  "The Holy See joins in the pain of the Palestinian people for the death of President Yasser Arafat. He was a leader of great charisma who loved his people and sought to lead them towards national independence. May God welcome in His mercy the soul of the illustrious deceased and give peace to the Holy Land, with two independent and sovereign States, fully reconciled with each other."

  Pope John Paul and Yasser Arafat have met 12 times during the Pope's 26-year pontificate. Arafat was received 11 times in the Vatican: the first was on September 15, 1982 and the last time was October 30, 2001. The Palestinian leader and the Holy Father also met in Bethlehem during the pontiff's pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March of 2000.

  Yasser Arafat has met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State (1996), with then Archbishop and now Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary for Relations with States (1994 in Tunisia and 1995 in Gaza during a trip to Israel) and with Cardinal Pio Laghi when he visited the Holy Land in 2001.

  On October 25, 1994, the Holy See announced that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Holy See will exchange representations to be "open channels for continuing the development of mutual relations, understanding and cooperation. ... It was decided to give to the already long-existing and fruitful working contacts a permanent and official character. The Palestine Liberation Organization will, therefore, open an office of representation at the Holy See, with its own director. The apostolic nuncio in Tunisia will be responsible for contacts with the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization."

  On February 15, 2000, John Paul II received Arafat and a delegation for the signing of a Basic Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as the representative of the Palestinian National Authority. At that time the Palestinian leader invited the Pope to Bethlehem. The agreement signed that day dealt with certain juridical questions regarding the presence and activity of the Catholic Church in the territory dependent on the Palestinian Authority.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - The following telegram of condolences was sent in Pope John Paul's name  to Rawhi Fattuh, president of the Palestinian Legislative Council, by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, upon learning of the death  early this morning of Yasser Arafat:

  "At this hour of sadness at the passing of President Yasser Arafat, His Holiness Pope John Paul is particularly close to the deceased's family, the Authorities and the Palestinian People. While entrusting his soul into the hands of the Almighty and Merciful God, the Holy Father prays to the Prince of Peace that the star of harmony will soon shine on the Holy Land and that the two Peoples dwelling therein may live reconciled among themselves as two independent and sovereign."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica John Paul II presided at a Mass for the repose of the souls of the cardinals and bishops who have died this year. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, celebrated the Eucharist along with other cardinals.

  In the homily, the Holy Father affirmed that "the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ will be fulfilled in Easter.  It is a mystery which is constantly renewed in the Eucharist, mystical banquet, in which the Messiah delivers Himself as nourishment to the guests, to unite them to Him in a bond of love and life that is stronger than death. … Every time we celebrate the Eucharist we participate in the Lord's supper which gives us a foretaste of the heavenly glory."

  The Pope recalled "with affection, in a special way, Cardinals Paulos Tzadua, Opilio Rossi, Franz Koenig, Hyacinthe Thiandoum, Marcelo Gonzalez Martin, Juan Francisco Fresno Larrain, James Aloysius Hickey and Gustaaf Joos.  Let us pray for them and for the archbishops and bishops who died this year, whom we entrust with filial trust to divine mercy."

  "Thinking about them and their generous service to the Church," he continued, "it is as if we can hear them repeat with the Apostle Paul: 'Hope never disappoints'!"

  John Paul II concluded by emphasizing that "God is faithful and our hope in Him is not in vain. Let us give thanks to Our Lord for all the benefits He has granted to the Church through the priestly ministry of these deceased pastors. Let us invoke the maternal intercession of Our Lady so that they may participate in the eternal banquet, the same banquet that they tasted with faith during their earthly pilgrimage."
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