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Thursday, July 31, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's general prayer intention for the month of August: "That researchers in scientific and technological fields may welcome the Church's incessant calls to make wise and responsible use of the successes they have attained."

His mission intention for August: "That the catechists of the young Churches may bear witness faithfully to their attachment to the Gospel."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2003 - Made public today was the document, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The document, which was dated June 3, 2003, was approved by the Pope who then ordered its publication. It was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., respectively prefect and secretary of the dicastery. The text has been published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Polish and consists of an introduction, four chapters and a conclusion.

Following are excerpts of the document:

"INTRODUCTION. In recent years, various questions relating to homosexuality have been addressed with some frequency by Pope John Paul II and by the relevant Dicasteries of the Holy See. Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted - or intend to grant ' legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may include the possibility of adopting children.

"The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element.

"The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience. Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society."

The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. ... No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.

"The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation. ... Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level ' the personal level ' where nature and spirit are united. ... God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. ... Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament."

"There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts 'close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved'."

"Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.' They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity. The homosexual inclination is however 'objectively disordered' and homosexual practices are 'sins gravely contrary to chastity'."

"II. POSITIONS ON THE PROBLEM OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS. Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favor giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children."

"In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

"III. ARGUMENTS FROM REASON AGAINST LEGAL RECOGNITION OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS. To understand why it is necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions, ethical considerations of different orders need to be taken into consideration.

"From the order of right reason. ... Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex."

"From the biological and anthropological order. ... Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involving a grave lack of respect for human dignity, does nothing to alter this inadequacy."

"As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

"From the social order. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. ... By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction to its duties."

"From the legal order. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good."

"IV. POSITIONS OF CATHOLIC POLITICIANS WITH REGARD TO LEGISLATION IN FAVOR OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known. ... If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician ... 'could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality', on condition that his 'absolute personal opposition' to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.

"This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment."

"CONCLUSION. ... The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Huambo, Angola, presented by Archbishop Francisco Viti in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Mathias N'Garteri Mayadi of Moundou, Chad, as metropolitan archbishop of N'Djamena (area 620,100, population 1,837,585, Catholics 95,000, priests 46, religious 102), Chad. He accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese presented by Archbishop Charles Vandame, S.J., upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Guillermo Loria Garita, pastor of San Vicente Ferrer in Moravia, Costa Rica, as bishop of San Isidro de El General (area 10,346, population 343,955, Catholics 310,241, priests 57, religious 76), Costa Rica. The bishop-elect was born in 1937 in Tierra Blanca, Costa Rica was ordained a priest in 1963. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Ignacio Nazareno Trejos Picado upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, apostolic nuncio in Nigeria, as apostolic nuncio in Costa Rica.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2003 - Psalm 50, the famous "Miserere" or "Have mercy on me, Lord," was the theme of the Holy Father's catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience, celebrated in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo.

The Pope said that this psalm is "proposed to us every Friday so that it may become an oasis of meditation where we can discover the evil that nests within our conscience and ask the Lord for purification and pardon. ... However, the message of hope of the 'Miserere' that the psalmist puts on the lips of David, a converted sinner, is this: God can 'erase, clean, purify' any failing confessed with a contrite heart."

Referring to the end of the psalm, "an end full of hope because the sinner is conscious of having been forgiven," he affirmed: "His mouth will proclaim to the world praise for the Lord, attesting to the joy that the soul, which is purified from evil and therefore freed from remorse, experiences."

John Paul II underlined that "the Psalm concludes in an unexpected way. ... From the last petition of a single sinner, it goes to a prayer for the reconstruction of the whole city of Jerusalem." In the final part, he continued, there is a "later addition" to "correct or at least to complete the outlook of the Psalm of David." On the one hand, the psalmist did not want it to be one individual prayer; it was necessary to also think about the plight of the whole city. On the other hand, the psalmist wanted to put the divine rejection of sacrificial rituals into perspective."

"Sinners are not capable of purifying themselves alone; good intentions are not sufficient," he concluded, adding: "Effective external meditation is necessary. The New Testament will reveal the full meaning of this intuition, showing that by offering His life, Christ made the perfect sacrifice."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Les Gonaives, Haiti, presented by Bishop Emmanuel Constant upon having reached the age limit. Bishop Yves-Marie Pean, C.S.C., coadjutor of the same diocese, succeeds him.

- Appointed Professor Jaroslav Sturma, lecturer on Child Psychology and Psychology of religion at the Carl of Prague University, Czech Republic, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, will be in the United States during the month of August. On two occasions during the first two weeks he will preside at Eucharistic celebrations and on two other occasions he will address the Knights of Columbus.

On Sunday, August 3, the archbishop will deliver a homily at the Mass for the 165th anniversary of St. Malachy Church in Doe Run, Chester County, Pennsylvania. On August 7 he will speak to the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in Washington, D.C. Later that same day he will give an address to the Knights of Columbus Eucharistic Congress at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on the topic "What is the Purpose of a Eucharistic Congress?" On August 15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Foley will deliver a homily at Mass in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2003 (VIS) - On August 5, as it has done for centuries, St. Mary Major Basilica will celebrate the miraculous snowfall that occurred during the night of August 4-5, 358 on the site where the basilica was built, according to a communique from the basilica administration.

Three days of preparation, in which Cardinals Francesco Mario Pompedda, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Sergio Sebastiani, prefect of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and Virgilio Noe, archpriest emeritus of St, Peter's Basilica will participate, will mark this annual event. The highlight on August 5 will be a Pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Carlo Furno, archpriest of the basilica. During both Mass and Second Vespers the most noteworthy moment of this feast day occurs when there is a shower of flower petals from the ceiling of the basilica, to commemorate the 358 August snowfall.

According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to two faithful Roman Christians, the patrician John and his wife as well as to Pope Liberius (352-366), asking that a church in her honor be built on the site where snow would fall the night of August 4-5. Pope Liberius traced the outlines of the church in the snow and the first basilica was built on that site. It was completed about a century later by Pope Sixtus III, following the Council of Ephesus in 431 during which Mary was declared to be the Mother of God.

The basilica is called St. Mary Major as well as St. Mary of the Snows and the Liberian Basilica, for the Pope who ordered it built. It is famous for housing the relic of the crib of the Baby Jesus as well as the image of "Salus Populi Romani" which is revered by Romans, and which tradition says was painted by St. Luke.

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Monday, July 28, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2003 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at noon with pilgrims who filled the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke about the need to renew the proclamation of the Gospel.

"The Church," he said, "received the mandate from Christ to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. ... The ecclesial communities of Europe are especially called to carry out this task. Yes, on this continent it is necessary that all believers know how to rediscover the enthusiasm of proclaiming and bearing witness to the Gospel."

John Paul II emphasized that "even if some regions and realms are waiting to receive the Gospel announcement for the first time, it is necessary that it be renewed everywhere. Often, knowledge of Christianity is taken for granted, while in reality the Bible is read or studied very little, catechism is not always studied in depth, and the Sacraments are not frequented. In this way, authentic faith is substituted by a vague and negligent religious sentiment that can turn into agnosticism or practical atheism."

"Europe today," he continued, "requires the presence of Catholics with mature faith and Christian missionary communities that give testimony to God's love to all human beings. This renewed announcement of Christ must be accompanied by deep unity and communion within the Church, as well as a sincere ecumenical commitment and dialogue with followers of other religions. The Gospel is the light that illuminates the vast sphere of social life: family, culture, schools and universities, young people, the media, business and politics. ... Christ goes to encounter man wherever he lives and works and gives meaning to his existence."

The Holy Father concluded by urging all ecclesial communities "to embrace the Gospel with joy" so that it becomes "a credible sign of the message of salvation."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2003 (VIS) - On Thursday July 31 in the Holy See Press Office, the document entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons", published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will be made public.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2003 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, John Paul II urged those in Liberia, where fighting goes on in the capital Monrovia, to give up their arms.

"Today's gathering," he said, "is a propitious occasion to show our solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Africa where, alongside progress and positive initiatives of peace, centers of deadly violence continue. I am speaking especially of the tragic news that come from Liberia."

The Pope affirmed that "in the face of the challenges of these beloved peoples, we must ask those who possess arms to put them down, to facilitate dialogue and the joint efforts of the international community."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina, auxiliary of Toledo, Spain as bishop of Cordoba (area 13,717, population 769,625, Catholics 767,089, priests 368, religious 1,260), Spain.

- Gave consent to the erection of the archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa-Krym, Ukraine, created by the Synod of the Bishops of the Catholic Ukrainian Church, with territory taken from the Exarchate of Kyiv-Vyshhorod. At the same time, he gave consent to the election of Fr. Vasyl Ivasiuk, vicar general of the Exarchate of Sokal, Ukraine, as exarch of the same archiepiscopal Exarchate (area 196,300, population 8,712,000, Catholics 70,000, priests 11), Ukraine. The bishop-elect was born in Dora, Ukraine in 1960, and was ordained a priest in 1989.

On Saturday July 26, it was made public that the Holy Father appointed:

- Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop of Palermo, Italy, as his special envoy to the closing celebration of the Marian year in Siracusa, Italy which will take place on September 1 at the Shrine of the Virgin of Tears.

- Bishop Paulin Pomodimo of Bossangoa, Central African Republic as metropolitan archbishop of Bangui (area 35,066, population 871,970, Catholics 214,858, priests 70, religious 171), Central African Republic. He succeeds Archbishop Joachim N'Dayen whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese he accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Bishop Lazaro Perez Jimenez of Autlan, Mexico, as bishop of Celaya (area 8,768, population 1,224,454, Catholics 1,130,882, priests 210, permanent deacons 1, religious 666), Mexico. He succeeds Bishop Jesus Humberto Velazquez Garay whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese he accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed the following people as consultors of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples: Archbishops Peter Turang of Kupang, Indonesia, Angelo Massafra of Shkodre, Albania, John Baptist Odama of Gulu, Uganda, Archbishop-Bishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale of Johannesburg, South Africa, Andreas Choi Chang-mou of Kwangju, Korea, Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal, Tomasz Peta of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakistan, Paulino do Livramento Evora of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Cabo Verde; Bishops Bruno Bertagna, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Jose de Jesus Quintero Diaz, apostolic vicar of Leticia, Colombia, John Tong Hon, auxiliar of Hong Kong; Msgrs. Juan Esquerda Bifet of the diocese of Lleida, Spain, canon of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Mario Marchesi, vicar general of the diocese of Cremona, Italy; Fr. Saturnino Dias of the archdiocese of Goa and Damao, India, executive secretary of the Commission of the Federation of the Episcopal Conferences of Asia, Fr. Fidel Gonzalez Fernandez, M.C.C.I., rector of the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda Fide, Rome, Fr. Jan Gorski of the archdiocese of Katowice, Polond, Fr. Dimitrios Salachas, professor of Canon Law of the Pontfical Urban University, Rome, and Sister Elisabetta Adamiak, S.S.P.C., superior general of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver, Rome.

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Friday, July 25, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 25, 2003 (VIS) - Last evening at 8 p.m. in a hall of the Janiculum Terminal near the Vatican, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, inaugurated the four-day Faith Encounter of the Vietnamese Catholic Community living in the diaspora. The theme of the meeting, organized by the Coordinating Office for the Pastoral of Vietnamese in the World, is "United in Living and Proclaiming the Gospel."

About 2,000 Vietnamese from 16 countries are expected to attend. There are an estimated two million Vietnamese living in the diaspora, of whom approximately 30 percent are Catholic.

Following Cardinal Sepe's remarks was a Mass presided over by Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, vice-president of the Australian Episcopal Conference, who led a pilgrimage of Vietnamese Catholics residing in his country.

Meetings are scheduled for today and tomorrow in the Terminal as well as at the nearby Pontifical Urban University. Adults will meet this morning to discuss the theme "Witness of Faith in the Past and Prospects of the Walk of Faith of the Catholic Vietnamese Community in the Diaspora." Young people will meet at the university and talk about "Youth and the future of the Catholic Vietnamese Community in Diaspora in the local Churches and the Church in Vietnam." There will be a penitential rite in late morning, as well as a procession and Eucharistic blessing.

This afternoon at 4 Msgr. Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, leader of the apostolate for Vietnamese in the diaspora will celebrate Mass in St. Mary Major Basilica. At 8:30 p.m. Cardinal Sepe will preside at a cultural presentation featuring contributions by the various communities and by artists.

Saturday morning, July 26, there will be meetings of Vietnamese by country. In the afternoon specific groups will gather to discuss themes assigned to each group: 1. Priests, deacons and religious: "Witnesses of unity in the consecrated and apostolic life"; 2. Parents: "Witnesses of unity in love in transmitting the faith to children"; 3. Youth: "Witnesses in unity according to the Gospel in order to be apostles for young people"; 4. Members of the pastoral council: "Witnesses in unity to build united communities, committed to proclaiming the Gospel"; 5. Apostolic Movements and Associations: "United in Proclaiming the Gospel according to individual charisms"; 6. Members of the media: "United in proclaiming the Gospel through the media"; 7. Artists: "United in Proclaiming the Gospel through art."

Saturday evening at 7:30 there will be a procession in honor of Our Lady of Lavang, followed by Mass in the Janiculum Terminal celebrated by Bishop Paul Nguyen Van Hoa of Nha Trang, president of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam. The day will conclude with a prayer vigil.

Cardinal Sepe will preside at the concluding Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday, July 27 at 10 a.m.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Joseph Francis Martino, auxiliary of Philadelphia, U.S.A., as bishop of Scranton (area 22,905, population 1,066,308, Catholics 365,079, priests 410, permanent deacons 6, religious 523), U.S.A. He also accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop James Clifford Timlin upon having reached the age limit.

- Msgr. Piero Coda, professor of the Pontifical Lateran University, as secretary prelate of the Pontifical Academy of Theology.

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Thursday, July 24, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Congregation for Clergy has organized an International Retreat for Priests during the Year of the Rosary in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes from October 11 to 15 which coincides with the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate.

The "Totus Tuus" International Retreat in which many priests from all over the world are expected to participate and whose theme is, "Contemplating the face of Christ in the school of Mary," will be led by several cardinals and bishops. In preparation for the Jubilee in 2000, similar international meetings took place in Fatima, Yamoussoukro, Guadalupe and Jerusalem between 1996-1999 as well as in 2000 in Rome.

The inauguration will take place on Saturday October 11 at 4 p.m. with a procession to the Grotto of the Apparitions and a prayer to Our Lady. Later, Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris, France will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of the Rosary.

On Sunday October 12, after Lauds and a meditation, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, will preside at a Mass, linked by television to St. Peter's Square in Rome in order to follow the Holy Father's Angelus and message to participants. In the afternoon, Cardinal Castrillon will give a talk which will be followed by Eucharistic adoration and the Rosary with meditations.

On Monday October 13, there will be a penance service presided by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany, as well as confession, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and time for personal prayer. At 3 p.m. in the Basilica of the Rosary, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolovia, will preside at a Eucharistic celebration. Later there will be a conference and in the evening a torchlight procession will take place.

On October 14, Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes will preside at the Way of the Cross. At 10:30 a.m., Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India, will preside at a Mass in the Grotto of Apparitions. In the afternoon, the cardinal will address the retreat participants, followed by a procession to the Grotto of Apparitions and an Act of consecration to Our Lady.

The retreat will end on Wednesday October 15 with a Eucharistic celebration in the parish of Lourdes presided by Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, and a presentation of conclusions.

Priests wishing further information can contact "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi": Telephone: 3906-698-96285/ Fax: 3906-698-80513/ E-mail: totustuus'orpnet.org

The total cost to participate in the pilgrimage is 660 Euro, and includes plane fare from Rome.


VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ratchaburi, Thailand, presented by Bishop John Bosco Manat Chuabsamai, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2003 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, John Paul II spoke about Psalm 146, "The Lord's strength and benevolence."

This psalm, said the Pope, is an invitation to praise God for "His intervention in human life, in particular in favor of Jerusalem and Israel. ... Describing those who are pleasing to the Lord, the psalm invites us to take on a dual attitude: one of religious fear and faith. We are not left on our own or to cosmic energies, but are always in the Lord's hands because of His plan of salvation."

The Lord is presented as a "great architect and as a father who tends to the interior and physical wounds present in His humiliated and oppressed people. ... But the work of God," he continued, "does not manifest itself only when relieving His people from suffering. He Who envelops the poor in kindness and attends to them, is a severe judge with sinners. The Lord of history is not indifferent to the aggressiveness of the arrogant who think they are the only arbritrators of human vicissitudes."

The Holy Father affirmed that, after inviting everyone to praise God for His love toward creation and human life, the Psalm concludes "by showing the Lord tending to the just and humble. ... Once again, the Lord's logic ignores the pride and arrogance of power, but sides with the faithful and those who 'hope in His grace', that is, those who abandon themselves to God's guidance in their actions and thoughts, in their plans and daily life."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Francesco Biasin, a "fidei donum" priest from Padua, Italy in Brazil, as bishop of Pesqueira (area 10,065, population 494,000, Catholics 446,000, priests 32, permanent deacons 5, religious 38), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Arzercavalli, Italy in 1943 and was ordained a priest in 1968.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2003 (VIS) - Since January of this year, TIM cell phone subscribers in Italy have been just a click away from reading a brief daily inspirational message by Pope John Paul but as of today the papal SMS is also available in English in Ireland.

Today, in fact, marks the first time that this service has been approved for launch outside of Italy. The service in Ireland can be subscribed to by sending POPE ON as a text message to 53141. This will result in the Pope's daily thoughts being delivered at 12 noon to the subscriber on a daily basis.

The "short message service" costs Italian users about 15 euro cents a day. Young people, who have traditionally shown great love for John Paul II, also seem to be attracted in great numbers to his brief daily missives.

In Ireland, the SMS with Pope John Paul's "thought of the day," which are taken from his homilies, messages and other writings, is offered through all Irish cell phone operators.

The papal messages, which originate in the Vatican, at the moment are different each day in both languages. However, it is expected that in the future, which includes plans to transmit the SMS in Portuguese throughout Brazil, the same message will appear daily. The service is provided by Acotel, an Italian wireless application service provider and multimedia service integrator that is headquartered in Rome.

Journalists who are TIM subscribers in Italy with WAP cell phones can also access the daily bulletin of the Holy See Press Office. In time they will also be able to receive the Vatican Information Service and access the Vatican web site.

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Monday, July 21, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning, in the courtyard of the summer papal residence, the Holy Father recited the Angelus with the pilgrims who had come to Castelgandolfo, and also reflected on the future European constitution and Europe's strong bonds with Christianity.

He noted that recent months had been dedicated to editing the new constitution, "whose definitive version will be approved by an intergovernmental conference starting next October. Even the Church feels the duty to offer her contribution to this important task which involves all components of European society."

He went on to say that the Church "recalls, among other things, as I noted in the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation 'Ecclesia in Europa', that 'Europe has been broadly and deeply penetrated by Christianity'. This constitutes, in the continent's complex history, a central and qualifying element that has become consolidated on the basis of the classic legacy and the diverse contributions offered by the cultural-ethnic flow that has taken place over the centuries."

"We could say that the Christian faith has formed the culture of Europe, becoming one with its history and, notwithstanding the painful division between East and West, Christianity has become 'the religion of the Europeans themselves'. Its influence has remained notable, even in the modern and contemporary era, despite the strong and widespread phenomenon of secularization."

In concluding remarks, John Paul II said: "The Church knows that her interest for Europe comes from her very mission. As the deposit of the Gospel, she has promoted those values which have made the European culture universally appreciated. This patrimony cannot vanish. Rather, the new Europe must be helped 'to build itself in revitalizing the Christian roots that gave origin to it."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 19, 2003 (VIS) - This morning, in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Pope John Paul welcomed 1500 participants in the European symposium taking place in Rome to mark the seventh centenary of the city's oldest university, La Sapienza. The theme of the meeting, which has drawn university rectors, professors and students as well as priests and bishops from throughout Europe, is "The University and the Church in Europe."

The Pope noted that the relationship between the Church and universities "leads us directly to the heart of Europe, where civilization succeeded in expressing itself through one of its most symbolic institutions. We are in the 13th and 14th centuries: the era in which humanism took form as a happy synthesis between theological and philosophical knowledge and the other sciences. This is a synthesis that is unthinkable without Christianity and therefore without the centuries-long work of evangelization undertaken by the Church in her encounter with the multiple ethnic and cultural realities of the continent."

The university plays an irreplaceable role in building Europe's present and future culture, said the Holy Father. He underscored that the university "is, par excellence, the place of research of the truth" and, though the university must be well inserted into the social and economic fabric, it cannot be servile to their needs, or the price will be the loss of its own nature, which is mainly cultural."

John Paul II noted two ways the Church can contribute to universities: "with the presence of teachers and students who now how to unite scientific competency and rigor with an intense spiritual life" and "through Catholic universities which actuate the legacy of ancient universities, which were born 'ex corde Ecclesiae' (from the heart of the Church)."

He also stressed "the importance of 'cultural laboratories' ... in which a constructive dialogue takes place between faith and culture, between science, philosophy and theology, and ethics are considered an intrinsic need of research for an authentic service to man."

In closing remarks, the Pope asked everyone to make good use of their talents and said he hoped they would "collaborate in always promoting the life and dignity of man."

Following greetings in French, English, German, Spanish and Polish, the Holy Father then lit a torch which a relay team would bring to the Church of St. Ivo at Sapienza, visiting various other universities in Rome on the way.



VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2003 (VIS) - Following the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful who had gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope recalled the death, 100 years ago today, of his predecessor, Leo XIII. Pope Leo XIII reigned for 25 years and five months, making his the third longest pontificate in history. Pope John Paul's is the fourth longest.

The Holy Father noted that Leo XIII, "remembered above all as the Pope of 'Rerum novarum', the encyclical that marked the start of the modern social doctrine of the Church, developed a broad magisterium; in particular he relaunched Thomistic studies and promoted the growth of the spiritual life of the Christian people. In this year of the Rosary, we cannot forget that Leo XIII dedicated 10 encyclicals to the Rosary. Today we fervently thank the Lord for this great Pontiff."

The Pope's remarks were followed by greetings in French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

ANG;LEO XIII;...;CASTELGANDOLFO ;VIS;20030721;Word: 160;

Friday, July 18, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 18, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Antonio Arcari, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio in Honduras, at the same time elevating him to the title of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Brescia, Italy in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1977.

- Bishop Georges Haddad, S.M.S.P, apostolic exarch for the Greek-Melkite Catholics residing in Argentina and apostolic administrator "sede plena ed ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the archieparchy of Akka (Catholics 66,335, priests 29, religious 51, permanent deacons 3), Israel as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the Catholic Greek-Melkite archieparchy of Akka.

- Msgr. Claudio Maniago, vicar general of the archdiocese of Florence, Italy, as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area 2,205, population 865,259, Catholic 811,547, priests 660, permanent deacons 52, religious 2318). The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in Florence and was ordained a priest in 1984.

NN; NEA;...;...;ARCARI; HADDAD; MANIAGO;VIS;20030718;Word: 160;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 18, 2003 (VIS) - The theme chosen by Pope John Paul for the January 1, 2004 World Day of Peace is "International Law, A Path for Peace," according to a communique released yesterday afternoon.

The communique states that this theme "hopes to underline the importance of law as a guarantee of international relations aimed at promoting peace among nations. The recent war in Iraq, in fact, showed all the fragility of international law, especially regarding the functioning of the United Nations."

On January 13, 1997, in his annual address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope John Paul expressed his conviction that "International law has been for some time a law of war and peace. I believe it is called ever more to become exclusively a law of peace conceived as a function of justice and solidarity." The basic principles behind this conviction, states the communique, "are the same that inspire the Church's commitment in favor of peace: equality in dignity for every human person and every human community, the unity of the human family, the primacy of law over force."

"Humanity is facing a crucial challenge: if it does not succeed in providing really efficacious institutions to avert the scourge of war, the risk is that the law of force will prevail over the force of law. ... At a world level, international law is called to be an instrument of justice that is capable of producing fruits of peace. The law therefore has the duty of harmoniously regulating international realities ... so that conflicts may be prevented without recourse to arms, but rather through mechanisms and structures able to assure justice, removing the causes of potential conflicts."

The statement concludes: "The world today more than ever needs to live in a renewed and authentic spirit of international legitimacy: the next World Day of Peace intends to offer the Church's contribution in this regard."

...;2004 PEACE MESSAGE;...;...;VIS;20030718;Word: 320;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 18 2003 (VIS) - In recent weeks the following prelates died:

- Cardinal Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, S.D.B., archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela on July 6 at age 74.

- Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi, apostolic nuncio emeritus, on July 3 at age 89.

- Bishop Roman Andrzejewski, auxiliary of Wloclawek, Poland on July 7 at age 65.

- Bishop Johannes Ludgerus Bonaventure Brenninkmeijer, O.P., of Kroonstad, South Africa on July 2 at age 72.

- Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq on July 7 at age 81.

- Bishop Antonio Y. Fortich, emeritus of Bacolod, the Philippines on July 2 at age 89.

- Bishop Ciril Kos, emeritus of Djakovo i Srijem, Croatia on July 6 at age 83.

- Bishop John Robert Roach, emeritus of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, U.S.A., on July 11 at age 81.

- Archbishop Dino Trabalzini, emeritus of Cosenza-Bisignano, Italy on July 14 at age 80.

...;DEATHS;...;... ;VIS;20030718;Word: 140;

Thursday, July 17, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - The annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Populorum Progressio Foundation took place in Guadalajara, Mexico from July 8 to 12 to discuss the financing of projects in favor of indigenous and mestizo peoples and poor Afroamerican farmers from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a communique published today by the Foundation.

Populorum Progessio was instituted by Pope John Paul II on February 22, 1992 within the sphere of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the start of the evangelization of Latin America. Its purpose was to pursue the intentions of Pope Paul VI who had wished to set up a fund for this purpose.

The Foundation provides monies for 259 projects in 21 countries. These undertakings include the production sector (agricultural instruments, the production and selling of goods), the health field, professional formation, the realization of community centers, scholastic education, building farm homes amd integral human formation.

Countries with the largest number of projects include Colombia (35), Peru (34), Brazil (25), Mexico (23), and Ecuador (22). The remaining countries include: Bolivia and Haiti (14 each), Guatemala (13), Nicaragua (12), Chile and El Salvador (11), Paraguay (8), Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic (7), Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay and Venezuela (3), the Antilles and Honduras (2).

CON-CU;POPULORUM PROGRESSIO;...;...;VIS;20030717;Word: 210;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a report from the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" on the Pope's charitable activity throughout the world in 2002, including contributions to countries affected by natural disasters and war, as well as human advancement in developing countries. The council is the principal curia office for administering papal charity.

The report opens with reference to trips made by council president, Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, including one to Uganda from October 25 to 30, 2002 during which he distributed 500,000 euros donated by the Holy Father for projects sponsored by local Catholic NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) and by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. During his stay in the Holy Land November 4-10 he presented $400,000 to the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, the Franciscan Fathers, Caritas and several other Catholic communities. Finally, on his visit to the Ukraine on December 2 and 3, he participated in a seminar on pastoral charity with bishops of the Greek-Catholic and Latin rite.

The dicastery that administers papal charity assigned $1,917,700 for aid to populations affected by disasters, terrorism and war. Assistance to the Holy Land and to victims of terrorism and war came from funds raised on the World Day of Prayer and Fasting on December 14, 2001. In addition, Cor Unum's president delivered $150,000 to help populations affected by war.

The Pope was able to give $1,905,606 and 25,331 euros - fruit of the generosity of many faithful - to 48 countries for projects involving health care, education, professional formation and agriculture as well as those for the home, and for aid to youths, the elderly and women.

The report indicates that the Board of Directors of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, founded by the Pope in 1984, approved at a meeting in February the financing of 233 projects concerning the environment, water, agriculture, self-development and professional formation for a total of 2,354,894 euros.

The report concludes by indicating that the Board of Directors of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, established by the Pope in 1992 to foster the integral human advancement of indigenous, mixed race and Afro-American rural peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean, examined 300 projects and decided to fund 223 for a total of $1,895,300.

CON-CU;PAPAL CHARITY;...;...;VIS;20030717;Word: 360;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of apostolic nuncio in Morocco presented by Archbishop Domenico De Luca upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Antonio Sozzo, apostolic nuncio in Costa Rica, as apostolic nuncio in Morocco.

- Appointed Fr. Eliseo Antonio Ariotti, counsellor of the nunciature in Cameroon, as apostolic nuncio in Cameroon, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.

RE; NN;...;...;DE LUCA; SOZZO; ARIOTTI ;VIS;20030717;Word: 80;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday, the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Archbishop John Foley concelebrated Mass at the shrine of the same name in Brooklyn, New York. The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications noted that "the origins of this celebration go at least to the establishment of the Carmelite Order on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land in the 12th century."

His homily focussed on prayer and on Mary, the Mother of God to whom we pray, asking her intercession "to reach Christ in this life through faith and at the end of our lives in the Beatific Vision, when we shall see Him as He is." We ask Mary to protect us from physical and spiritual harm, and from "the danger of temptation and the evil of sin." He suggested we petition Mary to help us "imitate her - in her openness to the will of God in all things; in her example of prayer; in her kindness and thoughtfulness to Elizabeth, her cousin; in her complete dedication to Jesus, her Son; in her presence with her Son in His moments of greatest suffering, when almost all others had abandoned him."

Archbishop Foley stressed that what we should truly be seeking in prayer is to do God's will. "Nothing else - pleasure, wealth, power or fame - is worth seeking or having if it does not help us to do God's will, if it does not help us on our road to heaven."

CON-CS;MARY; PRAYER;...;USA; FOLEY;VIS;20030717;Word: 260;

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2003 (VIS) - In today's general audience celebrated in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke about the Canticle of the last chapter of the Book of Isaiah, "In the city of God, consolation and joy."

The Holy Father said that this hymn of Isaiah which speaks about joy begins in this way: "'Rejoice and be glad, sparkle with joy'. ... It is dominated by the maternal figure of Jerusalem and the attentive love of God Himself" who rejoices in the happiness of His people.

"The origin and reason for this interior joy lie in the rediscovered vitality of Jerusalem" after "the dark period of Babylonian exile. ... Jerusalem becomes once again a mother-city that embraces, feeds and delights her children, that is, her inhabitants."

"Jerusalem's prosperity, its 'peace' (shalom), a generous gift from God, will assure her children a life full of maternal tenderness: 'You will be carried in her arms, caressed on her knee' and this maternal tenderness will be the tenderness of God Himself: 'As a mother consoles a son, so too will I console you'. In this way, the Lord uses a maternal metaphor to describe His love for His creatures."

John Paul II affirmed that "before the mother-city it is easy to extend our gaze to the profile of the Church, virgin and fecund mother." The Church, he concluded, "is virgin because of the sanctity that she receives in the sacraments and she is the mother of all peoples."

AG;CANTICLE ISAIAH;...;...;VIS;20030716;Word: 270;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Ramon Benito De La Rosa y Carpio of Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia en Higuey, Dominican Republic, as metropolitan archbishop of Santiago de los Caballeros (area 3,691, population 966,000, Catholics 789,000, priests 59, permanent deacons 97, religious 155), Dominican Republic. He accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese presented by Archbishop Juan Antonio Flores Santana upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Michel Hoang Duc Oanh, vicar general of the diocese of Kontum, Vietnam, as bishop of the same diocese (area 25,728, population 1,350,000, Catholics 193,206, priests 32, religious 176). The bishop-elect was born in 1938 in Hay Tay, Vietnam and was ordained a priest in 1968. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Pierre Tran Thanh Chung upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Max Davis, vicar general of the military ordinariate for Australia, as bishop military ordinary for the same country. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in Australia and was ordained a priest in 1971. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same military ordinariate presented by Bishop Geoffrey Mayne upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Sergio Arthur Braschi, auxiliary of Curitiba, Brazil, as bishop of Ponta Grossa (area 23,462, population 643,339, Catholics 556,000, priests 112, permanent deacons 8, religious 504), Brazil.

- Appointed Frs. Julian Charles Porteous, rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney, Australia, and Anthony Colin Fisher, O.P., founder and director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne, Australia, as auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese of Sydney (area 1,264, population 1,825,012, Catholics 589,042, priests 447, permanent deacons 4, religious 1,674), Australia. Bishop-elect Porteous was born in 1949 in Sydney and was ordained a priest in 1974. Bishop-elect Fisher was born in 1960 in Sydney and was ordained a priest in 1991.

NER; RE; NA;...;...;... ;VIS;20030716;Word: 310;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2003 (VIS) - Following the catechesis of today's general audience, held at 10:30 a.m., in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Pope John Paul greeted the pilgrims present in Hungarian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Lithuanian and Polish.

"I cordially welcome the Slovak pilgrims," the Holy Father said, "especially the members of the Slovensky Orol Organization who came to Rome on bicycles. I thank you for this encounter, a sign of unity with the Successor of Peter."

In greeting pilgrims from Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Maribor, Slovenia, the Pope said: "May your pilgrimage to the Apostolic See of St. Peter strengthen and deepen faith, hope and charity. May our heavenly mother, whom Slovenians so love and honor, bring your commitment as youth to Christ."

"Today is the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel," remarked John Paul II in Polish, "This memory is especially dear to all those who are devoted to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Even I, from my youngest days, have worn around my neck the scapular of Our Lady and I take refuge with trust under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. I hope the scapular will be for everyone, especially the faithful who wear it, a help and defense in times of danger, a seal of peace and a sign of Mary's care."


Tuesday, July 15, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Justin F. Rigali of St. Louis, U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Philadelphia (area 5,652, population 3,849,647, Catholics 1,488,316, priests 1133, permanent deacons 197, religious 4,077), U.S.A. The Pope accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese presented by Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua upon having reached the age limit.

NER; RE;...;...;RIGALI; BEVILACQUA ;VIS;20030715;Word: 70;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 15, 2003 (VIS) - A symposium on the theme "Universities and the Church in Europe" will take place from July 17 to 20 in Rome on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of La Sapienza University. One-thousand four hundred professors, students and academic authorities from 39 European countries and delegations from Australia, America, Asia and Africa will participate.

The symposium will be celebrated in the Pontifical Lateran University and in the Mariapoli Center at Castelgandolfo. It was organized by the Council of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE) and by the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education, Schools and Universities of the Italian Episcopal Conference in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Universities and Scientific Research of the Italian Republic.

Bishop Cesare Nosiglia, delegate of the CCEE for university pastoral care, will preside at the opening ceremony on Thursday July 17 at 3 p.m. Later, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German Episcopal Conference, will speak on the topic "Universities and the Church in Europe: In Dialogue for a New Civilization." Walter Schwimmer, secretary general of the Council of Europe, and Eric Froment, president of the European University Association, will also speak.

A meeting for rectors of European universities is scheduled for the morning of Friday July 18. In the afternoon, study seminars, organized by Italian universities, will begin on the following topics: "The Human Person. Genealogy-Biology-Biography," "The City of Man. Society-Environment-Economy," "The Vision of the Sciences. Discoveries, inventions, technology" and "Creativity and Memory. The figurative, literary, musical and dramatic arts."

Participants in the symposium will go to Castelgandolfo on Saturday July 19 where they will be received by the Holy Father at 9:30 a.m. At 11:30 a.m. in the Mariapoli Center Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, metropolitan of the archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia, will preside at a Eucharistic celebration. In the afternoon, representatives of different dioceses will debate the topic "Communion and Mission in the University."

Within the theme "Perspectives of the Church's Commitment in the Universities of Europe," talks on the following subjects will be given on Sunday July 20 at 9 a.m. in the Pontifical Lateran University; "The local Church in Dialogue with the University World," "The University Chapel," and "University Residences." At 11 a.m., the rector of the Catholic University of Eichstatt, Germany, will present a paper on "The Role of Catholic Universities in Europe." Fr. Francis Kohn of the Pontifical Council for Laity, will speak about the 20th World Youth Day which will take place in Cologne, Germany in 2005. After the presentation of the conclusions of the discussions, participants will attend a Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, presided by Bishop Amedee Grab, president of the CCEE.
Keys: ...;SYMPOSIUM UNIVERSITY; CHURCH;...;...;VIS;20030715;Word: 470;

Monday, July 14, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2003 (VIS) - Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., vice director of the Holy See Press Office, released the following statement today to journalists: "From September 11 to 14 the Holy Father John Paul II will undertake an apostolic trip to Slovakia, where he will visit the cities of Trnava, Banska Bystrica, Roznava and Bratislava."

OP;POPE TRIP SLOVAKIA;...;...;VIS;20030714;Word: 60;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 13, 2003 (VIS) - Today at noon, in the inner courtyard of the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo, Pope John Paul recited the Angelus with the faithful present and reflected on the future of Europe where, he said, there appears to be "a certain loss of Christian memory accompanied by a sort of fear to face the future."

"In this historic moment," the Pope stated, "during which the important process of the reunification of Europe is taking place through the enlargement of the European Union to other countries, the Church looks with love to this continent. Joining the many lights are a number of shadows. A certain loss of the Christian memory is accompanied by a sort of fear to face the future." He underscored "the spread of individualism and a growing weakness of inter-personal solidarity, and a loss of hope at whose root lies the attempt to make an anthropology without God and Christ prevail. Paradoxically the cradle of human rights risks losing its foundation, eroded by relativism and utilitarianism."

The Holy Father then referred to the Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Europe," saying that Jesus Christ, Who seems to be disappearing from European life, is urgently needed now, at a time of "serious uncertainties at a cultural, anthropological, ethical and spiritual level."

"European culture," said the Pope, "gives the impression of a 'silent apostasy' on the part of men who are sated, who live as if God did not exist. The greatest urgency, therefore, throughout Europe, 'in the East as in the West, lies in a growing need for hope, to thus be able to give meaning to life and to history and to walk forward together'." Only Christ can give man this hope, he said.

After praying the Angelus, John Paul II greeted the inhabitants of Castelgandolfo, the civil and religious authorities and the director and personnel of the pontifical villa.

He also noted that "two initiatives aimed at the university world will take place at the end of this week in Rome. The first is a series of sporting and cultural games on the occasion of the seventh centenary of La Sapienza University. The second is the symposium "University and Church in Europe. I cordially greet the participants in anticipation of meeting them next Saturday."

ANG;...;...;CASTELGANDOLFO;VIS;20030714;Word: 370;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Wurzburg, Germany, presented by Bishop Paul-Werner Scheele upon having reached the age limit.

On Saturday July 12 it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Bishop Zacarias Ortiz Rolon, S.D.B., apostolic vicar of Chaco Paraguayo, Paraguay, as bishop of Concepcion (area 30,984, population 302,413, Catholics 300,600, priests 31, religious 77), Paraguay.

RE; NER;...;...;SCHEELE; ORTIZ ;VIS;20030714;Word: 80;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2003 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue organized a meeting for its members, consultors and some guests which took place from July 7 to 9 at the Convent of St. Thomas of the Greek-Melkite Patriarchate of Saydnaya, Syria. Participants in the meeting came from Lebanon, Jordan, the Holy Land, Turkey, North Africa, France and Canada.

Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, council president, led the workshops. The following prelates attended the opening ceremony: His Holiness Ignace Zakka I Iwas, Syrian-Orthodox patriarch, Their Beatitudes Gregory II Lahham, Catholic Greek-Melkite patriarch, Ignace Pierre VIII Abdel-Ahad, Syrian-Catholic patriarch, Jean Pierre XVIII Kasparian, patriarch emeritus of the Armenian Catholics, and Archbishop Diego Causero, apostolic nuncio in Syria. His Beatitude Ignace IV Hazim, patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Orthodox, was represented by Msgr. Ghattas Hazim, patriarchal vicar.

A communique made public today notes that on the first day of the meeting there were three conferences on "Inter-religious dialogue and social development," "Inter-religious dialogue and human rights," and "Inter-religious dialogue and the search for common values."

Participants in the meeting presented various reports on the situation of Islamic-Christian relations in their respective countries and expressed their appreciation for "the position of John Paul II, Catholic leaders and leaders of other Churches in the world, on the Middle East especially, on peace in the world, the condemnation of the war against Iraq and the request for a just and global peace for the Middle East, especially in Palestine."

The communique ends by noting how the participants in the meeting in Saydnaya underscored the "importance of the work carried out by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and its role in the promotion of fraternal relations with Muslims throughout the world, something which has become even more important and urgent after the events of September 11, 2001, the war in Iraq and the deterioration of the situation in Palestine."


Friday, July 11, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., vice director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following declaration:

"This afternoon, Thursday July 10, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, accompanied by Msgr. Pietro Parolin, undersecretary for Relations with States, met with Silvan Shalom, minister of Foreign Affairs for the State of Israel.

"In the course of the discussions, they spoke about the current process of reconciliation and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In the name of the Holy Father, His Eminence expressed the fervent desire for an intensification of and rapid conclusion to the process.

"The meeting then allowed for the review of some bilateral questions that interest the life of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land and that should be urgently resolved based on the resolutions of the Fundamental Agreements of 1993."


Thursday, July 10, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the Pope to Cardinals Jozef Glemp, Marian Jaworski and Lubomyr Husar, respectively archbishop of Warsaw, Poland, archbishop of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine and major archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary on July 11 of the "tragic events of Volinia," the disputed region between Poland and Ukraine during World War II. An official ceremony of Ukrainian-Polish reconciliation is scheduled to take place tomorrow.

In the message, dated July 7 and directed also to "our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine and in Poland," the Holy Father writes: "Sixty years after these sad events, the need for a profound examination of conscience has been affirmed in the soul of the majority of Polish and Ukrainian people. The need is felt for a reconciliation that allows everyone to look toward the future with new eyes."

"As God forgave us in Christ, it is necessary that believers know how to mutually forgive offenses and to ask for forgiveness for their own failings in order to contribute to the creation of a world which has respect for life, justice, harmony and peace."

After recalling that during the Jubilee Year 2000, the Church "asked for forgiveness for the faults of its children, forgiving at the same time those who have offended them," he says: "In this way, I wanted to purify the memory of these sad events from every feeling of rancor and vengeance in order to go forward hopeful and confident in the task of building a civilization of love."

"The Church proposes this same attitude to a civil society, urging all toward sincere reconciliation. ... It is an urgent priority if the great need is considered to educate the young generations to confront the future not in conditions of a history of mistrust, prejudices and violence, but in the spirit of a reconciled memory."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - This morning at 10 a.m. John Paul II went by car to his summer residence at Castelgandolfo, southeast of Rome, where he will spend some time on a working vacation.

JPII-HOLIDAY;...;...;CASTELGANDOLFO;VIS;20030710;Word: 40;


VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - The 37th meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See took place on Tuesday afternoon, July 8, under the presidency of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, according to a communique published yesterday afternoon.

Other participants included Cardinals Michael Mahony, Camillo Ruini, Jean Claude Turcotte, Ricardo Maria Carles Gordo, Ivan Dias, Edward Michael Egan, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah and Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State. Also present were officials from the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and from APSA, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture, presented the 2002 consolidated financial statements to the Council, noting that the Holy See deficit for that year was 13,506,722 Euro ($15,290,960). Total income was 216,575,034 Euro ($245,184,596) and total expenses were 230,081,756 Euro ($260,475,556).

"A considerable part of the expenses," states the communique, "must be attributed to the costs of both the ordinary and extraordinary administration of the Roman Curia which daily undertakes its activity in service to the Holy Father. There are 2,659 people who work for the Roman Curia, including 744 ecclesiastics, 351 religious and 1,564 lay people. There are 892 retired employees who receive pensions. During 2002 there were expenses involving the building or acquiring of new offices for Pontifical Representatives. In addition, the Holy See acquired in Rome a building due to the need for further space for institutional purposes."

Also presented were the 2002 consolidated financial statements for Vatican City State, which had a deficit of 16,048,508 ($18,215,057). The communique noted that "this negative result, compared to the surplus for 2001, was caused by the reduction in income in the various sectors and by the contribution given to Vatican Radio to cover part of its deficit. Vatican City State has 1,511 employees, including four officials, 75 religious and 1,432 lay people. There are 566 pensioners."

The last item under review by the Council of Cardinals was Peter's Pence which for 2002 amounted to $52,836,693. This sum was used by the Holy Father for charitable purposes, with particular attention paid to Church communities in the Third World and "to alleviate needs brought about because of wars or natural calamities." Peter's Pence offerings by the faithful for 2002 increased by 1.8 percent over 2001.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in the name of Pope John Paul, sent the following telegram of condolences to religious and civil authorities in Bangladesh for the victims of a ferry boat capsize Tuesday evening near the city of Chandpur:

"Deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life resulting from the ferry boat accident near the town of Chandpur, His Holiness Pope John Paul II assures all affected of his closeness in prayer. The Holy Father commends the victims to the loving mercy of the Almighty, and upon their grieving families and all those injured he invokes divine strength and comfort."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday the Holy Father received Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of the Italian Republic, and his wife whom he invited to lunch in his private apartment.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, presented the 2002 Consolidated Financial Statements for the Holy See. His report was presented to the Holy Father on July 7 and to the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See on July 8.

The cardinal noted that this is the first such consolidated statement expressed in Euro. He also said it was "the second negative result that follows upon a period of surpluses right up to 2000."

"As a consolidated financial statement," he said, "it represents as an integrated whole all the income and expenses of the various Vatican administrations that are within the area of consolidation: It thus includes the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) - which is the most important in that it provides for all the administrative operations of almost the totality of the offices and entities of the Roman Curia - the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Apostolic Camera, Vatican Radio, L'Osservatore Romano (merged with regard to administration), the Vatican Television Center and the Vatican Publishing House."

He pointed out that the 2002 deficit for the Holy See was 13,506,722 Euro ($15,290,960). Some of the factors leading to a deficit include an economic crisis that began in the last part of 2000, the stock markets that have fallen, a fall in gross national product consumption in the Euro zone, and the gradual rise of the Euro against the dollar which, by year end, has lost 18 percent of its initial value.

Cardinal Sebastiani then took a look at the entries of the operating statement which are expressed in four categories: 1. Institutional Activity, 2. Financial Activity, 3. the Real Estate Sector, and 4. the activity of the Media Institutions. The only one that had a surplus was the Real Estate sector (part of APSA), with a gain of 19,082,000 Euro ($21,658,070). He stated that the institutional activity of the Curia involves offices - Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, Synod of Bishops and others - "which, called as they are to render services, do not produce income."

The biggest improvement was in the activity of the Media Institutions which had a loss of 1,659,000 Euro ($1,882,965) in 2002, compared to a loss of 21,636,000 Euro ($24,556,860) in 2001. Vatican Radio traditionally has the largest expenses in this sector.



VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Osorno, Chile as coadjutor bishop of Rancagua (area 16,042, population 728,280, Catholics 597,189, priests 117, permanent deacons 12, religious 226), Chile.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - Upon hearing of the death of His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, on July 7 at the age of 81, Pope John Paul sent the following telegram to the patriarchate:

"Having learned with sadness of the death of His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, I ask God, Father of All mercy, to receive in His light and His peace the soul of the illustrious deceased who for so long exercised the priestly ministry, then that of bishop and then patriarch, in the service of the Catholic Chaldean Church. I express my great sympathy to the leaders, the communities and all the faithful of the Chaldean rite, as well as to the family of the deceased patriarch. I send everyone, as a sign of comfort during trials, my affectionate apostolic blessing."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Michel Guyard, vicar general of the archdiocese of Paris, France, as bishop of Le Havre (area 1,902, population 398,862, Catholics 319,090, priests 76, permanent deacons 15, religious 129), France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris in 1936 and was ordained a priest in 1965. The Pope accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Michel Saudreau upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Celio de Oliveira Goulart, O.F.M., of Leopoldina, Brazil as bishop of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim (area 10,073, population 575,484, Catholics 421,613, priests 70, permanent deacons 20, religious 72), Brazil.

- Appointed Fr. Lazarus You Heung-sik, rector of the Major Seminary of Taejon, Korea, as coadjutor bishop of Taejon (area 9,126, population 3,326,946, Catholics 212,445, priests 185, religious 446), Korea. The bishop-elect was born in 1951 in Nonsangun-Chungnam, Korea and was ordained a priest in 1979.

- Appointed Fr. Hyginus Kim Hee-jong as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Kwangju (area 12,414, population 3,500,000, Catholics 288,000, priests 209, religious 554), Korea. The bishop-elect was born in 1947 in Bukkyu-dong Mopko-shi, Korea and was ordained a priest in 1975.
- Appointed Fr. Anthony Chirayath, study assistant of the Pontifical Council of the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as bureau chief of the same dicastery.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, yesterday addressed the First Biennial Meeting of States To Consider the Implementation of the Program to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
"Taking into account," he said, "that the ultimate goal uniting us in this area is the protection of the life and dignity of each and every human person, the Program of Action represents a significant challenge for the international community, since we all know the deep effects of this illicit trade on the development of peoples, on education, on environment, on health conditions and on life."

Archbishop Migliore noted that "on the supply side, the Program of Action gives us an initial plan, underlining that these concrete actions be directed at strengthening the mechanisms for prevention, reduction, accountability and control - such as the creation of systems of marking, tracing and record-keeping; the regulation of brokerage activity; the identification and destruction of stocks of surplus weapons." He added that, on the demand side, the Program "urges us to develop and implement educational and awareness activities aimed at promoting a culture of peace and life."

"The Holy See delegation," concluded the nuncio, "would hope that attention be focussed on two issues. The first is to address the issue of State responsibility of arresting illicit arms transfers. ... The second is to begin, without any undue delay, the process of discussing a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on international arms trade that will reduce and eventually eradicate the illicit traffic of small arms and light weapons."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - Today, in the last general audience celebrated in the Paul VI Hall before he moves tomorrow to the summer residence at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father spoke about Psalm 142, "Prayer in tribulation." This prayer is recited "at the beginning of the day and serves as a proposition of fidelity and an appeal for divine help," said the Pope.

The Pope told the 7,000 people present that the psalm begins with "an intense and insistent invocation directed to God who is faithful to the promises of salvation offered to the people." Later, "a dramatic situation" is described: "The enemy, who represents evil in history and the world, has driven [the faithful] to the thresholds of death."

Putting their trust in God, he continued, the faithful "ask to be saved from their enemies and freed from anguish" and they ask God to teach them how to fulfill His will. "We must make this admirable petition ours as well," he affirmed. "If it is not accompanied by a strong desire for docility toward God, our faith in Him is not genuine."

"Starting out in a very painful situation," he concluded, "prayer gives way to hope, joy and light, thanks to a sincere adherence to God and to His will, which is a will to love. And this is the power of prayer, the source of life and salvation."

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Tuesday, July 8, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following statement today at midday:

"I can confirm that the Holy Father has been invited by the Government of Mongolia and by the Apostolic Prefecture of Ulan Bator to make a pastoral visit to the country. The invitation has been much appreciated but I must indicate that a decision has not yet been made as to the date of such a trip. Therefore, news of a trip to the Mongolian capital next month is not confirmed."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall the Holy Father received members of the secular institute "Missionary Priests of the Regality of Christ" who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the institute's founding this year.

The Pope recalled that the secular institute, founded by Fr. Agostino Gemelli, "is characterized by priestly fraternity in which everyone, faithful to God's plan, consecrates themselves to the service of the Church. ... Continue on this challenging but liberating ascetic and apostolic journey, giving thanks to the Lord every day for the priestly ministry, gift and mystery of divine love."

"Keep the charisma of your founder alive," he continued, "adapting it to the social and cultural situations of our time. Your service to the Church will be fruitful if you keep in constant contact with Christ in prayer, and if you cultivate ever more communion with the Bishop and with the college of priests of the dioceses to which you belong. ... May your desire for evangelization lead you to carry out an apostolate that knows no boundaries."

John Paul II concluded by urging the missionary priests to "aim toward holiness as a priority in your life, in order to be witnesses and teachers of evangelical perfection. The spirituality of the missionaries of the Regality of Christ, which is secular and presbyterial, represents a significant patrimony to be invested for the good of the Church."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 (VIS) - The 10th Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops met on July 1-2 for the sixth time in the secretariat's main office, according to a communique made public today.

In addition to Cardinal Jan P. Schotte, C.I.C.M., six cardinals, four archbishops and four members of the Secretariat of the Synod participated in the meeting.
After the presentation of a report on the General Secretariat's activity since the council's last meeting, preparation for the 11th ordinary general assembly was discussed. Later the council's activities for different assemblies were discussed as well as the diffusion of the post-synodal exhortations on different continents.

This council will meet again in October of 2003.



VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, will present the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Holy See for the year 2002 at a press conference on July 10 at 11:30 a.m. Bishop Franco Croci and Ivan Ruggiero, respectively secretary and bookkeeper of the same prefecture, will also participate in the press conference.



VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 (VIS) - The Fifth World Congress of the Pastoral Ministry for Gypsies, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and by the Episcopal Conference of Hungary, was held June 30 to July 7 in Peter Pazmany Catholic University in Budapest on the theme "The Church and Gypsies: For a Spirituality of Communion." There were 230 participants from 26 countries.

Excerpts from the forthcoming Final Document were presented in a communique published by the pontifical council at the end of the assembly. In particular, the communique highlighted Part Three of the document, an appeal for the human rights and dignity of Gypsies.

The appeal asks that human rights and basic freedoms be accorded equally to Gypsies as they are to other peoples, and that these rights be subsequently - and equally - safeguarded. "Every Gypsy must be assured of a secure personal statute, ... all cases of statelessness must be eliminated and Gypsies must not receive disparaging documents, but rather ones identical to those of other citizens."

Congressional participants also ask for an improvement in living and housing conditions for Gypsies, that they be granted a right to a home without discrimination, and that their "caravans or mobile homes be assimilated with fixed domiciles, avoiding serious discrimination of treatment, in the personal and social statute, regarding nomads."

They appeal for "the abolition of every obstacle to free circulation for Gypsies, suppressing in particular the special circulation documents which constitute true 'internal passports'." Another matter taken into discussion is the accessibility of pre-school education for Gypsy youngsters, and "the need to take into account the human and cultural resources potentially represented by four million school age Gypsies youth."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Erected the diocese of Valle de Chalco, Mexico, with territory taken from the diocese of Netzahualcoyotl, making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Church of Tlalnepantla.

- Appointed Fr. Luis Artemio Flores Calzada, episcopal vicar of Texcoco, Mexico, as bishop of the diocese of Valle de Chalco (area 1,238, population 3,404,000, Catholics 3,400,000, priests 86, religious 206), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in San Antonio Tultitlan, Mexico in 1949 and was ordained a priest in 1974.

- Appointed Bishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Ciudad Altamirano, Mexico as bishop of Netzahualcoyotl (area 1,172, population 5,487,472, Catholics 5,491,872, priests 137, religious 17), Mexico. He succeeds Bishop Jose Maria Hernandez Gonzalez whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Pope accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon, military ordinary for Peru, as auxiliary bishop of Lurin (area 185, population 2,500,000, Catholics 2,244,000, priests 50, permanent deacons 4, religious 204), Peru.

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Monday, July 7, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father this morning received the Letters of Credence of Giorgios Poulides, accrediting him as the new ambassador from Cyprus to the Holy See. In his welcome speech, given in English, the Pope said he was "pleased to note that you are the first ambassador from your country to the Holy See who will be resident in the city of Rome."

"You have mentioned the recent signing of the Accession Treaty of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union," stated the Pope. "This is certainly a significant step for the nation as it starts to make the necessary preparations for taking its place officially in the European economic and political community. And with your nation's deep-seated and long-standing Christian heritage, dating back to the very beginnings of Christianity itself, Cyprus will be in an advantageous position to make Europe ever more aware of its own Christian roots."

Reiterating remarks he made this year to the diplomatic corps, John Paul II said: "'Europe is the bearer of values which have borne fruit for two thousand years in an 'art' of thinking and living from which the whole world has benefited. Among these values Christianity holds a privileged position. ... A Europe which disavowed its past, which denied the fact of religion, and which had no spiritual dimension would be extremely impoverished in the face of the ambitious project which calls upon all its energies: constructing a Europe for all'."

"There is a manifest need in our contemporary world for the legitimate aspirations, traditions and beliefs of people of different backgrounds to be accorded full respect. Only mutual acceptance and sincere dialogue among peoples and groups can sustain the work of maintaining harmonious relations. Genuine peace requires the effective recognition and safeguarding of the dignity and rights of all the members of the human family as the fundamental criterion of policy and action, with special openness to and support of the neediest: the poor, the sick, the young, the old, the laborer, the immigrant."

The Holy Father then referred to "one of the most pressing problems facing Cyprus today: the ongoing division of the island. The Holy See, together with the rest of the international community, was greatly saddened that the plan for peace and reunification presented last year by the Secretary General of the United Nations ... did not gain the necessary consensus with the parties involved and was thus not accepted. ... I am pleased to hear you speak of your government's willingness to sit down once more at the table of dialogue and negotiation, under the auspices of the United Nations."

In closing, the Pope affirmed that "sincere negotiation is required for settling differences in a manner that serves the authentic good of all. ... In all of this, of course, the members of the Catholic community will always be eager to make their contribution along with their fellow Cypriots."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's Message for the 10th anniversary of the institution of the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation was made public today and given to members during a meeting in the Vatican with the Pope.

The Pope notes that this foundation "represents the singular answer to the invitation I made in the Encyclical that inspired it to promote and spread the awareness and practice of the Church's social doctrine. ... Your institution intends to weave together the commitment to spread the Church's teaching on social questions ... with the concrete help offered to the Pope for charitable acts that he is constantly asked for from throughout the world and to support the instruments he uses for his universal ministry."

Encouraging the members in this commitment, the Holy Father urges them "to always bear in mind three great convictions: the permanent actuality of the Church's social doctrine; ... the responsibility proper to Christian lay people; ... the awareness that only new men and women can renew all things."

On the permanent actuality of the Church's social doctrine, he writes: "The dramatic events that trouble the modern world and the deplorable conditions of underdevelopment in which too many countries still live, ... tell us that we must start again from a just perspective: the truth about man discovered by reason and confirmed by the Gospel of Jesus that proclaims and promotes the true dignity and inherent social vocation of the person."

The Holy Father points out that Vatican Council II, in "Gaudium et Spes," spoke of the precise duty of the laity in this mission which can be the source of "commitment, direction, and vigor to establish and consolidate the community of men according to the law of God."

The Message concludes: "The social commitment of lay Christians can be nourished and made coherent, tenacious and courageous only by a deep spirituality, that is, by a life of intimate union with Christ Who makes them capable of expressing the great theological virtues - faith, hope and charity - through the exercise of the difficult responsibility of building a society closer to the great providential plan of God."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul received two groups this morning in the Clementine Hall, including participants in the quinquennial award ceremony for the Paul VI International Prize to French philosopher and researcher Paul Ricoeur, and 130 members of the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation, in Rome for their annual meeting.

In speaking of the Paul VI award, the Pope noted that "today's encounter occurs between two important dates: the 40th anniversary of the election to the papacy of Servant of God Paul VI and the 25th anniversary of his death."

The Holy Father said that "the prestigious prize that is awarded every five years to a person or institution that has become distinguished in a significant way in the milieu of religiously-inspired culture, represents a decisive recognition of the perennial interest that the personality of Pope Montini aroused. Up to now this prize has gone to scholars in the field of theology, music, ecumenism and the promotion of human rights."

"This year," he added, "it goes to the well-known French researcher Paul Ricoeur, ... also known for his generous contribution to the ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Reformed Churches. His research shows how fertile the relationship is between philosophy and theology, between faith and culture. ... It seems very opportune for the Paul VI Institute to have chosen to honor a philosopher and at the same time a man of faith, committed to defending human and Christian values."

Before closing, Pope John Paul briefly addressed the members of the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation, whose name was inspired by the Pope's 1991 Encyclical "Centesimus Annus." In addition to their annual meeting, foundation members are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the foundation's establishment. The Pope's Message for this anniversary was published today, and given to the members present at this morning's audience.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2003 (VIS) - After praying the noon Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter's Square today, the Pope addressed the pilgrims in various languages, reserving special greetings for the representatives of the 161 member organizations of Caritas Internationalis who tomorrow begin their 17th general assembly in Rome on "Globalizing Solidarity."

John Paul II in particular noted that "in recent days the International Convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families, adopted by the United Nations in 1990, entered into force. This legislative instrument marks an important step forward because it considers the migrant and his family as one. While I express great pleasure for this juridical goal, I hope that a wider adhesion of States will strengthen its efficacy so that, with the adoption of similar provisions and with constant international cooperation, the complex phenomenon of migration can occur within legal parameters and in respect for persons and families."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2003 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at noon, the Pope reminded the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square and those who followed by radio and television that today concludes the centenary celebration of the death of St. Maria Goretti, who is buried in Neptuno, in the diocese of Albano, Italy.

"What does this fragile but Christianly mature girl say to today's young people with her heroic death?" asked the Holy Father. "Marietta, as her family called her, reminds young people of the third millennium that true happiness requires courage and a spirit of sacrifice, a rejection of any compromise to evil and a disposition to personally pay for fidelity to God and to His commandments, even with death."

John Paul II underlined that this message "is very current," adding: "Today pleasure, selfishness and even immorality are often exalted in the name of the false ideals of freedom and happiness. It is necessary to reaffirm with clarity that we must defend purity of the heart and body because chastity 'guards' authentic love. ... Pureness of heart, like all virtues, requires daily training of the will and constant interior discipline. It requires above all assiduous recourse to God in prayer."
"The numerous occupations and accelerated rythms of life sometimes make it difficult to cultivate this important spiritual dimension. Summer vacation, however, which begins now for some, can become a propitious occasion to renew the interior life, if it is not wasted in dissipation and simple diversion."

The Holy Father concluded by asking the Virgin Mary "to help everyone, especially adolescents and young people, to discover once again the value and importance of chastity in order to build up a civilization of love, as you sustained Maria Goretti in her trial."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - Upon the death of Cardinal Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, S.D.B., archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela, after a long illness, John Paul II sent a telegram of condolences to the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese.

The Pope writes of the cardinal who was 74 years old: "His generous and intense ministerial work, first as a Salesian, then as a teacher of young people, and then as a priest and later as apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, until the moment in which he was called to serve in this important role (as archbishop), bears witness to his great dedication to the cause of the Gospel, and at the same gives proof of his deep love for the Church and the qualities that he was blessed with."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was Pope John Paul's Message to Msgr. Fouad El-Hage, president of Caritas Internationalis, on the occasion of its 17th General Assembly which opened today at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome on the theme "Globalizing Solidarity." The assembly ends July 12. Caritas International meets every four years to discuss global issues and set future goals.

In the Message, written in French and dated July 4, the Pope expresses his "appreciation" to Caritas "for having carried out, in an active and competent way, the precept of charity and for your generous work throughout the world, most notably in serving the least protected." He says this is a great challenge in today's world, marked by interdependence among people and nations "but also threatened by break-ups, separations and violent opposition, such as we have seen with a resurgence of terrorism."

The Holy Father notes that "globalization has become the obligatory horizon of all politics. ... For solidarity to become global, one must effectively take into account all peoples of all regions of the world. This calls for great efforts, and above all of firm international guarantees vis-a-vis humanitarian organizations, often put to one side, despite themselves, wherever there are conflicts because they cannot be guaranteed security nor be assured of the right to assist persons."

He states that an end must be put "to one-way assistance as this contributes too often to further deepening imbalances through a mechanism of permanent indebtedness."

"Desiring the globalization of solidarity," he writes, "is above all a response to the pressing appeals of the Gospel of Christ. For us Christians, and for all men and women, this demands a true spiritual path, the conversion of minds and of persons." Aid cannot be mere almsgiving to the poor, making the giver feel proud and the recipient feel humiliated: aid must be "fraternal sharing."

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