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Thursday, April 3, 2003


VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2003 (VIS) - The meditations on the Way of the Cross for 2003 have been written by John Paul II, as he did for both the Jubilee in 1983-84 on the 1950th anniversary of the Redemption, and the Jubilee Year 2000 for the 2000th anniversary of Christ's birth, according to a communique from Bishop Piero Marini, master of the Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations.

In the note, Bishop Marini affirms that this year's meditations, in which the 25th anniversary of the present pontificate is commemorated, were not composed to celebrate a "third jubilee" but rather to observe the spiritual exercises preached by the Holy Father, then cardinal archbishop of Krakow, in 1976 to Pope Paul VI and the Roman Curia.

"These meditations," says the note, "were published in 1977 with the emblematic title 'Sign of contradiction', and in 2001 a second edition was released." The Pope, writes Bishop Martini, wanted to propose once again the same Way of the Cross, the text of which has not been modified, as a meditation for Good Friday. John Paul II has never missed the celebration of the Way of the Cross in the Colosseum.

After recalling that on October 16, 2002, the 24th anniversary of his election as the successor of Peter, the Pope issued the Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae" and proclaimed the Year of the Rosary (October 2002 to October 2003), Bishop Marini writes that in the prayers of the Way of the Cross the presence of Mary, Queen of Peace, is noted from the beginning.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2003 (VIS) - Over 230 representatives and leaders of youth ministry, representing 80 counties and nearly 50 movements, associations and communities, will be in Rome from April 10 to 13 to take part in an international conference on World Youth Day at the Domus Mariae. The meeting was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, according to a council communique released today.

The communique adds that "the conference has several objectives: on the first day to put together the experiences and observations of the participants in the World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, from both the logistical and pastoral points of view; on the second day, to initiate the path of spiritual preparation for the next world gathering, scheduled to take place in Cologne in two years. ... On the third day, to reflect on the many challenges and priorities facing youth ministry today." Representatives of both the Canadian and German episcopal conferences will be present.

Participants in this conference will join Rome's young people in their gathering with Pope John Paul on Thursday, April 10 as part of the celebrations of the 18th World Youth Day. On Saturday evening, April 12 they will participate in a prayer vigil organized by the San Lorenzo International Youth Center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the center's founding. The 230 delegates will then join youth from the diocese of Rome and take part in the Holy Father's Palm Sunday Eucharist and the 18th World Youth Day celebrations in St. Peter's Square. The theme of the 2003 World Youth Day, which will end with the World Youth Day cross being passed from Canadian to German young people, is "Behold, Your Mother!"

On Saturday, April 12, the pontifical council will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. at the Domus Mariae, Via Aurelia 481, to speak about the work achieved during the conference. Participants will include Cardinals James Francis Stafford, council president, Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne and Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz and president of the German Episcopal Conference. Also present will be Bishop Stanislaw Rylko, secretary of the council for the laity, and Bishop Franz-Joseph Bode of Osnabruck, president of the Episcopal Commission for Youth.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Msgr. Paul Henry Walsh, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Smithtown, U.S.A. as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Rockville Center (area 3,164, population 2,978,121, Catholics 1,548,623, priests 505, religious 1,501, permanent deacons 231), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Brooklyn, U.S.A. in 1937 and was ordained a priest in 1966.

- Appointed Fr. Ivo Panteghini of the clergy of Brescia, Italy, as consultant of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church.

- Appointed Luca Carboni, official of the Vatican Secret Archives, as secretary general of the same office.

- Appointed the following people as consultors of the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews at the Pontifical Council for the Promoting Christian Unity: Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, auxiliary of Jerusalem of the Latins; Frs. Georges Marie Martin Cottier, O.P., theologian of the Pontifical Household, Elias Chachour, president of "Mar Elias Educational Institutions" in Ibillin, Israel, Patrick Desbois of the Prado Institute, secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Judaism of the Bishops' Conference of France; Sr. Lucy Thorson of the Congregation of Religious of Our Lady of Sion in Rome; Hans Hermann Henrix, director of "Bischofliche Akademie des Bistums Aachen" in Germany.

- Appointed the following people as consultors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Frs. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S.J., dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Msgr. Jean Laffitte of the diocese of Autun, France, lecturer of moral theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Insitute on Marriage and the Family, Rome; Msgr. Carlos Jose Errazuriz Mackenna of the Prelature of Opus Dei, lecturer of Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Holy Cross, Rome.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience five prelates from the Scandinavian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Joannes Baptist Matthijs Gijsen of Reykjavik, Iceland.

- Bishop Gerhard Schwenzer, SS.CC., of Oslo, Norway, accompanied by emeritus Bishop John Willem Gran, O.C.S.O.

- Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Goebel, M.S.F., prelate of Tromso, Norway.

- Bishop Georg Muller, SS.CC., prelate of Trondheim, Norway.

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