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Monday, April 14, 2003


VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2003 (VIS) - Today at 10 a.m., Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, John Paul II presided at a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 50,000 young people from all over the world who were celebrating the 18th World Youth Day on the theme 'Behold your mother.'

In the homily, the Pope said that today's liturgy is "like a solemn portal to enter into Holy Week. It connects two contrasting moments: Jesus's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and the drama of the Passion. ... It anticipates the 'hour' in which the Messiah will have to suffer so much, be killed and rise on the third day and it prepares us to live the Easter mystery in its entirety."

The Holy Father affirmed that Jerusalem "can be considered the city-symbol of humanity, especially in the dramatic beginning of the third millennium that we are living. Today we are celebrating because Jesus, King of peace, enters Jerusalem."

After greeting the many young people present, the Pope said: "How can I not express my fraternal solidarity to your peers who suffer due to war and violence in Iraq, the Holy Land, and in other regions in the world?"

"Today," he continued, "we welcome with faith and joy Christ, who is our 'king': king of truth, liberty, justice and love, which are the four 'pillars' on which it is possible to build the structure of true peace, as Blessed John XXIII wrote in the Encyclical 'Pacem in Terris' 40 years ago. I entrust it ideally to the young people from around the whole world. ... Read it, meditate on it, make an effort to put in into practice."

"'Behold your mother!' Jesus directs these words to each of you, dear friends. He also asks you to welcome Mary as mother in 'your home, among your goods.' ... May Mary help you to respond generously to the Lord's call and to persevere with joy and fidelity in the Christian mission! ... Young people of the third millennium," he concluded, "do not be afraid to offer your life as a total response to Christ! Only He changes the life and history of the world."

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VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 3003 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, decrees relative to 16 Servants of God were promulgated in the presence of the Holy Father, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the postulators of the respective causes. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation, read a speech detailing the lives of the Servants of God.

The decrees concern the following causes:


- Venerable Servant of God Juan Nepomuceno Zegri y Moreno, Spanish, priest from the archdiocese of Granada, founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercede (1831-1905).

- Venerable Servant of God Luigi Talamoni, Italian, priest from the archdiocese of Milan, founder of the Congregation of the Merciful Sisters of St. Gerard (1848-1926).

- Venerable Servant of God Luigi Maria Monti, Italian, lay religious and founder of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception (1825-1900).

- Venerable Servant of God Matilde of the Sacred Heart, nee Matilde Tellez Robles, Spanish, foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of the Church (1841-1902).

- Venerable Servant of God Piedad de la Cruz, nee Tomasa Ortiz Real, Spanish, foundress of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1842-1916).

- Venerable Servant of God Rosalie Rendu, nee Jeanne-Marie, French, of the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent of Paul (1786-1856).

- Venerable Servant of God Maria Candida dell'Eucharistia, nee Maria Barba, Italian, professed religious of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites (1884-1949).


- Servant of God Luigi Boccardo, Italian, priest of the archdiocese of Turin, founder of the Sisters of Jesus, King, contemplative branch of the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of St. Gaetano (1861-1936).

- Servant of God Mose Tovini, Italian, priest of the diocese of Brescia (1877-1930).

- Servant of God Basile Antoine Marie Moreau, French, priest, founder of the Congregation of the Religious Sisters and Brothers of Holy Cross (1799-1873).

- Servant of God Filippo Bardellini, Italian, priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Holy Society of the Poor Sisters of the House of Nazareth (1878- 1956).

- Servant of God Eustace Van Lieshout, Dutch, professed priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus) (1890-1943).

- Servant of God Luigi della Consolata, ne Andrea Bordino, Italian, professed monk of the Congregation of the Brothers of St. Joseph Benito of Cottolengo (1922-1977).

- Servant of God Anna Maria Fiorelli, Italian, widow Lapini, of the Third Order of St. Francis, foundress of the Congregation of the Poor Daughters of the Holy of St. Francis of Assisi (Stigmatines) (1809-1860).

- Servant of God Ascension del Corazon de Jesus, nee Florencia Nicol Goni, Spanish, co-foundress and first superior general of the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary (1868-1940).

- Servant of God Charles of Austria, Austrian, emperor and king (1887-1922).

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VATICAN CITY, APR 11, 2003 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of state, presided at ceremony this evening at the Pontifical Lateran University to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Blessed John XXIII's Encyclical "Pacem in terris." Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, addressed the assembly.

Cardinal Sodano, in his opening remarks stated that "this very same day, 40 years ago, another message of hope for the entire world came from Rome." After the meeting he was interviewed by journalists about the situation in Iraq and the posture of the Holy See in the current international phase.

"The Holy See," said the cardinal, "continues on its usual course; the course of the Magisterium on the one hand and the diplomatic path on the other hand. Before the war we tried everything to see that it did not break out. Once it broke out, we worked for it to end as soon as possible and now there is the hope that the civilian population recover quickly, that interreligious dialogue is never interrupted."

Asked if the U.N. still had a role to play, Cardinal Sodano said, "Certainly, the Pope said so," adding that "we are a family of nations and we must cooperate: this is the destiny of peoples." Asked if this is true for Iraq, he replied, "Even in Iraq."

Regarding the Holy See's fears for other conflicts in the Middle East, he said: "We are not prophets of doom. Certainly we hope that the U.N. resumes its role, as you heard in the speeches here during this symposium on the teachings of Pope John XXIII."

A communique from the pontifical council summarized the remarks of Archbishop Martino who, until recently was the Holy See permanent observer for 16 years at the U.N. "The crisis situation of the United Nations," said the communique, "following the decision for war in Iraq, does not contradict but rather reinforces and makes more urgent the calls of Pacem in terris for a world political authority able to assure peace and the development of peoples."

Instead of "a world super-State," and "for the U.N. to completely fulfill its irreplaceable role," says the communique, for Archbishop Martino "there is need to favor multilateral action, not only at the diplomatic level but also within the sphere of plans for development." In his words: "the weakening of international organisms could mean a weakening of the awareness of being one family, but they will not be strengthened if their capacity to express a moral order and articulate a subsidiary system of authority for a world governance with realistic courage is not consolidated."

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VATICAN CITY, APR 14, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope received participants in the annual UNIV international university congress who came from 30 countries around the world. The theme of this year's congress is "Building Peace in the 21st Century."

John Paul II affirmed that the congress' theme "is more timely than ever in these months in which we are so worried about the situation in Iraq, as well as so many violent and war-ridden situations which have erupted on other continents. All this makes a true education to peace more urgent."

"For believers," he continued, "the first and fundamental action in favor of peace is prayer, because peace is a gift of love from God. ... In order to be architects of peace it is especially necessary to live in the truth. Young people," he exclaimed, "have the courage to ask yourselves sincere questions on the meaning of truth; form yourselves with a clear rectitude of thought and action, of respect and dialogue with others. Maintain in the first place an authentic relationship with God, which requires personal conversation and an openness to His mystery."

The Holy Father emphasized that "justice is connected to truth, as well as to respect of the dignity of each person. We know however that without sincere love and disinterest, justice cannot assure peace for the world. True peace blooms when hatred, rancor and envy are vanquished in our hearts; when we say no to selfishness and to everything that causes man to retreat within himself and to defend his own interest."

He went on to say that if love "is translated into gestures of free and disinterested service, into words of understanding and forgiveness, the peaceful wave of love will grow and extend even to interest the entire human community. In this way it is easier to understand the fourth pillar of peace, that is, liberty, the recognition of the rights of individuals and peoples and the free gift of self in the responsible fulfillment of the duties that correspond to all in their state in life."

"If you try to follow this way," concluded John Paul II, "you will be able to offer an effective contribution to the construction of a 'peaceful' and 'reconciling' world. Your holy Founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, writes: 'The task for a Christian is to drown evil in an abundance of good. It is not a question of negative campaigns, or of being against something. On the contrary, we should live positively, full of optimism, with youthfulness, joy and peace. We should be understanding with everybody."

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VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2003 (VIS) - Speaking after Mass today, World Youth Day, in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of 50,000 pilgrims, Pope John Paul noted that the Youth Day Cross was about to be given by a delegation of young Canadians to a number of German youth whose country is preparing for World Youth Day 2005.

"I entrusted this Cross," the Pope remarked, "to young people in the Holy Year 1984. At the end of each pilgrimage it makes, it is received into Rome's St. Lawrence Youth Center, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary. I thank Cardinal Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, for the care he and his collaborators give the center, as well as the movements, associations and communities, coordinated by the Emmanuel Community, which animate the center."

He pointed out that the youth day Cross "now resumes its pilgrimage: it will first travel through the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, then, starting with Palm Sunday next year, will visit the dioceses of Germany, eventually reaching Cologne," where the 2005 World Youth Day will take place.

"I also entrust," he concluded," to the delegation that has come from Germany, the icon of Mary. From now on, together with the Cross, she will accompany World Youth Days. The icon will be a sign of Mary's maternal presence with young people, who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her in their lives."

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VATICAN CITY, APR 14, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Matthew Gyamfi, rector of the Minor Seminary of Sunyani and chancellor of the diocesan curia, as bishop of Sunyani (area 30,500, population 1,609,000, Catholics 144,905, priests 63, religious 65), Ghana. The bishop-elect was born in 1957 in Wamanafo, Ghana and was ordained a priest in 1985.

It was made public on Saturday April 12 that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Archbishop Santos Abril y Castello, apostolic nuncio in Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as apostolic nuncio in the Republic of Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

- Appointed Msgr. Oscar Domingo Sarlinga, vicar general of the archdiocese of Mercedes-Lujan, Argentina, as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area 19,330, population 691,000, Catholics 677,300, priests 112, permanent deacons 1, religious 257). The bishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1990.

- Appointed the following prelates as members of the Council of the Central Office of Pastoral Coordination of Military Ordinariates, formed within the Congregation for Bishops: Archbishops Jose Manuel Estepa Llaurens (Spain), Christian Werner (Austria), Gonzalo De Jesus Maria del Castillo Crespo, O.C.D. (Bolivia), Pablo Lizama Riquelme (Chile), and Juraj Jezerinac (Croatia).

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VATICAN CITY, APR 14, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Yosef Neville Lamdan, ambassador of Israel, accompanied by his wife, on his farewell visit.

- Mitsuhiro Nakamura, ambassador of Japan, on his farewell visit.

- Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, apostolic nuncio in the United States of America.

On Saturday April 12 the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.

- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany, and an entourage.

- A delegation of young people from different dioceses in Canada.
- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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