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Monday, May 5, 2003


VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2003 (VIS) - This afternoon at 5:30 at the apostolic nunciature in Madrid, Pope John Paul held a private meeting with Jose Maria Aznar, president of the Spanish government, and his wife and family. Following the meeting the Holy Father travelled by popemobile to the Quatros Vientos Airport, 30 kilometers from Madrid, for a meeting with Spain's young people.

The theme of today's vigil was "You will be my witnesses." Four young people meditated on each of the four groups of mysteries of the Rosary - Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious - and read from the Gospels of Luke and John. At the end of this meditation John Paul II addressed an estimated 700,000 young people.

The Pope told the cheering youths that he was "deeply moved by your warm and cordial welcome." He said he wanted to repeat what he told young people more than 20 years earlier on his first visit to Spain: "You are the hope of the Church, no less than of society. ... I continue to believe in young people, in you."

"Your lives," he went on, "must shine with the grace of God, the same that shone in Mary, full of grace. You wished tonight to meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary, putting into practice the ancient maxim: 'To Jesus through Mary'. ... Mary, in addition to being a Mother who is close, discreet and understanding, is the best teacher for reaching truth through contemplation. The drama of current culture is a lack of interior life, the absence of contemplation. Without interior life culture has no content, it is like a body that has not yet found its soul."

The Pope urged his young audience "never to separate action from contemplation; thus you will contribute to transforming a great dream into a reality; the birth of the new Europe in the spirit. A Europe faithful to its Christian roots, not closed in on itself, but open to dialogue and collaboration with other peoples of the earth."

"Beloved young people, you know well how concerned I am for peace in the world. The spiral of violence, terrorism and war provokes, even in our days, hatred and death. Peace, we know, is first of all a gift from On High that we must for ask insistently and that we must all build together through a deep inner conversion. Thus, today I ask you to be workers and builders of peace. Answer blind violence and inhuman hatred with the fascinating power of love. Conquer enmity with the strength of pardon. Stay away from every form of exasperated nationalism, racism and intolerance. Witness with your lives to the fact that ideas are not imposed, but are proposed. Don't ever be discouraged by evil! For this you need the help of prayer and the consolation that comes from an intimate friendship with Christ. Only in this way, living the experience of God's love and radiating Gospel fraternity, can you be builders of a better world, authentic men and women of peace and peacemakers."

Before reciting a concluding prayer, John Paul II counselled the youths to "become apostles of your peers. I know well that this is not easy. ... Don't lose hope because you are not alone: the Lord will never cease accompanying you, with His grace and with the gift of His Spirit."

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2003 (VIS) - Today at 9:30 a.m., the Pope left Fiumicino Airport for Madrid, and after traveling 1,362 kilometers in two and a half hours, he landed at Barajas International Airport, beginning his fifth apostolic trip to Spain. There he was welcomed by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, as well as political, civil and religious authorities.

Following brief remarks by the king, the Holy Father addressed the thousands of people who were present. "I desire for everyone the peace that only God, through Jesus Christ, can give us; peace that is a work of justice, truth, love and solidarity; peace that people accomplish only when they follow the dictates of God's law; peace that causes men and nations to feel like brothers, one with the other. Peace be with you, Spain!"

John Paul II recalled that tomorrow he will canonize "five sons and daughters of this land. They knew how to receive Jesus Christ's invitation, 'You will be my witnesses', proclaiming it with their lives and with their deaths. In this historic moment, they are a light along our path to live the faith with courage, to arouse love toward one's neighbor and to pursue with hope the building of a society based on serene coexistence and the moral and human elevation of every citizen."

He continued: "I follow the changes that have taken place in Spain with lively interest. I observe with satisfaction its progress for the well-being of all. The process of a nation's development must be founded on authentic and permanent values that look for the good in each person, subject of rights and duties, from the first instant of his or her existence and reception into the family, and in the successive stages of his or her insertion and participation in the life of society."

The Pope emphasized that "in this critical moment for the consolidation of a united Europe," he wanted to recall the words he used during his first apostolic trip to Spain while urging Europe "with a cry full of love, reminding it of its rich and flourishing Christian roots: 'Europe, find yourself once again. Be yourself. Live your roots! I am sure that Spain will bring the rich cultural and historic legacy of its Catholic roots and values to the integration of a Europe that, from the plurality of its cultures and respecting the identity of its member states, seeks unity based on criteria and principles in which the integral good of its citizens prevail."

"For Spain and the world, I ask the Lord for a peace that may be flourishing, stable and lasting, as well as for co-existence in unity within the varied and marvelous diversity of its peoples and cities."

After the welcome ceremony, the Pope went to the apostolic nunciature in the popemobile.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2003 (VIS) - This afternoon, after having lunch with seven Spanish cardinals and members of the episcopal conference and the papal entourage in the apostolic nunciature, John Paul II received King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. He then travelled in the popemobile to the airport for a farewell ceremony in which there were no speeches. After saying goodbye to the president of the government and to the civil, religious and military authorities, he then bid farewell to the King and Queen and boarded the plane.

After landing in Rome's Ciampino Airport at 9:30 p.m., the Pope went by car to the Vatican, concluding his 99th apostolic trip outside of Italy and his fifth trip to Spain.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2003 (VIS) - At 9 a.m. this morning the Pope left the apostolic nunciature and, on his way to Plaza de Colon for Mass, greeted hundreds of people who lined the adjacent streets. The Mass in which he canonized Pedro Poveda Castroverde, Jose Maria Rubio y Prealta, Genoveva Torres Morales, Angela de la Cruz and Maria Maravillas de Jesus, began at 10 a.m.

In his homily, while commenting on today's Gospel in which Jesus asks his apostles to be witnesses of His resurrection, the Holy Father exclaimed, addressing the million faithful present: "Spain, after a past of courageous evangelization: be a witness of Jesus Christ, resurrected, even today!"

"The new saints," he affirmed, "are presented to us today as true disciples of the Lord and witnesses of His resurrection. St. Pedro Poveda, understanding the importance of the social function of education, made an important humanitarian and educational commitment among the poor and needy. He was a teacher of prayer, a master of Christian life and of the relationship between faith and science, and was convinced that Christians must bring values and substantial contributions for the construction of a world which is more just and united. He ended his life with the crown of martyrdom."

"St. Jose Maria Rubio," he said, "lived his priesthood, first as a diocesan priest then as a Jesuit, with total gift of self to the apostolate of the Word and of the Sacraments, dedicating many hours in the confessional and leading numerous courses of spiritual exercises in which he formed many Christians who would then die as martyrs during the religious persecution in Spain. 'Do what God wants and want what God does' was his motto."

Speaking about St. Genoveva Torres, the Pope pointed out that "she was an instrument of God's compassion for people who were alone and in need of love, consolation and spiritual and physical care. The notable characteristic that drove her spirituality was adoration of the Eucharistic, the foundation on which she based an apostolate full of humility and simplicity, self-denial and charity."

"Similar love and sensitivity toward the poor moved St. Angela de la Cruz to found her 'Company of the Cross', with a charitable and social dimension in favor of the neediest and with an enormous impact in the Church and in Seville society at the time. Her distinctive trait was being natural and simple, seeking sanctity with a spirit of mortification to the service of God in her brothers and sisters."

Speaking about St. Maravillas de Jesus, the Holy Father emphasized that she lived a life "inspired by heroic faith, formed in response to an austere vocation, putting God at the center of her life. Having overcome the sad circumstances of the Spanish Civil War, she achieved new foundations within the Order of Carmel, imbued with the characteristic spirit of Teresian reform. Her cloistered and contemplative life did not keep her from attending to the needs of people that she treated and from promoting social and charitable projects in her surroundings."

"Dear Catholic faithful," John Paul II said, let yourselves "be called by these marvelous examples. While giving thanks to the Lord for so many gifts that He has bestowed on Spain, I invite you to ask with me that this land continue producing new saints. Other fruits of sanctity will come forth if the ecclesial communities keep faithful to the Gospel, ... if the family stays united, as an authentic sanctuary of love and life. When I made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, I said: 'The Christian and Catholic faith make up the identity of the Spanish people'. To know and go deeper into the past of a nation is to strengthen and enrich one's own identity. Do not break with your Christian roots! Only in this way will you be able to bring to the world and to Europe the cultural riches of your history."

After Mass and before praying the Regina Coeli, the Pope thanked the King and Queen, the royal family and the authorities of the nation, as well as Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, and the other Spanish bishops for the invitation to return to Spain and for their warm welcome.

"You are recipients of a rich spiritual heritage that must be capable of invigorating your Christian vitality, united in great love for the Church and the Successor of Peter. With my arms wide open, I hold you all in my heart. The memory of these days will be solidified in prayer, invoking peace in fraternal coexistence for you, inspired by Christian hope which does not disappoint. And with great affection, I say to you, as I did the first time, 'Spain forever! Land of Mary!"

The Holy Father then proceeded to the nunciature, where he had lunch with seven Spanish cardinals, the members of the episcopal conference and the papal entourage.



VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, is in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. where, in recent days, he has delivered homilies at Masses marking anniversaries of schools, priestly ordinations and parishes.

On May 2 he preached at the Mass in Old St. Joseph's Church in Philadelphia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the graduation class of 1953, of which he was a member, from St. Joseph's Preparatory School. On May 3 he marked the 25th anniversary of a priestly ordination at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Richboro and yesterday he gave the homily at the 75th anniversary Mass of Sacred Heart Church in Havertown. Today in Bensalem, the archbishop will delivery a homily during Mass in the Chapel of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament at the Shrine of St. Katherine Drexel to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Charles Borromeo Parish.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2003 (VIS) - A Letter by the Pope, written in Latin and dated April 11, in which he appointed Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as his special envoy to the celebrations for the 750th anniversary of the canonization of St. Stanislaw, bishop and martyr, was made public today. The celebrations will take place on May 11th in Krakow, Poland.

Msgr. Jan Maciej Dyduch, professor of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow and Fr. Lukasz Kamykowski, pro-rector of the same academy, will accompany the cardinal who is prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.



VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2003 (VIS) - On April 29 in Geneva, Switzerland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Holy See permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, addressed the second session of the Preparatory Committee of the Seventh Conference that is examining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In his speech he noted that "global security will only be guaranteed through global cooperation, within the framework of an authentically multilateral system," a system that "requires the responsible, honest and coherent cooperation of all. It is thus disconcerting to note ... that so many of the pledges made have not been fulfilled. Proliferation is occurring among States outside the NPT. ... The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has yet to enter into force. Negotiations for a ban on the production of fissile material have not yet even started."

Archbishop Martin underscored the "uncertainty (that) is emerging about the commitment to many of the international instruments which for years were considered the pillars of the global arms control and reduction regime." He also pointed to the situation of fragility in the geo-political situation, saying that "the architecture of the NPT must be reinforced to enhance international security."

The nuncio said the Holy See wished to stress that "the preservation of the non-proliferation dimensions of the Treaty demands unequivocal action towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. ... The fight against terrorism also requires enhancing our commitment to an integrated program of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The threat of terrorist attacks using nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction ought to galvanize the community of nations to ensure that the NPT, the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime, is strengthened."



VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2003 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro Valls, director of Holy See Press Office, made the following declaration at noon today:

"As there have been news reports by the media about the administration of the Shrine of St. Giovanni Rotondo, I think it is appropriate to clarify that the Capuchin Fathers will continue to run the shrine. The archbishop of the place, however, has the right and duty to watch over the pastoral activity that takes place there, as does every bishop in his diocese according to the general norms of Canon Law.

"The title of Holy See Delegate for the Works of Padre Pio is similar to that given by the Supreme Pontiffs to the delegates of other shrines. There are in fact pontifical delegates who sometimes are also ordinaries of the place, such as Loreto and Pompeii (in Italy). In other instances, there are prelates that are delegates only for the shrine (and are not the local ordinary), such as Cardinal Antonetti for the Basilica of Assisi and Archbishop Gioia for the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua."



VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2003 (VIS) - In Bogota, Colombia, at 11 this morning, local time, Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will inaugurate the Second Congress of National Reconciliation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII's Encyclical "Pacem In terris."

According to a communique released this morning by the pontifical council, the May 5-7 congress "was promoted by the national secretariat for the social pastoral ministry in this Latin American country which has been bloodied by an ancient social conflict. ... The scope of this meeting is to look for strategies for building a new country which considers not only the scenarios of the political conflict, but also possibilities of a post-conflict, the situation of the victims of armed clashes, social exclusion, impoverishment and the injustices of the new economic and political order."

Archbishop Martino will be in Medellin on May 8 and 9 to visit the social works of the archdiocese and to address the professors and students of the Pontifical Bolivarian University on the teaching and applicability of the Church's social doctrine in the world of globalization.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jean-Yves Riocreux, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Paris and pastor of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, as bishop of Pontoise (area 1,246, population 1,103,800, Catholics 829,000, priests 171, permanent deacons 15, religious 368), France. The bishop-elect was born in Marles, France in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1974.

It was made public on Saturday May 3 that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Jean Marie Balla, rector of the Minor Seminary in Yaounde, Cameroon, as bishop of Bafia (area 34,600, population 325,000, Catholics 197,054, priests 21, religious 47), Cameroon. The bishop-elect was born in Oweng, Cameroon in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1987. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Athanase Bala, C.S.Sp., upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Stephen Victor Chmilar, of the clergy of the eparchy of Toronto of the Ukraines, as bishop of the eparchy of Toronto of the Ukraines (Catholics 41,010, priests 95, deacons 17, religious 52), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Lamont, Canada in 1945 and was ordained a priest in 1972. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy presented by Bishop Cornelius John Pasichny, O.S.B.M., upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, as coadjutor bishop of Dublin (area 3,184, population 1,164,256, Catholics 1,033,808, priests 1,405, religious 4,153), Ireland.

- Appointed Ombretta Fumagalli Carulli, ordinary professor of Canon Law in the Faculty of Law at Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

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