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Wednesday, May 7, 2003


VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2003 (VIS) - Made public yesterday afternoon was a telegram from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, in the Holy Father's name to Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin, Colombia for the assassinations of the governor of the Department of Antioquia, the ex-minister of defense and eight other officials who were prisoners of the Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia):

"The Holy Father received with deep distress the sad news of the abhorrent attack in which Drs. Guillermo Gaviria Correa and Gilberto Echeverri Mejia lost their lives, as well as eight soldiers, and expresses once again his energetic condemnation of acts of terrorism that disturb peaceful co-existence and offend man's most profound sentiments.

"His Holiness, while offering prayers for the eternal repose of the deceased and imploring God to grant consolation and inspire sentiments of harmony in all those who suffer the tragic consequences of violence, asks your Excellency to convey his condolences to the family members of the victims. Encouraging the Colombian people to persevere on the path toward long-awaited peace, he imparts to all the pastors and faithful of your beloved land, especially the archdiocese of Medellin, the comforting apostolic blessing."



VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Ibarra, Ecuador as metropolitan archbishop of Guayaquil (area 18,711, population 3,600,000, Catholics 3,400,000, priests 242, permanent deacons 24, religious 606), Ecuador. The archbishop-elect was born in Onate, Spain in 1939 and was ordained a priest in 1964 and a bishop in 1990. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the same archdiocese presented by Archbishop Juan Ignacio Larrea Holguin, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Professor Letizia Pani Ermini as president of the Roman Pontifical Academy of Archeology.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2003 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, John Paul II spoke about his recent apostolic trip to Spain which took place on May 3 and 4, and had the theme "You will be my witnesses."

The Pope recalled that the two highlights of the pilgrimage were the encounter with young people on Saturday and the Mass in which he canonized five blesseds on Sunday.

During the get-together with young people at Cuatro Vientos Air Base on the outskirts of Madrid, "I proposed once again," he said, "the message of the Apostolic Letter 'Rosarium Virginis Mariae'. ... I invited young people to be ever-more men and women of a strong interior life, contemplating assiduously, together with Mary, Christ and His mysteries. This is precisely the most effective antidote against the dangers of consumerism to which the modern world is exposed. Faced by the persuasion of the fleeting values of the visible world, which a certain type of media promote, it is necessary to propose the lasting values of the spirit, which can be achieved only by returning to interior life through contemplation and prayer. I also noted with joy that young people know how to become protagonists of the new evangelization in the midst of their peers."

The Holy Father recalled that on Sunday he canonized Blesseds Pedro Poveda Castroverde, Jose Mary Rubio y Peralta, Genoveva Torres Morales, Angela de la Cruz and Maria Maravillas de Jesus. "These authentic disciples of Christ and witnesses of His Resurrection," he affirmed, "are an example for Christians around the world. ... May the believers and ecclesial communities of Spain be inspired by them so that also in our day their land, blessed by God, continue to produce abundant fruits of evangelical perfection. For this reason, I urged Christians in Spain to remain faithful to the Gospel, to defend and promote the life of the family, to safeguard and continually renew the Catholic identity of which the nation is so proud."

"This fifth apostolic trip to Spain," he concluded, "has confirmed in me a deep conviction: the old nations of Europe conserve a Christian soul that is one with the 'genius' and the history of its respective peoples."

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2003 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Cardinal Aurelio Sabattani, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, archpriest emeritus of the Vatican Basilica, vicar general emeritus for Vatican City and president emeritus of the Fabric of St. Peter, on April 19 at the age of 90.

- Bishop Luis Alfredo Carvajal Rosales, emeritus of Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 25 at the age of 89.

- Bishop Jacob Bastiampillai Deogupillai of Jaffna, Sri Lanka on April 25 at the age of 86.

- Bishop Alejandro Duran Moreira of Rancagua, Chile on April 19 at the age of 88.

- Bishop Renato Hasche Sanchez, S.J., of Arica, Chile on April 23 at the age of 75.

- Bishop Henri Lemaitre, apostolic nuncio, on April 20 at the age of 81.
- Bishop Otmar Mader of Sankt Gallen, Switzerland on April 25 at the age of 81.

- Archbishop-Bishop Andre Perraudin, M.Afr., emeritus of Kabgayi, Rwanda on April 25 at the age of 88.

- Bishop John Richard Sheets, S.J., former auxiliary of South Bend, U.S.A. on April 16 at the age of 80.

- Bishop Joannes Gerardus Ter Schure, S.D.B., emeritus of s'-Hertogenbosch, Bois-le-Duc, Holland on April 11 at the age of 80.

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