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Wednesday, June 11, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father sent a letter to Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria, upon today's inauguration in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna of the "Mitteleuropaischer Katholikentag 2003" (Central European Catholic Day 2003) whose theme is: "Christ, Europe's Hope."
In the letter, written in German, the Pope greets participants in this gathering who come from Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. John Paul II affirms that this Catholic day "aims to help many Christian to ... collaborate patiently in the healing of the wounds of unhappy division on the continent and to contribute in this way with dynamism to the building of a great common European home."

"If Europe wants to be a harmonious association of human beings and peoples that live with deep respect and mutual benevolence," he concludes, "Christ must inspire this continent."



VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - During today's general audience celebrated in St. Peter's Square, John Paul II spoke about his recent apostolic trip to Croatia from June 5 to 9 which was his 100th trip outside of Italy since the beginning of his pontificate.

The Pope affirmed that on the first leg of the trip, he celebrated Mass in Dubrovnik and "beatified Sr. Marija of Jesus Crucified Petkovic, foundress of the Daughters of Mercy of the Third Regular Order of St. Francis. ... In light of this admirable figure, I directed a special message to Croatian women whom I urged to offer a spiritual and moral contribution to the Church and society."

The next day in Osijek, he continued, "I had the pleasure of presiding at the solemn conclusion of the second Synod and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the ecclesiastic province of Zagreb. On that occasion, I reflected on sanctity as the vocation of every Christian," inviting "especially the lay faithful to evaluate fully the grace of Baptism and Confirmation. Only those who are inspired by a solid faith and generous love can be apostles of reconciliation and moral reconstruction where the wounds of a painful and difficult past remain open."

The Holy Father recalled that on Sunday, June 8, Solemnity of Pentecost, during the Eucharistic celebration he emphasized the "primary social value of the institution of the family, asking for privileged attention and concrete help that favor its foundation, development and stability."

"The last stop on my trip," he added, "was Zadar in Dalmatia" where "I celebrated the Sixth Hour on the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, ... a prolongation of the Solemnity of Pentecost (that) made us relive the atmosphere of the Cenacle."

John Paul II concluded by underscoring that during this trip he was also able to "express how much Christianity has contributed to the artistic and cultural development, but above all to the spiritual and moral development of Croatia and its people. And it is on this solid foundation that now, at the beginning of the third millennium, the dear Croatian nation will be able to continue to build up its unity and stability in order to integrate itself harmoniously into the consortium of European peoples."

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - Made public this afternoon was the text of a Message from Pope John Paul to Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomaios I on the occasion of the fifth symposium of the Religion, Science and Environment Project which this year is focussing on "The Baltic Sea: A Common Heritage. A Shared Responsibility." Written in English, the Message is dated May 27.

The symposium took place on a ship in navigation on the Baltic Sea. The Pope's Message was given to the patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who spoke at the symposium's official inauguration ceremonies on June 2 in Gdansk, Poland. The previous four conferences were dedicated to the Aegean, the Black Sea, the Danube and the Adriatic.

Turning to the current ecological crisis, the Pope reiterates what he has said on previous occasions: "The relationship between individuals or communities and the environment can never be detached from their relationship to God. When man 'turns his back on the Creator's plan, he provokes a disorder that has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order'. Ecological irresponsibility is at heart a moral problem - founded on an anthropological error - which arises when man forgets that his ability to transform the world must always respect God's design of creation."

The Holy Father remarked that the fact that the symposium was taking place on a boat sailing to many ports "is itself a powerful reminder that the effects of ecological irresponsibility often transcend the borders of different nations. Similarly, solutions to this problem will necessarily involve acts of solidarity which transcend political divisions or unnecessarily narrow industrial self-interests."

John Paul II closed by referring to the Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics that he and Patriarch Bartholomaios signed on June 10, 2002 regarding the safekeeping of creation.



VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, last evening addressed the Rotary Club of Rome on the topic "Ethics: Are they possible in contemporary communications?"

"By communications," he said, "we mean not only the mass media: newspapers, magazines, cinema, radio and television, but also such interpersonal methods as the telephone and such newer methods ... as the Internet. By ethics, we refer not only to those moral norms which should regulate not only what we place on the communications media, but also to the considerations of ownership and indeed concentration of ownership of the media, access to media, and use of media."

Archbishop Foley noted that the pontifical council has produced three documents on the question of ethics and communications: "Ethics in advertising"; "Ethics in Social Communications" and "Ethics in the Internet."

He said the first document was at the request of people in the advertising industry, and added: "The basic principles for ethics in advertising and in all communications are three: truth; the dignity of the human person and the common good.

Elaborating on these principles, the archbishop stated: "In any human communications, we cannot tell a deliberate untruth. Communication is designed to transmit trustworthy information, and credibility is severely damaged with every deliberate untruth; we break down the truth which should exist among human beings and we deprive them of the accurate information they should have. The dignity of each individual means that he or she should not be deceived and should not be exploited. The common good is served by the truth and not by propaganda designed to stimulate conformity and to create false impressions."



VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ponce, Puerto Rico, presented by Bishop Antonio Surinach Carreras upon having reached the age limit. Coadjutor Bishop Felix Lazaro, Sch.P., succeeds him.

- Appointed Fr. Jose Corozon T. Talaoc, vicar general of the diocese of Romblon, the Philippines, as bishop of the same diocese (area 1,355, population 264,034, Catholics 196,175, priests 39, religious 38). The bishop-elect was born in 1950 in Tagas, the Philippines and was ordained a priest in 1979.

- Appointed Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico, auxiliary of Lipa, the Philippines, as bishop of the diocese of Gumaca (area 3,666, population 758,274, Catholics 705,958, priests 55, religious 67), the Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Jose Paala Salazar, O.P., auxiliary of Butuan, the Philippines, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Lipa (area 3,165, population 1,928,213, Catholics 1,850,192, priests 147, religious 351), the Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Zacharias C. Jimenez of Pagadian, the Philippines as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Butuan (area 11,555, population 1,350,205, Catholics 1,080,164, priests 100, religious 136), the Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Nestor C. Carino, emeritus of Borongan, Philippines, as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Daet (area 2,212, population 477,852, Catholics 458,738, priests 42, religious 45), the Philippines.

- Appointed as auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (area 1,261, population 5,857,904, Catholics 4,041,954, priests 613, permanent deacons 33, religious 1,639), Brazil: Fr. Dimas Lara Barbosa, secretary of the episcopal conference's National Institute of Pastoral Ministries. The bishop-elect was born in Boa Esperanca, Brazil in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1988; Fr. Wilson Tadeu Jonck, S.C.I., assistant to the Director of Novices of Jaragua do Sul in the diocese of Joinville. The bishop-elect was born in 1951 in Vidal Ramos, Brazil and was ordained a priest in 1977.

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Patrick Coveney, apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, and the Cook Islands and an apostolic delegate from the Pacific Ocean.

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 11, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Patrick Coveney, apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, and the Cook Islands and an apostolic delegate from the Pacific Ocean.

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