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Tuesday, June 24, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father this morning blessed a marble bust of his predecessor, Servant of God Paul VI, in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, in the presence of members of the Roman Curia, the sculptor Floriano Bodini, Paul VI's secretary, Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, and members of the late Pope's family. He underscored that Paul VI wished the hall bearing his name to be "the seat of the Pope's catechesis."

Pope John Paul noted that today is the feast of St. John the Baptist, the name the former Pope received at baptism. He also recalled that "forty years have passed since he was elected to the Chair of Peter, on June 21, 1963, and 25 years since his death which occurred at Castelgandolfo on August 6, the feast of the Transfiguration."

"On June 29, 1978," said the Holy Father, "in the last public celebration for the 15th anniversary of his election as Supreme Pontiff, (Paul VI) gave a talk that had the solemn and heartfelt tone of a last will and testament. I would like to re-read a meaningful passage: 'We look in a comprehensive way - he said -on what has been the period during which the Lord has entrusted us with His Church. ... Even if we consider ourselves as the least and most unworthy Successor of Peter, we feel on this threshold comforted and supported by the awareness of having tirelessly repeated, before the Church and the world: 'You are Christ, the Son of the Living God!' We too, like Paul, feel able to say: 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith...'.

"Let us pray," said John Paul II in closing, "that we too, like him, will be able to work tirelessly for the Kingdom of God."

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2003 (VIS) - On Thursday June 26 at 11:30 p.m. in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, will present the Holy Father's Message for the 24th World Tourism Day (September 27, 2003) on the theme: "Tourism: driving element in the fight against poverty, for the creation of employment and for social harmony." Archbishop Fumio will be accompanied by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto and Fr. Michael Blume, S.V.D., respectively secretary and subsecretary of the same dicastery.

On Saturday June 28 at 11:30 a.m. the presentation of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Europe" will take place. Cardinals Jan P. Schotte and Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, respectively secretary general of the Synod of Bishops and Archbishop of Madrid, Spain, will participate in the press conference, as well as Archbishops Vincent Gerard Nichols of Birmingham, England and Jozef Miroslaw Zycinski of Lublin, Poland.



VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2003 (VIS) - Today at noon in the Holy See Press Office the Internet site of the Vatican Museums was presented during a press conference, presided over by Cardinal Edmund Szoka, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, under whose auspices the museums fall.

Also present were Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which oversees the Vatican's Internet Office, and Francesco Buranelli, director of the Vatican Museums. The Museum site is accessed through: www.vatican.va

Cardinal Szoka noted that the new Internet site of the Vatican Museums "further enriches the Holy See web site, created years ago and in continual and progressive expansion. For some time, the Church has paid great attention to the means of social communication, in order to more efficaciously perform her universal mission. The Internet, with its enormous potential, allows us to approach an ever greater number of people and to spread throughout the world our message of evangelization."

The universal language of culture and art, he added, "allows for contact with persons of different cultures, languages and religions." The Internet site will make the collections of the Vatican Museums available to tourists, collectors, scholars amd the general public, permitting everyone to "become acquainted with many masterpieces, their history and their meaning."

Cardinal Szoka noted that, when Pope John Paul inaugurated the new entrance to the Vatican Museums on February 7, 2000, he called the Museums "one of the most meaningful doors that the Holy See opens to the world," through which is expressed "the renewed will of the Church to dialogue with mankind through art and culture, making available to everyone the patrimony entrusted to her by history."

Nicola Aliperti, a representative of Hewlitt Packard Italy, remarked that "in the future the patrimony presented in the Vatican Museums, which UNESCO defined as 'the patrimony of mankind', will be accessible through the wireless means of palm pilots." This patrimony will thus be available not only through personal computers but also through pocket PCs and the latest generation cell phones.

Archbishop Celli, secretary of APSA and head of the web site, said that the Internet Office is responsible for the entire implementation and "hardening" of the web site and its security.

Francesco Buranelli, director of the Museums of the Vatican City State, affirmed that the site "will allow the public to access the inestimable artistic heritage that these museums have preserved and protected for centuries."

For the realization of the site, he said, "we took advantage of the great experience and precious collaboration of the Holy See Internet Office and the technical support of Hewlett Packard S.r.l. for the servers." For the scientific content, directors of the various sectors of the administration of the Museums collaborated. "Two-hundred and fifteen complete files were written for certain works, accompanied by 120 images of high resolution and 95 images of medium resolution." In addition, he added, the site "can be easily consulted thanks to the texts that have been fully translated into Italian, French, English, Spanish and German."

After the press conference, a demonstration was conducted on how to access the web site from a desk top computer, a lap top, palm pilot and the latest-model mobile phones.

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2003 (VIS) - Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, headed the Holy See's delegation to the 91st International Conference on Work which took place in Geneva from June 3 to 19 on the theme "Freeing Oneself from Poverty Through Work."

In his speech, given on June 16 and published today, Bishop Crepaldi affirmed that "a human being who is deprived of the necessities of life is a humiliated human being who is denied his economic and social rights, and in extreme cases, the right to life. But poverty," he exclaimed, "is not a destiny!"

"It is necessary," he concluded, "that those responsible for the orientation of work policies, nationally and internationally, turn their attention to the fundamental problem of unemployment which affects young people."

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Archbishop Felix del Blanco Prieto, apostolic nuncio in Malta, as apostolic nuncio in Libya.

- Archbishop Renzo Fratini, apostolic nuncio in Indonesia, as apostolic nuncio in East Timor.

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Three prelates from the Catholics Bishops' Conference of India on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Aleixo das Neves Dias of Port Blair.

- Bishop Stephen M. Tiru of Khunti.

- Bishop Charles Soreng, S.J., of Hazaribag.

- Prince Fra'Andrew Bertie, grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and an entourage.

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