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Monday, July 7, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father this morning received the Letters of Credence of Giorgios Poulides, accrediting him as the new ambassador from Cyprus to the Holy See. In his welcome speech, given in English, the Pope said he was "pleased to note that you are the first ambassador from your country to the Holy See who will be resident in the city of Rome."

"You have mentioned the recent signing of the Accession Treaty of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union," stated the Pope. "This is certainly a significant step for the nation as it starts to make the necessary preparations for taking its place officially in the European economic and political community. And with your nation's deep-seated and long-standing Christian heritage, dating back to the very beginnings of Christianity itself, Cyprus will be in an advantageous position to make Europe ever more aware of its own Christian roots."

Reiterating remarks he made this year to the diplomatic corps, John Paul II said: "'Europe is the bearer of values which have borne fruit for two thousand years in an 'art' of thinking and living from which the whole world has benefited. Among these values Christianity holds a privileged position. ... A Europe which disavowed its past, which denied the fact of religion, and which had no spiritual dimension would be extremely impoverished in the face of the ambitious project which calls upon all its energies: constructing a Europe for all'."

"There is a manifest need in our contemporary world for the legitimate aspirations, traditions and beliefs of people of different backgrounds to be accorded full respect. Only mutual acceptance and sincere dialogue among peoples and groups can sustain the work of maintaining harmonious relations. Genuine peace requires the effective recognition and safeguarding of the dignity and rights of all the members of the human family as the fundamental criterion of policy and action, with special openness to and support of the neediest: the poor, the sick, the young, the old, the laborer, the immigrant."

The Holy Father then referred to "one of the most pressing problems facing Cyprus today: the ongoing division of the island. The Holy See, together with the rest of the international community, was greatly saddened that the plan for peace and reunification presented last year by the Secretary General of the United Nations ... did not gain the necessary consensus with the parties involved and was thus not accepted. ... I am pleased to hear you speak of your government's willingness to sit down once more at the table of dialogue and negotiation, under the auspices of the United Nations."

In closing, the Pope affirmed that "sincere negotiation is required for settling differences in a manner that serves the authentic good of all. ... In all of this, of course, the members of the Catholic community will always be eager to make their contribution along with their fellow Cypriots."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's Message for the 10th anniversary of the institution of the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation was made public today and given to members during a meeting in the Vatican with the Pope.

The Pope notes that this foundation "represents the singular answer to the invitation I made in the Encyclical that inspired it to promote and spread the awareness and practice of the Church's social doctrine. ... Your institution intends to weave together the commitment to spread the Church's teaching on social questions ... with the concrete help offered to the Pope for charitable acts that he is constantly asked for from throughout the world and to support the instruments he uses for his universal ministry."

Encouraging the members in this commitment, the Holy Father urges them "to always bear in mind three great convictions: the permanent actuality of the Church's social doctrine; ... the responsibility proper to Christian lay people; ... the awareness that only new men and women can renew all things."

On the permanent actuality of the Church's social doctrine, he writes: "The dramatic events that trouble the modern world and the deplorable conditions of underdevelopment in which too many countries still live, ... tell us that we must start again from a just perspective: the truth about man discovered by reason and confirmed by the Gospel of Jesus that proclaims and promotes the true dignity and inherent social vocation of the person."

The Holy Father points out that Vatican Council II, in "Gaudium et Spes," spoke of the precise duty of the laity in this mission which can be the source of "commitment, direction, and vigor to establish and consolidate the community of men according to the law of God."

The Message concludes: "The social commitment of lay Christians can be nourished and made coherent, tenacious and courageous only by a deep spirituality, that is, by a life of intimate union with Christ Who makes them capable of expressing the great theological virtues - faith, hope and charity - through the exercise of the difficult responsibility of building a society closer to the great providential plan of God."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 5, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul received two groups this morning in the Clementine Hall, including participants in the quinquennial award ceremony for the Paul VI International Prize to French philosopher and researcher Paul Ricoeur, and 130 members of the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation, in Rome for their annual meeting.

In speaking of the Paul VI award, the Pope noted that "today's encounter occurs between two important dates: the 40th anniversary of the election to the papacy of Servant of God Paul VI and the 25th anniversary of his death."

The Holy Father said that "the prestigious prize that is awarded every five years to a person or institution that has become distinguished in a significant way in the milieu of religiously-inspired culture, represents a decisive recognition of the perennial interest that the personality of Pope Montini aroused. Up to now this prize has gone to scholars in the field of theology, music, ecumenism and the promotion of human rights."

"This year," he added, "it goes to the well-known French researcher Paul Ricoeur, ... also known for his generous contribution to the ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Reformed Churches. His research shows how fertile the relationship is between philosophy and theology, between faith and culture. ... It seems very opportune for the Paul VI Institute to have chosen to honor a philosopher and at the same time a man of faith, committed to defending human and Christian values."

Before closing, Pope John Paul briefly addressed the members of the "Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice" Foundation, whose name was inspired by the Pope's 1991 Encyclical "Centesimus Annus." In addition to their annual meeting, foundation members are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the foundation's establishment. The Pope's Message for this anniversary was published today, and given to the members present at this morning's audience.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2003 (VIS) - After praying the noon Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter's Square today, the Pope addressed the pilgrims in various languages, reserving special greetings for the representatives of the 161 member organizations of Caritas Internationalis who tomorrow begin their 17th general assembly in Rome on "Globalizing Solidarity."

John Paul II in particular noted that "in recent days the International Convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families, adopted by the United Nations in 1990, entered into force. This legislative instrument marks an important step forward because it considers the migrant and his family as one. While I express great pleasure for this juridical goal, I hope that a wider adhesion of States will strengthen its efficacy so that, with the adoption of similar provisions and with constant international cooperation, the complex phenomenon of migration can occur within legal parameters and in respect for persons and families."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2003 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at noon, the Pope reminded the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square and those who followed by radio and television that today concludes the centenary celebration of the death of St. Maria Goretti, who is buried in Neptuno, in the diocese of Albano, Italy.

"What does this fragile but Christianly mature girl say to today's young people with her heroic death?" asked the Holy Father. "Marietta, as her family called her, reminds young people of the third millennium that true happiness requires courage and a spirit of sacrifice, a rejection of any compromise to evil and a disposition to personally pay for fidelity to God and to His commandments, even with death."

John Paul II underlined that this message "is very current," adding: "Today pleasure, selfishness and even immorality are often exalted in the name of the false ideals of freedom and happiness. It is necessary to reaffirm with clarity that we must defend purity of the heart and body because chastity 'guards' authentic love. ... Pureness of heart, like all virtues, requires daily training of the will and constant interior discipline. It requires above all assiduous recourse to God in prayer."
"The numerous occupations and accelerated rythms of life sometimes make it difficult to cultivate this important spiritual dimension. Summer vacation, however, which begins now for some, can become a propitious occasion to renew the interior life, if it is not wasted in dissipation and simple diversion."

The Holy Father concluded by asking the Virgin Mary "to help everyone, especially adolescents and young people, to discover once again the value and importance of chastity in order to build up a civilization of love, as you sustained Maria Goretti in her trial."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - Upon the death of Cardinal Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, S.D.B., archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela, after a long illness, John Paul II sent a telegram of condolences to the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese.

The Pope writes of the cardinal who was 74 years old: "His generous and intense ministerial work, first as a Salesian, then as a teacher of young people, and then as a priest and later as apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, until the moment in which he was called to serve in this important role (as archbishop), bears witness to his great dedication to the cause of the Gospel, and at the same gives proof of his deep love for the Church and the qualities that he was blessed with."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was Pope John Paul's Message to Msgr. Fouad El-Hage, president of Caritas Internationalis, on the occasion of its 17th General Assembly which opened today at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome on the theme "Globalizing Solidarity." The assembly ends July 12. Caritas International meets every four years to discuss global issues and set future goals.

In the Message, written in French and dated July 4, the Pope expresses his "appreciation" to Caritas "for having carried out, in an active and competent way, the precept of charity and for your generous work throughout the world, most notably in serving the least protected." He says this is a great challenge in today's world, marked by interdependence among people and nations "but also threatened by break-ups, separations and violent opposition, such as we have seen with a resurgence of terrorism."

The Holy Father notes that "globalization has become the obligatory horizon of all politics. ... For solidarity to become global, one must effectively take into account all peoples of all regions of the world. This calls for great efforts, and above all of firm international guarantees vis-a-vis humanitarian organizations, often put to one side, despite themselves, wherever there are conflicts because they cannot be guaranteed security nor be assured of the right to assist persons."

He states that an end must be put "to one-way assistance as this contributes too often to further deepening imbalances through a mechanism of permanent indebtedness."

"Desiring the globalization of solidarity," he writes, "is above all a response to the pressing appeals of the Gospel of Christ. For us Christians, and for all men and women, this demands a true spiritual path, the conversion of minds and of persons." Aid cannot be mere almsgiving to the poor, making the giver feel proud and the recipient feel humiliated: aid must be "fraternal sharing."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, decrees relative to 10 Blesseds and 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 Blesseds and Servants of God.

The decrees concern the following causes:


- Blessed Luigi Orione, Italian, priest and founder of the Small Work of Divine Providence and of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Charity (1872-1940).

- Venerable Servant of God Jean Marie Cassant, French, priest and monk of the Order of Cistercians of Strict Observance (Trappists) (1878-1903).

- Venerable Servant of God Laura of St. Catherine of Siena, nee Laura Montoya y Upegui, Colombian, foundress of the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and of St. Catherine of Siena (1874-1944).

- Venerable Servant of God Anna Caterina Emmerick, German, professed nun of the Order of Regular Nuns of St. Augustine (1774-1824).

- Venerable Servant of God Alberto Marvelli, Italian, lay person, (1918-1946).


- Servant of God Basil Hopko, Slovakian, auxiliary bishop of Presov, Slovakia (1904-1976).

- Servant of God Zdenka, nee Cecilia Schelingova, Slovakian, of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Holy Cross (1916-1955).


- Servant of God Pierre Vigne, French, priest of the diocese of Viviers, France, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament (1670-1740).

- Servant of God Maria Maddalena Della Passione, nee Costanza Starace, Italian, foundress of the Congregation of the Compassionist Sisters, Servants of Mary (1845-1921).

- Servant of God Eurosia Fabris, Italian, mother of a family, of the Third Order of St. Francis (1866-1932).

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed the following as auxiliary bishops of Detroit (area 10,106, population 4,441,551, Catholics 1,465,918, priests 781, permanent deacons 147, religious 2341), U.S.A.:

- Msgr. Walter A. Hurley, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Farmington, U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Fredericton, Canada in 1937 and was ordained a priest in 1965.

- Msgr. John M. Quinn, director of the Department of Education of the same archdiocese. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in Detroit and was ordained a priest 1972.

- Fr. Francis R. Reiss, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park, U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1940 in Detroit and was ordained a priest 1966.

It was made public on July 5 that the Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Encarnacion, Paraguay presented by Bishop Jorge Adolfo Carlos Livieres Banks, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Msgr. Giovanni Paolo Benotto, vicar general of the archdiocese of Pisa, Italy, as bishop of Tivoli (area 892, population 239,786, Catholic 219,355, priests 121, permanent deacons 2, religious 260), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in San Giuliano Terme, Italy and was ordained a priest in 1973. He succeeds Bishop Pietro Garlato whose resignation to the pastoral care of this diocese was accepted by the Holy Father upon having reached the age limit.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Pascal Couchepin, president of the Helvetic Confederation, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

- Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

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

On Saturday July 5 the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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

- Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijayawada.
- Bishop Thomas Vazhappily of Mysore.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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