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Wednesday, July 9, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - Upon hearing of the death of His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, on July 7 at the age of 81, Pope John Paul sent the following telegram to the patriarchate:

"Having learned with sadness of the death of His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, I ask God, Father of All mercy, to receive in His light and His peace the soul of the illustrious deceased who for so long exercised the priestly ministry, then that of bishop and then patriarch, in the service of the Catholic Chaldean Church. I express my great sympathy to the leaders, the communities and all the faithful of the Chaldean rite, as well as to the family of the deceased patriarch. I send everyone, as a sign of comfort during trials, my affectionate apostolic blessing."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Michel Guyard, vicar general of the archdiocese of Paris, France, as bishop of Le Havre (area 1,902, population 398,862, Catholics 319,090, priests 76, permanent deacons 15, religious 129), France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris in 1936 and was ordained a priest in 1965. The Pope accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Michel Saudreau upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Celio de Oliveira Goulart, O.F.M., of Leopoldina, Brazil as bishop of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim (area 10,073, population 575,484, Catholics 421,613, priests 70, permanent deacons 20, religious 72), Brazil.

- Appointed Fr. Lazarus You Heung-sik, rector of the Major Seminary of Taejon, Korea, as coadjutor bishop of Taejon (area 9,126, population 3,326,946, Catholics 212,445, priests 185, religious 446), Korea. The bishop-elect was born in 1951 in Nonsangun-Chungnam, Korea and was ordained a priest in 1979.

- Appointed Fr. Hyginus Kim Hee-jong as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Kwangju (area 12,414, population 3,500,000, Catholics 288,000, priests 209, religious 554), Korea. The bishop-elect was born in 1947 in Bukkyu-dong Mopko-shi, Korea and was ordained a priest in 1975.
- Appointed Fr. Anthony Chirayath, study assistant of the Pontifical Council of the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as bureau chief of the same dicastery.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, yesterday addressed the First Biennial Meeting of States To Consider the Implementation of the Program to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
"Taking into account," he said, "that the ultimate goal uniting us in this area is the protection of the life and dignity of each and every human person, the Program of Action represents a significant challenge for the international community, since we all know the deep effects of this illicit trade on the development of peoples, on education, on environment, on health conditions and on life."

Archbishop Migliore noted that "on the supply side, the Program of Action gives us an initial plan, underlining that these concrete actions be directed at strengthening the mechanisms for prevention, reduction, accountability and control - such as the creation of systems of marking, tracing and record-keeping; the regulation of brokerage activity; the identification and destruction of stocks of surplus weapons." He added that, on the demand side, the Program "urges us to develop and implement educational and awareness activities aimed at promoting a culture of peace and life."

"The Holy See delegation," concluded the nuncio, "would hope that attention be focussed on two issues. The first is to address the issue of State responsibility of arresting illicit arms transfers. ... The second is to begin, without any undue delay, the process of discussing a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on international arms trade that will reduce and eventually eradicate the illicit traffic of small arms and light weapons."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2003 (VIS) - Today, in the last general audience celebrated in the Paul VI Hall before he moves tomorrow to the summer residence at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father spoke about Psalm 142, "Prayer in tribulation." This prayer is recited "at the beginning of the day and serves as a proposition of fidelity and an appeal for divine help," said the Pope.

The Pope told the 7,000 people present that the psalm begins with "an intense and insistent invocation directed to God who is faithful to the promises of salvation offered to the people." Later, "a dramatic situation" is described: "The enemy, who represents evil in history and the world, has driven [the faithful] to the thresholds of death."

Putting their trust in God, he continued, the faithful "ask to be saved from their enemies and freed from anguish" and they ask God to teach them how to fulfill His will. "We must make this admirable petition ours as well," he affirmed. "If it is not accompanied by a strong desire for docility toward God, our faith in Him is not genuine."

"Starting out in a very painful situation," he concluded, "prayer gives way to hope, joy and light, thanks to a sincere adherence to God and to His will, which is a will to love. And this is the power of prayer, the source of life and salvation."

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