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Wednesday, July 16, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2003 (VIS) - In today's general audience celebrated in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke about the Canticle of the last chapter of the Book of Isaiah, "In the city of God, consolation and joy."

The Holy Father said that this hymn of Isaiah which speaks about joy begins in this way: "'Rejoice and be glad, sparkle with joy'. ... It is dominated by the maternal figure of Jerusalem and the attentive love of God Himself" who rejoices in the happiness of His people.

"The origin and reason for this interior joy lie in the rediscovered vitality of Jerusalem" after "the dark period of Babylonian exile. ... Jerusalem becomes once again a mother-city that embraces, feeds and delights her children, that is, her inhabitants."

"Jerusalem's prosperity, its 'peace' (shalom), a generous gift from God, will assure her children a life full of maternal tenderness: 'You will be carried in her arms, caressed on her knee' and this maternal tenderness will be the tenderness of God Himself: 'As a mother consoles a son, so too will I console you'. In this way, the Lord uses a maternal metaphor to describe His love for His creatures."

John Paul II affirmed that "before the mother-city it is easy to extend our gaze to the profile of the Church, virgin and fecund mother." The Church, he concluded, "is virgin because of the sanctity that she receives in the sacraments and she is the mother of all peoples."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Ramon Benito De La Rosa y Carpio of Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia en Higuey, Dominican Republic, as metropolitan archbishop of Santiago de los Caballeros (area 3,691, population 966,000, Catholics 789,000, priests 59, permanent deacons 97, religious 155), Dominican Republic. He accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese presented by Archbishop Juan Antonio Flores Santana upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Michel Hoang Duc Oanh, vicar general of the diocese of Kontum, Vietnam, as bishop of the same diocese (area 25,728, population 1,350,000, Catholics 193,206, priests 32, religious 176). The bishop-elect was born in 1938 in Hay Tay, Vietnam and was ordained a priest in 1968. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Pierre Tran Thanh Chung upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Max Davis, vicar general of the military ordinariate for Australia, as bishop military ordinary for the same country. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in Australia and was ordained a priest in 1971. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same military ordinariate presented by Bishop Geoffrey Mayne upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Sergio Arthur Braschi, auxiliary of Curitiba, Brazil, as bishop of Ponta Grossa (area 23,462, population 643,339, Catholics 556,000, priests 112, permanent deacons 8, religious 504), Brazil.

- Appointed Frs. Julian Charles Porteous, rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney, Australia, and Anthony Colin Fisher, O.P., founder and director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne, Australia, as auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese of Sydney (area 1,264, population 1,825,012, Catholics 589,042, priests 447, permanent deacons 4, religious 1,674), Australia. Bishop-elect Porteous was born in 1949 in Sydney and was ordained a priest in 1974. Bishop-elect Fisher was born in 1960 in Sydney and was ordained a priest in 1991.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2003 (VIS) - Following the catechesis of today's general audience, held at 10:30 a.m., in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Pope John Paul greeted the pilgrims present in Hungarian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Lithuanian and Polish.

"I cordially welcome the Slovak pilgrims," the Holy Father said, "especially the members of the Slovensky Orol Organization who came to Rome on bicycles. I thank you for this encounter, a sign of unity with the Successor of Peter."

In greeting pilgrims from Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Maribor, Slovenia, the Pope said: "May your pilgrimage to the Apostolic See of St. Peter strengthen and deepen faith, hope and charity. May our heavenly mother, whom Slovenians so love and honor, bring your commitment as youth to Christ."

"Today is the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel," remarked John Paul II in Polish, "This memory is especially dear to all those who are devoted to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Even I, from my youngest days, have worn around my neck the scapular of Our Lady and I take refuge with trust under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. I hope the scapular will be for everyone, especially the faithful who wear it, a help and defense in times of danger, a seal of peace and a sign of Mary's care."

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