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Thursday, July 17, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - The annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Populorum Progressio Foundation took place in Guadalajara, Mexico from July 8 to 12 to discuss the financing of projects in favor of indigenous and mestizo peoples and poor Afroamerican farmers from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a communique published today by the Foundation.

Populorum Progessio was instituted by Pope John Paul II on February 22, 1992 within the sphere of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the start of the evangelization of Latin America. Its purpose was to pursue the intentions of Pope Paul VI who had wished to set up a fund for this purpose.

The Foundation provides monies for 259 projects in 21 countries. These undertakings include the production sector (agricultural instruments, the production and selling of goods), the health field, professional formation, the realization of community centers, scholastic education, building farm homes amd integral human formation.

Countries with the largest number of projects include Colombia (35), Peru (34), Brazil (25), Mexico (23), and Ecuador (22). The remaining countries include: Bolivia and Haiti (14 each), Guatemala (13), Nicaragua (12), Chile and El Salvador (11), Paraguay (8), Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic (7), Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay and Venezuela (3), the Antilles and Honduras (2).

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a report from the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" on the Pope's charitable activity throughout the world in 2002, including contributions to countries affected by natural disasters and war, as well as human advancement in developing countries. The council is the principal curia office for administering papal charity.

The report opens with reference to trips made by council president, Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, including one to Uganda from October 25 to 30, 2002 during which he distributed 500,000 euros donated by the Holy Father for projects sponsored by local Catholic NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) and by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. During his stay in the Holy Land November 4-10 he presented $400,000 to the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, the Franciscan Fathers, Caritas and several other Catholic communities. Finally, on his visit to the Ukraine on December 2 and 3, he participated in a seminar on pastoral charity with bishops of the Greek-Catholic and Latin rite.

The dicastery that administers papal charity assigned $1,917,700 for aid to populations affected by disasters, terrorism and war. Assistance to the Holy Land and to victims of terrorism and war came from funds raised on the World Day of Prayer and Fasting on December 14, 2001. In addition, Cor Unum's president delivered $150,000 to help populations affected by war.

The Pope was able to give $1,905,606 and 25,331 euros - fruit of the generosity of many faithful - to 48 countries for projects involving health care, education, professional formation and agriculture as well as those for the home, and for aid to youths, the elderly and women.

The report indicates that the Board of Directors of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, founded by the Pope in 1984, approved at a meeting in February the financing of 233 projects concerning the environment, water, agriculture, self-development and professional formation for a total of 2,354,894 euros.

The report concludes by indicating that the Board of Directors of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, established by the Pope in 1992 to foster the integral human advancement of indigenous, mixed race and Afro-American rural peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean, examined 300 projects and decided to fund 223 for a total of $1,895,300.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of apostolic nuncio in Morocco presented by Archbishop Domenico De Luca upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Antonio Sozzo, apostolic nuncio in Costa Rica, as apostolic nuncio in Morocco.

- Appointed Fr. Eliseo Antonio Ariotti, counsellor of the nunciature in Cameroon, as apostolic nuncio in Cameroon, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday, the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Archbishop John Foley concelebrated Mass at the shrine of the same name in Brooklyn, New York. The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications noted that "the origins of this celebration go at least to the establishment of the Carmelite Order on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land in the 12th century."

His homily focussed on prayer and on Mary, the Mother of God to whom we pray, asking her intercession "to reach Christ in this life through faith and at the end of our lives in the Beatific Vision, when we shall see Him as He is." We ask Mary to protect us from physical and spiritual harm, and from "the danger of temptation and the evil of sin." He suggested we petition Mary to help us "imitate her - in her openness to the will of God in all things; in her example of prayer; in her kindness and thoughtfulness to Elizabeth, her cousin; in her complete dedication to Jesus, her Son; in her presence with her Son in His moments of greatest suffering, when almost all others had abandoned him."

Archbishop Foley stressed that what we should truly be seeking in prayer is to do God's will. "Nothing else - pleasure, wealth, power or fame - is worth seeking or having if it does not help us to do God's will, if it does not help us on our road to heaven."

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