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Wednesday, July 23, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2003 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, John Paul II spoke about Psalm 146, "The Lord's strength and benevolence."

This psalm, said the Pope, is an invitation to praise God for "His intervention in human life, in particular in favor of Jerusalem and Israel. ... Describing those who are pleasing to the Lord, the psalm invites us to take on a dual attitude: one of religious fear and faith. We are not left on our own or to cosmic energies, but are always in the Lord's hands because of His plan of salvation."

The Lord is presented as a "great architect and as a father who tends to the interior and physical wounds present in His humiliated and oppressed people. ... But the work of God," he continued, "does not manifest itself only when relieving His people from suffering. He Who envelops the poor in kindness and attends to them, is a severe judge with sinners. The Lord of history is not indifferent to the aggressiveness of the arrogant who think they are the only arbritrators of human vicissitudes."

The Holy Father affirmed that, after inviting everyone to praise God for His love toward creation and human life, the Psalm concludes "by showing the Lord tending to the just and humble. ... Once again, the Lord's logic ignores the pride and arrogance of power, but sides with the faithful and those who 'hope in His grace', that is, those who abandon themselves to God's guidance in their actions and thoughts, in their plans and daily life."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Francesco Biasin, a "fidei donum" priest from Padua, Italy in Brazil, as bishop of Pesqueira (area 10,065, population 494,000, Catholics 446,000, priests 32, permanent deacons 5, religious 38), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Arzercavalli, Italy in 1943 and was ordained a priest in 1968.

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