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Monday, July 28, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2003 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at noon with pilgrims who filled the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke about the need to renew the proclamation of the Gospel.

"The Church," he said, "received the mandate from Christ to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. ... The ecclesial communities of Europe are especially called to carry out this task. Yes, on this continent it is necessary that all believers know how to rediscover the enthusiasm of proclaiming and bearing witness to the Gospel."

John Paul II emphasized that "even if some regions and realms are waiting to receive the Gospel announcement for the first time, it is necessary that it be renewed everywhere. Often, knowledge of Christianity is taken for granted, while in reality the Bible is read or studied very little, catechism is not always studied in depth, and the Sacraments are not frequented. In this way, authentic faith is substituted by a vague and negligent religious sentiment that can turn into agnosticism or practical atheism."

"Europe today," he continued, "requires the presence of Catholics with mature faith and Christian missionary communities that give testimony to God's love to all human beings. This renewed announcement of Christ must be accompanied by deep unity and communion within the Church, as well as a sincere ecumenical commitment and dialogue with followers of other religions. The Gospel is the light that illuminates the vast sphere of social life: family, culture, schools and universities, young people, the media, business and politics. ... Christ goes to encounter man wherever he lives and works and gives meaning to his existence."

The Holy Father concluded by urging all ecclesial communities "to embrace the Gospel with joy" so that it becomes "a credible sign of the message of salvation."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2003 (VIS) - On Thursday July 31 in the Holy See Press Office, the document entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons", published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will be made public.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2003 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, John Paul II urged those in Liberia, where fighting goes on in the capital Monrovia, to give up their arms.

"Today's gathering," he said, "is a propitious occasion to show our solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Africa where, alongside progress and positive initiatives of peace, centers of deadly violence continue. I am speaking especially of the tragic news that come from Liberia."

The Pope affirmed that "in the face of the challenges of these beloved peoples, we must ask those who possess arms to put them down, to facilitate dialogue and the joint efforts of the international community."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina, auxiliary of Toledo, Spain as bishop of Cordoba (area 13,717, population 769,625, Catholics 767,089, priests 368, religious 1,260), Spain.

- Gave consent to the erection of the archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa-Krym, Ukraine, created by the Synod of the Bishops of the Catholic Ukrainian Church, with territory taken from the Exarchate of Kyiv-Vyshhorod. At the same time, he gave consent to the election of Fr. Vasyl Ivasiuk, vicar general of the Exarchate of Sokal, Ukraine, as exarch of the same archiepiscopal Exarchate (area 196,300, population 8,712,000, Catholics 70,000, priests 11), Ukraine. The bishop-elect was born in Dora, Ukraine in 1960, and was ordained a priest in 1989.

On Saturday July 26, it was made public that the Holy Father appointed:

- Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop of Palermo, Italy, as his special envoy to the closing celebration of the Marian year in Siracusa, Italy which will take place on September 1 at the Shrine of the Virgin of Tears.

- Bishop Paulin Pomodimo of Bossangoa, Central African Republic as metropolitan archbishop of Bangui (area 35,066, population 871,970, Catholics 214,858, priests 70, religious 171), Central African Republic. He succeeds Archbishop Joachim N'Dayen whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese he accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Bishop Lazaro Perez Jimenez of Autlan, Mexico, as bishop of Celaya (area 8,768, population 1,224,454, Catholics 1,130,882, priests 210, permanent deacons 1, religious 666), Mexico. He succeeds Bishop Jesus Humberto Velazquez Garay whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese he accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed the following people as consultors of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples: Archbishops Peter Turang of Kupang, Indonesia, Angelo Massafra of Shkodre, Albania, John Baptist Odama of Gulu, Uganda, Archbishop-Bishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale of Johannesburg, South Africa, Andreas Choi Chang-mou of Kwangju, Korea, Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal, Tomasz Peta of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakistan, Paulino do Livramento Evora of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Cabo Verde; Bishops Bruno Bertagna, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Jose de Jesus Quintero Diaz, apostolic vicar of Leticia, Colombia, John Tong Hon, auxiliar of Hong Kong; Msgrs. Juan Esquerda Bifet of the diocese of Lleida, Spain, canon of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Mario Marchesi, vicar general of the diocese of Cremona, Italy; Fr. Saturnino Dias of the archdiocese of Goa and Damao, India, executive secretary of the Commission of the Federation of the Episcopal Conferences of Asia, Fr. Fidel Gonzalez Fernandez, M.C.C.I., rector of the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda Fide, Rome, Fr. Jan Gorski of the archdiocese of Katowice, Polond, Fr. Dimitrios Salachas, professor of Canon Law of the Pontfical Urban University, Rome, and Sister Elisabetta Adamiak, S.S.P.C., superior general of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver, Rome.

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