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Thursday, September 4, 2003


VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2003 (VIS) - On the occasion of the upcoming apostolic trip to the Slovak Republic from September 11 to 14, we present some statistics on the Catholic Church in the country as of December 2001.

Slovakia has 5,400,000 inhabitants of whom 4,034,000 - or 75 percent of the total population - are Catholic. Currently, there are 20 bishops, 2,474 priests, 3,075 religious and 1,092 seminarians.

The Catholic Church in Slovakia runs 100 primary schools, 48 middle and secondary schools and 2 high schools and universities, attended by more than 37,500 students. In terms of social and charitable centers owned or run by the Church or religious orders, there are 2 hospitals, 8 clinics, 20 rest homes for the elderly, invalid or handicapped, 18 orphanages, 2 family counseling centers as well as pro-life centers and 24 educational and rehabilitation centers.

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VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul departs Rome on Thursday, September 11, for a pastoral visit to the Slovak Republic, the 102nd foreign trip of his almost 25-year papacy. He returns to Rome on Sunday, September 14.

Upon his mid-morning arrival at Bratislava he is scheduled to speak at the welcome ceremony, after which he will go to the apostolic nunciature for private meetings with the president of Slovakia, the president of the national parliament and the prime minister. In late afternoon he will go to Trnava to visit the cathedral, returning to the nunciature at 7:45 p.m.

On Friday morning, September 12, the Pope will fly to Banska Bystrica where at 10:30 he will celebrate Mass on National Risorgimento Square. Afterwards he will meet and have lunch with the members of the Slovakian Episcopal Conference and cardinals and bishops of the papal entourage in the Major Diocesan Seminary. His return to Bratislava, after a half hour flight, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, September 13, the Pope will travel by plane to Kosice and to then to nearby Roznava, celebrating Mass on the periphery of the city. He will lunch in the bishop's palace and in late afternoon depart again for Bratislava where is expected to arrive at 7:45 p.m.

On his fourth and final day, September 14, John Paul II will celebrate Mass in Bratislava, during which he will beatify the martyrs Basile Hopko and Zdenka Schelingova. He will lunch at the nunciature with the bishops of the archdiocese and members of his entourage and leaves for Rome at 6:20 p.m., arriving Rome at 8 p.m.



VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed the following people as consultors of the Congregation for Clergy:

- Archbishops Mark Buechlein of Indianapolis, U.S.A, Flavio Calle Zapata of Ibague, Colombia; Seamus Hegarty of Derry, Ireland; Bishop Raymond Leo Burke of La Crosse, U.S.A.; Msgrs. Massimo Camisasca, superior general of the Priestly Society of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, Rome, Fernando Ocariz, vicar general of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, Luis Garza Medina, L.C., vicar general of the Legionaries of Christ; Giacomo Incitti, rector of the Leonian Pontifical College, Anagni, Italy; Fr. Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, lecturer at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome; Msgr. Marcello Bordoni, lecturer at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome; Fr. Vittorio Gambino, S.D.B., lecturer at the Institute for Permanent Formation at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome; Fr. Libero Gerosa, rector of the Faculty of Theology of Lugano, Switzerland; Fr. Jan Hendriks, rector of the Major Seminary of Haarlem, Netherlands; Fr. Andre Manaranche, S.J., Institut Catholique de Paris, France; Msgr. Luigi Misto, Archbishopric chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milan and member of the Board of Directors of the Central Institute for the Support of Clergy, Italy; Fr. Francesco Moraglia, director of the Superior Institute of Religious Sciences and of the Office for Universities and Culture of the Diocese of Genova, Italy; Fr. Nikolaus Schoch, O.F.M., vice-rector of the Pontifical Athenaeum "Antonianum" and dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the same athenaeum, Rome; Fr. Antonio Sicari, O.C.D., member of the Editorial Staff of the Italian magazine "Communio," Brescia, Italy; Fr. Antoon Wullepit, lecturer of Canon Law in the Seminary at Bruges, Belgium; Manfred Lutz, Cologne, Germany; William E. May, lecturer at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

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VATICAN CITY, SEP 4, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Six prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Victor Kindo of Raigarh.

- Bishop Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel of Raipur.

- Bishop Patras Minj, S.J., of Ambikapur.

- Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur.

- Bishop Joseph Kaithathara of Gwalior.

- Bishop Leo Cornelio, S.V.D., of Khandawa.

- Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, apostolic nuncio in France.

- Archbishop Giacinto Berloco, apostolic nuncio in El Salvador and Belize.

- Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio in Haiti.

- Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, apostolic nuncio in the Central African Republic and Chad.

- Archbishop George Panikulam, apostolic nuncio in Mozambique.

- Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, apostolic nuncio in Angola and Sao Tome and Principe.

- Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, apostolic nuncio in Bangladesh.

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