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Thursday, October 9, 2003


VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York at the general debate of the first committee on Agenda Item 74: General and Complete Disarmament.

"If we are to aspire to general and complete disarmament," he affirmed, "we must first of all show a respect for life and the dignity and human rights of individuals, reject violence, promote freedom, justice, solidarity, tolerance and the acceptance of differences, and develop better understanding and harmony between ethnic, religious, cultural and social groups."

Turning to the question of the "hard" and "soft" threats to world peace mentioned by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Archbishop Migliore explained that "among the hard threats are terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, while the soft threats include the persistence of extreme poverty, the disparity of income between and within societies, the spread of infectious diseases, and environmental degradation."

The U.N. must, he said, confront both types of threats, and he added that on the specific question of disarmament, "the importance of dialogue, negotiation, diplomacy and reference to the rule of law in these proceedings cannot be over-estimated."
"Small arms ought to occupy our immediate attention," the nuncio underscored, "for small arms and light weapons kill more than half a million people each year, including 300,000 in armed conflict and 200,000 from homicides and suicides, of which 90 percent are civilians." He said small arms, among other things, augment conflicts, diminish opportunities for development and impede the tasks of aid workers.

He pointed to the "terrifying" premise of the Cold War deterrence concept called MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), namely, that "one bloc's security can be defended by threatening the annihilation of the other bloc's population. ... The end of the Cold War should have seen the end of MAD policies that held the world in fear, but events over the past year have led to a certain resurgence in this thinking."

The archbishop, noting that the world is threatened not only by nuclear arms but by chemical and biological weapons, decried the fact that "many arms treaties contain loopholes and weak points in terms of compliance, verification and enforcement."

In concluding, he stated that "all the steps that must be taken in the disarmament process may seem at times overwhelming. But if they are seen in the context of building a culture of peace, they are not perhaps so daunting. ... What is essential to fulfill the peace agenda is to change the attitude of both States and individuals. We must realize that violence is not the inevitable lot of mankind."



VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2003 (VIS) - The Pope today welcomed the Filipino bishops from the Provinces of Caceres, Capiz, Cebu, Jaro and Palo, the second of three groups in Rome to celebrate their quinquennial "ad limina" visit.

The Pope noted his intention to address each group on one of the three fundamental pastoral initiatives that arose from ecclesial meetings in the last decade in their country. Last week he spoke on being the Church of the poor. "I now focus my attention on the second priority: becoming a true community of disciples of the Lord."

"This brings to mind," he said, addressing the prelates in English, "the teaching of Jesus in the Gospel of John, when He explains that being a disciple of the Lord is not a whimsical decision but is instead a serious, loving response to a personal invitation: 'You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should bear fruit and that your fruit should abide. This I command you, to love one another'. ... In fact, it is only through this authentic discipleship, based on loving solidarity, that the Philippines can begin to resolve the worrisome dichotomy between faith and life which plagues so many modern societies."

Noting that, in "Ecclesia in Asia" he wrote of "an innate spiritual insight and moral wisdom in the Asian soul," the Pope said "this 'spiritual insight' is clearly witnessed in the deep religious sentiments of the Filipino people and is fertile ground in which to nurture the disposition that leads every Christian to a more authentic discipleship." He underscored the many "examples of the rich Christian heritage which constitutes an integral part of your country's life and culture," adding: "Notwithstanding these positive aspects, there still exist certain contradictions among Christians and in Filipino society at large."
John Paul II said that pastors, in preparing Christians "to be true disciples for the world" must "ensure that the laity has at its disposal programs of spirituality and catechesis to prepare it for this mission." He remarked on the positive ways "in which the Church in the Philippines strives to fulfill this responsibility," through educational opportunities offered by so many dioceses, the various lay organizations, and in small faith communities and movements.

The Pope underscored the need to "ensure that seminaries and religious houses are training future priests to be dedicated disciples of the Word and Sacrament." They must offer, he emphasized, solid human, intellectual, doctrinal, spiritual and pastoral formation. "Any course of priestly formation which offers these elements will indeed produce ministers who will joyously 'struggle to be faithful to the Lord and to serve his flock unswervingly'."

In concluding remarks, he commented that, "as in the case of the formation of seminarians, priestly formation demands a 'harmoniously blended' approach which at all times promotes the priestly virtues of charity, prayer, chastity and faithful celebration of the liturgy, practices unappreciated or even rejected by modern culture and its media. ... Celibacy is to be regarded as an integral part of the priest's exterior and interior life. ... True discipleship calls for love, compassion and at times strict discipline in order to serve the common good. Always be just and always be merciful."

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received members of the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus and expressed his gratitude for their prayers for the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.

The Pope also thanked them for the support that the Order has given to the Church's mission that is "shown in a special way in the Vicarius Christi Fund, which is a sign of the solidarity of the Knights of Columbus with the Successor of Peter in his concern for the universal Church, but it is also seen in the daily prayers, sacrifices and apostolic works of so many Knights in their local councils, their parishes and their communities."

"In fidelity to the vision of (founder) Father Michael McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel in the world and a spiritual force for the renewal of the Church in holiness, unity and truth."

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2003 (VIS) - Continuing our look at the highlights of Pope John Paul's pontificate, we present a synthesis of events from 1994 through 1998:

Jan. 1 Motu Proprio "Socialium scientiarum" establishing Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Jan. 6 Letter to the Italian bishops on the responsibilities of Catholics facing the challenge of the present historic situation.

Jan. 11 "Directives Concerning the Preparation of Seminary Educators" is released by Congregation for Catholic Education.

Jan. 26 Diplomatic relations with Federated States of Micronesia.

Feb. 2 Letter of John Paul II to Families, on the occasion of the International Year of the Family.

Feb. 11 Motu Proprio "Vitae Mysterium" establishes Pontifical Academy for Life.

Feb. 16 Diplomatic relations with Republic of Suriname.

Mar. 3 Official visit of President Richard von Weizsacker of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mar. 3 Diplomatic relations with Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Mar. 5 Diplomatic relations with Republic of South Africa.

Mar. 7 Official visit of President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic.

Mar. 17 Israeli Prime Minister Rabin visits Pope.

Mar. 19 Letter of John Paul II to heads of State around the world and to the secretary general of the United Nations regarding the International Conference on Population and Development to be held in September 1994 in Cairo, Egypt.

Mar. 25 Diplomatic relations established with Cambodia.

Apr. 7 Vatican concert for the commemoration of the Shoah, in the presence of John Paul II and Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff.

Apr. 8 John Paul II celebrates Mass in the Sistine Chapel for the unveiling of the restored frescoes of Michelangelo.

Apr. 10 Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "The Church in Africa and Her Evangelizing Mission Towards the Year 2000: 'You Shall Be My Witnesses'" (April 10-May 8).

Apr. 28 Holy Father falls, breaks femur. Goes to Gemelli Hospital the morning of April 29.

May 8 Concluding Mass for synod of Africa.
May 10 Holy Father institutes cloistered monastery within Vatican.

May 22 Apostolic Letter to bishops: "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone).

June 2 Pope receives President Bill Clinton of the United States.

June 10 Diplomatic relations with Western Samoa.

June 13 Fifth plenary meeting of the College of Cardinals, with John Paul II participating, in preparation for the Jubilee of the Third Millennium (June 13-14).

June 15 Diplomatic relations at the level of apostolic nunciature and embassy between the Holy See and the State of Israel.

July 20 Diplomatic relations with Vanuatu.

July 24 Diplomatic relations with Kingdom of Tonga.

Sept. 5 Holy See delegation attends the International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo from September 5-13.

Sept. 8 John Paul offers Mass at Castelgandolfo for Bosnia-Herzegovina, after cancelling his planned visit to Sarajevo.

Sept. 10 62nd pastoral visit outside Italy: Zagreb, Croatia (September 10-11).

Sept. 17 Start of two day trip to Lecce, Italy.

Sept. 29 Pope receives first Israeli ambassador to Holy See.

Oct. 2 Ninth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops: "The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World" (October 2-29).

Oct. 8 International Meeting of Families with the Holy Father honoring the International Year of the Family.

Oct. 20 Publication of Pope John Paul's book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope": 21 languages, 35 countries.

Oct. 25 Beginning of working contacts of "permanent and official character" between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with a PLO office of representation to the Holy See and the nuncio of Tunisia responsible for contacts with the PLO.

Nov. 4 John Paul II visits Catania and Siracusa, Sicily. Ends November 6: 117th trip within Italy.

Nov. 10 Apostolic Letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente" to Bishops, Clergy and Lay Faithful on the Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000.
Nov. 19 First ambassador from Jordan received.

Nov. 26 Sixth Consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 30 new cardinals, from 24 countries.

Dec. 9 Publication of "Women, Teachers of Peace": Pope's Message for 1995 World Day of Peace.

Dec. 15 Letter to Children in the Year of the Family.

Dec. 18 Pope John Paul named Man of the Year by TIME Magazine.

Dec. 21 Diplomatic ties established with Macedonia.


Jan. 11 63rd pastoral visit outside Italy: Manila, the Philippines, to celebrate the 10th World Youth Day; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Sydney, Australia; and Colombo, Sri Lanka. January 11-21.

Jan. 14 Message to Chinese Catholics, broadcast over Radio Veritas in Manila.

Feb. 4 Audience for Malta's President Mifsud Bonnici.

Feb. 17 Visit by Paraguayan President Carlos Wasmosy.

Mar. 16 Audience for Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

Mar. 17 Audience for Foreign Affairs Minister Vladislav Jovanovic of Yugoslavia.

Mar. 19 Trip to Molise region: 119th within Italy.

Mar. 24 President Sixto Duran-Ballen of Ecuador on visit.

Mar. 25 11th Encyclical "Evangelium Vitae" ("The Gospel of Life"). Made public on March 30.

Mar. 28 Audience for Romanian President Ion Illiescu.

Apr. 29 Two-day pastoral visit to Trent, Italy: 450th anniversary of start of Council of Trent and beatification of John Nepomucene. 120th trip within Italy.

May 2 Apostolic Letter "Orientale Lumen" for the centenary of "Orientalium Dignitas" of Pope Leo XIII.

May 8 Message on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the End of the Second World War in Europe.

May 19 Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al Shara'a on visit.

May 20 Three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 64th outside of Italy.

May 25 "Ut Unum Sint" ("That All May be One"), 12th papal encyclical. Published May 30.

May 26 Message to Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women, scheduled for September in Beijing, China. Visit by President Kiro Gligorov of ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

June 3 Two-day trip to Belgium is 65th pastoral visit outside Italy: beatification of Fr. Damien de Veuster.

June 11 Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for anniversary of end of World War II.

June 27 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I welcomed to Vatican.

June 29 Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Father give homilies in St. Peter's Basilica, and sign Common Declaration. Letter to Women (made public on July 10).

June 30 66th pastoral visit outside Italy: Slovak Republic.

July 12 121st trip within Italy: Les Combes for vacation.

July 17 Theme announced for Jubilee Year 2000: "Jesus Christ - Yesterday, Today, Always."

Aug 29 Audience for Mary Ann Glendon, head of delegation, and other members of Holy See delegation to UN Conference on Women, Beijing, September 4-15.

Sep. 2 Audience for Yasser Arafat.

Sep. 9 Two-day visit to Loreto on the occasion of the pilgrimage of European youth. 122nd Italian trip.

Sep. 14 67th foreign pastoral visit: Africa, for conclusion of Synod for Africa, September 14-20. In Yaounde, Cameroon, the signing of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Africa," the first time a document is signed outside the Vatican.

Oct. 4 68th pastoral visit outside Italy: U.S.A. (New York, Newark, Brooklyn, Baltimore). On Rome-New York flight, Pope crosses the 1 million kilometer mark.

Oct. 5 Address to United Nations General Assembly, commemorating 50th anniversary of founding of U.N.

Nov. 16 Apostolic Letter for the Fourth Centenary of the Union of Brest.

Nov. 17 Audience for President Carlos Alberto Reina of Honduras.

Nov. 23 One-day visit to Palermo, Sicily. 123rd trip within Italy.

Nov. 26 Opening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops.
Dec. 8 Entrusts Rome with Citizens' Mission for the Jubilee Year.

Dec. 15 Receives Leah Rabin, widow of Yitzhak Rabin.


Jan. 20: State visit of French President Jacques Chirac.

Feb. 1: First official visit by a Mexican head of state: President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon.

Feb. 5: Departure for Latin America, 69th foreign visit: Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela. Until February 12.

Feb. 22: Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.

Mar. 28: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Vita Consecrata."

Mar. 30: Trip to Siena: 124th within Italy.

Apr. 14: One-day visit to Tunis: 70th foreign trip.

Apr. 19: Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan received in audience.

May 4: Two-day trip to Como: 125th in Italy.

May 17: 71st trip abroad: Slovenia, through May 19.

May 25: Audience for President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay.

June 21: Departure for Germany, 72nd foreign trip. Until June 23.

July 4: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi received in audience.

July 6: "Moleben" in St. Peter's Basilica for 4th centenary of Union of Brest.

July 7: Presides at liturgy in St. Peter's in Byzantine-Ukrainian rite for celebrations of 4th centenary of Union of Brest.

July 10: Departure for Dolomite mountain vacation in Lorenzago di Cadore. Until July 23. 126th trip within Italy.

Sep. 6: Start of second papal trip to Hungary: 73rd foreign apostolic visit. September 6-7.

Sep. 19: Departure for France on 74th foreign trip. To September 22.
Oct. 8: Pope undergoes appendectomy at Gemelli Polyclinic. Returns to Vatican on October 15.

Nov. 1: John Paul II marks 50 years of priestly ordination.

Nov. 7: Four days of jubilee celebrations commence.

Nov. 13: Address to World Food Summit at FAO headquarters, Rome.

Nov. 15: Presentation of book: "Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination."

Nov. 18: Audience for Mikhail Gorbachev.

Nov. 19: Audience with President Fidel Castro of Cuba. Pope accepts invitation to visit in January, 1998.

Dec. 3: Message to the Church Which is in China.

Dec. 4: Visit by His Grace George Leonard Carey, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion.

Dec. 5: Publication of Apostolic Epistle "Operosam Diem," to the faithful of the Milan archdiocese on the 16th centenary of the death of St. Ambrose.

Dec. 6: Common Declaration signed by Pope, Anglican primate.

Dec. 10: Visit of His Holiness Karekin I Sarkassian, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Dec. 13: Pope, Catholicos sign Common Declaration.


Jan. 14 Pope receives Lien Chan, vice president and prime minister of the Republic of China.

Jan. 25 Meeting in Vatican with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians. Signing of Common Declaration.

Feb. 3 Visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Feb. 14 President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, first official visit to the Vatican by a Brazilian head of State.

Mar. 10 Ireland's President Mary Robinson received by Holy Father.

Mar. 10 Holy See, Libya establish diplomatic ties.

Mar. 12 Letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on situation in Zaire.

Mar. 20 Visit by Jose Maria Aznar, president of Spanish government.

Apr. 12 Two-day trip to Sarajevo: 75th foreign pastoral visit.
Apr. 15 John Paul II welcomes U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Apr. 25 Start of three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 76th foreign trip.

May 10 Departure for two-day trip to Lebanon: 77th foreign pastoral trip.

May 16 Audience with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.

May 18 Pope John Paul celebrates 77th birthday.

May 31 Departure for Poland; until June 10. Pope's 78th foreign pastoral visit.

June 9 Diplomatic Relations with Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

June 16 President Alberto Fujimori of Peru welcomed to Vatican. Pope writes letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, in which he expresses concern for interrupted dialogue in Middle East peace process.

June 24 Letter to Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung, bishop of Hong Kong, on the occasion of the scheduled July 1 return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty.

July 8 Holy See, Angola establish diplomatic relations.

July 17 Holy See approved as Observer to World Trade Organization.

July 18 Letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in which Pope expresses concern about a bill submitted to the Russian parliament "concerning freedom of conscience and religious associations."

July 22 Holy See signs United Nations conventional weapons ban.

Aug. 21 Departure for Paris for 12th World Youth Day. This four-day trip is the Holy Father's 79th foreign visit.

Sep. 6 Telegram for the death of Mother Teresa yesterday in Calcutta, India.

Sep. 8 Apostolic Constitution "Laetamur magnopere," with which the Holy Father approves and promulgates the official Latin version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Sep. 27 Pope travels to Bologna, Italy, to participate in 23rd National Eucharistic Congress. Until Sept. 28.

Oct. 2 Departure for four-day visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Second World Meeting with Families. 80th foreign trip.

Oct. 11 Meeting with President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina.
Oct. 16 19th anniversary of John Paul II's election to the papacy.

Oct. 19 Pope proclaims St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as Therese of the Child Jesus, Doctor of the Church. She is the 33rd Doctor of the Church, the third woman (with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila), and the youngest Doctor.

Oct. 22 Anniversary of start of Pope John Paul's pontificate as he enters his 20th year.

Nov. 16 Pope inaugurates Synod for America, presides at Eucharistic concelebration in St. Peter's Basilica.

Nov. 26 Audience with Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.

Dec. 4 Holy See signs Convention banning land mines, offers $100,000 to victims.

Dec. 20 Letter to Cuban people on the occasions of Christmas and the Pope's forthcoming trip to their country.


Jan. 15 Communique announces Holy See-Palestinian Mixed Commission.

Jan. 16 Holy See and Patriarchate of Moscow issue joint communique after annual meeting.

Jan. 17 Holy See remits excommunication of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, O.M.I.

Jan. 18 Pope names 20 new cardinals, announces another two "in pectore."

Jan. 21 John Paul II leaves for Cuba, on his 81st pastoral visit outside of Italy. Until January 26.

Jan. 22 Fidel Castro and Pope meet in Havana.

Feb. 1 Holy Father visits Roman family in their home.

Feb. 2 Pope John Paul presents Apostolic Constitution "Ecclesia in Urbe" to Cardinal Ruini, vicar of Rome. Celebration of the Second Day for Consecrated Life.

Feb. 7 Pope presides at funeral Mass for Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. First ambassador of Angola presents credentials.

Feb. 10 John Paul II receives President Boris Yeltsin of Russia.

Feb. 15 Holy See nuncio to U.N., Archbishop Renato Martino, conveys papal message to Secretary General Kofi Annan, encouraging him to undertake trip to Iraq to attempt to solve crisis which developed there in recent weeks.

Feb. 16 First ambassador from Libya received.

Feb. 17 Holy See ratifies land mine convention.

Feb. 21 Consistory to create 20 new cardinals; the seventh of John Paul II's pontificate.

Mar. 7 Audience granted to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Mar. 10 The Congregations for Catholic Education and for the Clergy present a book containing the documents: "Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons," and "The Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons."

Mar. 14 Pope signs Letter returning liturgical faculties to Syro-Malabar Church.

Mar. 16 Presentation of Holy See document, "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah."

Mar. 21 Holy Father leaves for Nigeria, 82nd foreign pastoral trip.

Mar. 26 Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran leaves on visit to Jordan and Yemen.

Mar. 27 Pope receives Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina Gonzales.

Apr. 2 Audiences for Fares Bouez and Amre Moussa, respectively foreign ministers of Lebanon and Egypt.

Apr. 16 Presentation of the volume "Serving the Human Family: The Holy See at the Major United Nations Conferences," produced by the Holy See Permanent Observer Mission to the U.N. in New York.

Apr. 19 Opening of Synod for Asia.

May 6 Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano presides at funeral Mass for Swiss Guard Commander Alois Estermann and his wife, killed on May 4.

May 14 Concluding Mass for Asian Synod in St. Peter's Basilica.

May 15 Pope receives King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians.

May 18 Pope John Paul's 78th birthday. Audience for President Adamkus of Lithuania.

May 19 Audiences for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tarek Aziz.
May 23 Holy Father departs for Turin, his 132nd trip within Italy. Until May 24.

June 8 Cuban bishops start weeklong visit to Roman Curia.

June 9 Former Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli dies.

June 12 Audience granted to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority.

June 16 Pope receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Renato Martino, addresses the U.N.-sponsored conference in Rome for the establishment of an international criminal court.

June 19 Start of Pope's third trip to Austria: 83rd foreign apostolic visit. To June 21.

June 25 Presentation of Joint Declaration on Justification prepared by Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Lutheran World Federation.

June 30 Publication of John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio "Ad Tuendam Fidem."

July 7 Presentation of Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini," On Keeping the Lord's Day Holy.

July 23 Publication of "Apostolos Suos," Pope John Paul's "Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences." Dated May 21.

Aug. 22 Notification from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J.

Sep. 18 Departure for two-day trip to Chiavari and Brescia: 134th trip within Italy.

Sep. 24 Holy See and Kazakhstan sign agreement on bilateral relations.

Sep. 29 Pope receives King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.

Oct. 2: John Paul II departs for three-day trip to Croatia, his 84th pastoral visit outside of Italy.

Oct. 3: Beatification in Croatia of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.

Oct. 11: Canonization in Rome of Blessed Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).

Oct. 15: Presentation of Pope's 13th Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio."
Oct. 16: 20th anniversary of John Paul's election as pontiff.

Oct. 19: Audience with the president of Honduras, Carlos Roberto Flores Facusee.

Oct. 20: Official visit to Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

Oct. 22: 20th anniversary of the start of Pope John Paul's pontificate, the 11th longest in the history of the Church.

Oct. 30: Publication of some reflections from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the primacy of Peter.

Nov. 22: Opening of Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops.

Nov. 24: Pope receives President Laurent-Desire Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Nov. 29: First Sunday of Advent. Proclamation of Bull of Indiction for the Holy Year 2000, during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Bull also sets forth the conditions for gaining the Jubilee indulgence.

Dec. 1: Cuban authorities reinstate Christmas as annual holiday.

Dec. 12: Pope presides over Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to close the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops.

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, dean emeritus of the College of Cardinals.

- Archbishop Eliseo Ariotti, apostolic nuncio in Cameroon and in Equatorial Guinea, accompanied by family members.

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

- Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal of Cebu, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Julito B. Cortes and Isabelo C. Abarquez.

- Bishop Angel T. Hobayan of Catarman.

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