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Thursday, November 20, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following statement after the attack in Istanbul, Turkey in which many people died:

'The barbaric logic of terrorism only causes the death of innocent people and destruction. In addition, it aggravates the problems that it claims to resolve. The words of the Holy Father come to mind: 'Terrorism is based on contempt for the dignity of man' and therefore 'it is a crime against humanity,' especially 'when it becomes a political strategy'.'



VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received participants in the fifth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees which is taking place in Rome this week. Its theme is: 'Starting afresh from Christ. Towards a renewed pastoral care of migrants and refugees.'

In his speech, the Holy Father said that 'the work of promoting the well-being of the many men and women who for various reasons do not live in their homelands represents a vast field for the new evangelization to which the whole Church is called. An important condition of this task is to recognize the mobility ' voluntary and involuntary ' of so many families today.'

John Paul II indicated that the pontifical council is currently preparing an 'instruction that will address the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants and refugees, and present the phenomenon of migration as a way of fostering dialogue, peace and the proclamation of the Gospel.'

He went on to say: 'Special attention needs to be given today to the ecumenical aspect of migration, with reference to Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, and likewise to the inter-religious dimension, with particular regard to the followers of Islam. I am confident that the instruction will meet these requirements as well as articulate the need to promote a pastoral program open to new developments yet always attentive to the duty of pastoral workers to collaborate fully with the local hierarchy.'

The Pope emphasized that it is 'precisely in society and in culture that we must show respect for the dignity of man, of the migrant and of the refugee. In this regard,' he concluded, 'I once again urge states to adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families which took effect on July 1, 2003. Similarly, I appeal to states to respect the International Treaties concerning refugees. Such protection of human persons must be guaranteed in every civil society and espoused by all Christians.'

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Yoon Young-Kwan, minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea, and an entourage.

- Two prelates from the Belgian Episcopal Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Arthur Luysteman of Gent.
- Bishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Namur.

- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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