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Saturday, July 31, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World." Dated May 31, 2004, feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Letter was published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese. The Holy Father approved it during an audience granted to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the congregation, and ordered its publication.

  The 37-page Letter consists of an Introduction, four Chapters and a Conclusion. The chapters are entitled: I: The question: II. Basic elements of the biblical vision of the human person; III. The importance of feminine values in the life of society; and IV. The importance of feminine values in the Church.

  Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., secretary of the congregation, explained the purpose and content of this document in an interview with Vatican Radio:

VATICAN RADIO.  After "Mulieris Dignitatem" (August 15, 1988) and the "Letter to Women (June 29, 1995) of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, what is new in this document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

ARCHBISHOP AMATO. What is new is the response given to two tendencies which have become quite strong in contemporary culture.

  The first tendency focuses on women's subordination and advances the idea that women, to be truly themselves, must make themselves the opponents of men. It posits a radical competition between the sexes in which the identity and role of one are emphasized to the disadvantage of the other.

  A second current, seeking to avoid this kind of confrontation, tends instead to deny the differences between the sexes. Physical difference, termed "sex", is minimized and held to be the mere effect of social and cultural conditioning. The purely cultural difference, on the other hand, termed "gender", is given maximum importance. From this, the institution of the family is called into question, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and the equivalence of homosexuality and heterosexuality is asserted, in a new model of polymorphous sexuality.

VR. What is the root of this second tendency?

AMATO.  This perspective arises from the premise that human nature does not possess characteristics determining it in an absolute way as either man or woman. Therefore, every person, free from all biological determinations, can shape himself or herself as he or she pleases.

  Faced with these erroneous ideas, the Church is reasserting some essential aspects of Christian anthropology which are based on the revealed truth of the Holy Scriptures.

VR. What does the Bible say about this?

AMATO. The longest part of the Congregation's document is dedicated precisely to a meditation of the Biblical passages on the creation of man and woman.

  The first text, Genesis 1:1-2:4 describes God's creative power, which acts to make distinctions in the original chaos (light/dark, sea/land, plants/animals), finally creating man: 'in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them'.

  The second creation account, in Genesis 2:4-25, confirms the essential importance of sexual difference. God places the first women next to the first man, created as she is, from his very flesh and shrouded in the same mystery.

VR. What does this mean?

AMATO. The Biblical texts offers three important insights. 

  In the first place, human beings are persons, men and women, equally so. They exist in a reciprocal relationship.

  Secondly, the human body, marked as male or female, is called to exist in communion and mutual self-giving. For this reason, marriage is the first and fundamental dimension of this vocation.

  Thirdly, these original determinations, made by God he Creator - even if they have been upset and obscured by sin - can never be abolished.

  The Biblical vision of the human person suggests that problems related to sexual difference, whether on the public or private level, should be addressed by a relational approach and not by competition (no. 8)
VR: Are there other biblical indications?

AMATO: The Congregation's Letter also offers some theological considerations regarding the spousal dimension of salvation. In the Old Testament, for example, a salvific history takes shape in which both male and female participate through the metaphors of bridegroom-bride and covenant.  We find a nuptial language that orients the reader toward the male figure of the suffering Servant as well as toward the feminine figure of Zion.

  These prefigurations find their fulfillment in the New Testament.  On the one hand, Mary, the chosen daughter of Zion, sums up the condition of Israel/Bride waiting for the day of her salvation.  On the other hand, Jesus embodies in his person God's love for his people which is described as the love of a bridegroom for his bride.

  Saint Paul develops this nuptial sense of the redemption by seeing Christian life as a nuptial mystery of Christ and the Church, His bride.  Drawn into this mystery of grace, Christian spouses, notwithstanding sin and its consequences, are able to live their union in love and mutual faithfulness.

  The consequence is that man and woman do not see their difference in terms of rivalry and opposition, but in terms of harmony and collaboration.

VR: What is the contribution of femininity in the life of society?

AMATO: Woman, distinct from man, has her own charism, which has been called "the capacity for the other."(n.13)  It is an intuition linked to her physical ability to give life and orients her to the growth and protection of others.  This is the "genius of women" which allows her to acquire maturity early on, and gives her a sense of responsibility, a respect for what is concrete, as well as a significant capacity to persevere in adversity.  This storehouse of virtue leads women to be actively present both in the family and in society, through the proposal of innovative solutions to economic and social problems.

VR: How can a woman's role in the family be reconciled with her work?

AMATO: This is an important question.  Society should give proper value to the work done by women within the family and in bringing up children, with recognition on both the social and economic levels.

VR: What kind of contribution can women make in the life of the Church?

AMATO: In the Church, woman as a "sign" is more than ever central and fruitful.  From the beginning of Christianity, the Church has understood herself to be a community joined to Christ in a relationship of love.  In this, the Church, as a bride of Christ, has always seen Mary as her mother and her model.  From Mary, the Church learns certain fundamental ways of acting, in receiving the word of God in faith and in experiencing deeply the intimacy of Jesus and his merciful love.

  The reference to Mary, with her dispositions of listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting, places the Church in continuity with the spiritual history of Israel. These attributes are common to every baptized person. In reality, however, it is a characteristic of maximum importance in the Church's life by becoming witnesses and models for all Christians of how the bride ought to respond to the love of the bridegroom (n.16).  In so doing, women contribute in a unique way to revealing the face of the Church as the mother of believers.

VR: A concluding word?

AMATO: The are two concluding words: rediscovery and conversion.  Rediscovery of the common dignity of men and women in mutual recognition and collaboration.  Conversion of both men and women to their original identity as "image of God," each according to his or her own grace. 

  The Introduction of the Letter says:

    "The Church, expert in humanity, has a perennial interest in whatever concerns men and women. In recent times, much reflection has been given to the question of the dignity of women and to women's rights and duties in the different areas of civil society and the Church. Having contributed to a deeper understanding of this fundamental question, in particular through the teaching of John Paul II, the Church is called today to address certain currents of thought which are often at variance with the authentic advancement of women.

  "After a brief presentation and critical evaluation of some current conceptions of human nature, this document will offer reflections - inspired by the doctrinal elements of the biblical vision of the human person that are indispensable for safeguarding his or her identity - on some of the essentials of a correct understanding of active collaboration, in recognition of the different between men and women in the Church and in the world. These reflections are meant as a starting point for further examination in the Church as well as an impetus for dialogue with all men and women of good will, in a sincere search for the truth and in a common commitment to the development of ever more authentic relationships."

Friday, July 30, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Vatican Information Service will present a special edition tomorrow, Saturday, July 31, for the publication of the document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World."
.../LETTER:CDF/...                            VIS 20040730 (70)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Yves Paternotre of Saint-Claude, France, as coadjutor archbishop of Sens (area 7,460, population 332,566, Catholics 200,000, priests 146, permanent deacons 13, religious 240), France, at the same time, appointing him as coadjutor of the prelate of the territorial prelature of the mission of France-Pontigny.  The archbishop-elect was born in 1940 in Troyes, France and was ordained a priest in 1965.
NEC/…/PATERNOTRE                            VIS 20040730 (80)


VATICAN CTY,  JUL 30, 2004 (VIS) - Twice a year - at the end of July and the end of December - VIS presents highlights of the activities of Pope John Paul and the Holy See. Following is an overview of the first seven months of 2004:


Thursday, 1: 37th World Day of Peace, whose theme was: "An Ever-timely Commitment: Teaching Peace."

Tuesday, 6:  Pope John Paul does not ordain new bishops in St. Peter's Basilica, as he customarily does on the feast of the Epiphany. The only other time he did not ordain bishops on January 6 occurred in 2001 when he closed the Holy Door at St. Peter's that day to end the Jubilee Year 2000.

Thursday, 8:  Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, celebrates Mass in St. Peter's  Basilica for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Michael Courtney, apostolic nuncio in Burundi, who was assassinated on December 29 in that country. Pope receives Prime Minister Ivo Sanader of Croatia.

Friday, 9:  Letters of Credence of Giuseppe Balboni Acqua of Italy.

Saturday, 10:  Letters of Credence of Kouame Benjamin Konan of Ivory Coast, and of Bambang Prayitno of Indonesia.

Monday, 12:  Annual papal address to Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See.

Friday, 16:  Pope welcomes Jona Metzgher and Shlomo Amar, chief rabbis of Israel, and Oded Wiener, director of the Chief Rabbinate.

Thursday, 22:  Audience for President Guido de Marco of Malta.

Friday, 23:  Audience for Jose Maria Aznar, president of Spanish government.

Saturday, 24:  Publication of Pope's Message for 38th World Communications Day. Theme: "The Media and the Family: A Risk and a Richness."

Tuesday, 27:  Pope welcomes U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife.

Thursday, 29:  Papal Message for Lent 2004. Theme: "Whoever Receives One Such Child in My Name Receives Me."

Friday, 30:  Letters of Credence of Chou-seng Tou of the Republic of China.


Monday, 2:  Eighth Day of Consecrated Life.

Saturday, 7:  Audience for U.N. General Assembly President Julian Robert Hunte.

Monday, 9:  Cardinal Opilio Rossi dies at 93.

Wednesday, 11: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and 12th World Day of the Sick, celebrated in Lourdes on the theme: "The Immaculate Conception and Health in the Christian Roots of Europe"; 75th anniversary of Lateran Pacts that created Vatican City State.

Thursday, 12: Audiences for: President Alvaro Uribe Velez of Colombia, Ahmed Qurei, prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, and Kamal Kharrazi, foreign minister of Islamic Republic of Iran.

Monday, 16: Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, starts visit to Moscow.

Friday, 20:  Papal Message marks 10th anniversary of Pontifical Academy for Life.

Saturday, 21:  Letters of Credence of Osman Durak of Turkey.

Tuesday, 24:  Letters of Credence of Javier Moctezuma Barragan of Mexico.

Wednesday, 25:  Pope presides at Ash Wednesday ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, instead of the traditional procession to the basilica of Santa Sabina.

Friday, 27:  Letters of Credence of Miroslav Palameta of Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Monday, 1: Letters of Credence of Carlos Luis Custer of Argentina; Publication of Papal Message for 19th World Youth Day on the theme: "We want to see Jesus."

Saturday, 6:  Audience for German President Johannes Rau.

Tuesday, 9:  Publication by Congregation for Bishops of "Apostolorum Successores," A Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops. Pope appoints Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon as president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Thursday, 11:  Telegram in Pope's name for terrorist attacks in Madrid. Pope receives Rafael Bielsa, minister of foreign affairs of Argentina.

Saturday, 13: Letters of Credence of Armando Luna Silva of Nicaragua. Death of Cardinal Franz Koenig at age 98.

Sunday, 14:  John Paul's pontificate becomes third longest in history at 25 years, 5 months and 1 day: he follows St. Peter and Pope Pius IX.

Monday, 15: Giovanni Lonfernini I and Valeria Ciavatta I, captains regent of the Republic of San Marino.

Saturday, 20:  Pope to Federation of Catholic Medical Associations meeting on clinical condition known as "vegetative state": "People in a 'vegetative state', waiting to recover or for a natural end, have the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, hygiene, warmth, etc)."

Thursday, 25:  Charlemagne Prize from city of Aachen, Germany, bestowed on Holy Father.

Friday, 26:  Cardinal Sodano celebrates Mass for victims of Madrid terrorist attack.


Friday, 2:  Letters of Credence of Naji Abi Assi of Lebanon.

Monday, 5:  Audience for President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella of Costa Rica.

Saturday, 17:  Pope welcomes President Joaquim Alberto Chissano of Mozambique.

Monday, 19:  Letters of Credence of Leonida L. Vera of the Philippines.

Thursday, 22:  Audience for Andreas Khol, president of Austrian Parliament.

Friday, 23:  Presentation of "Redemptionis Sacramentum," the document on the liturgy produced by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments.

Friday, 30:  Audience for Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office in Vienna on Drugs and Crime.


Monday, 3:  Holy See delegation returns from six-day visit to Vietnam.

Friday, 7:  Letters of Credence of Grygorii Fokovych Khoruzhyi of Ukraine.

Monday, 10:  Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, departs on visit to Romania.

Tuesday, 11: Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, starts official visit to London.

Thursday, 13:  Audience for President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal.

Friday, 14: Presentation of document by Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants, "Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi" (The Love of Christ Towards Migrants).

Saturday, 15: Audiences for President Emile Lahoud of Lebanon, and for Dora Bakoyiannis, mayor of Athens, Greece.

Monday, 17:  Pope receives President Ricardo Maduro Joest of Honduras.

Tuesday, 18:  John Paul II turns 84. Audiences for Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso of  Portugal, and for President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland.  Cardinal Hyacinthe Thiandoum, archbishop emeritus of Dakar, Senegal, dies at age 83.

Friday, 21:  Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand is received by Pope.

Sunday, 23: Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for the diocese of Rome, reads papal Message to Riccardo Di Segni, chief rabbi of Rome, for the centenary of the synagogue during a commemorative service. Cardinal Walter Kasper leaves for five-day visit to Jerusalem.

Monday, 24: Audiences for President Branko Crvenkovski of the Republic of Macedonia, and for President of the Parliament of Bulgaria, Oghnjan Gerdjikov.

Thursday, 27: Letters of Credence of seven new ambassadors: Edgard Stephanus Ragoenath Amanh of Suriname; Sarala Manourie Fernando of Sri Lanka; Mohamed Salia Sokona of Mali; Yaha Ali Mohamed al-Abiad of Yemen; Anderson Kaseba Chibwa of Zambia; Kingsley Sunny Ebenyi of Nigeria and Afif Hendaoui of Tunisia. Pope also receives Igor Sergeevich Rimmer, president of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

Friday, 28:  Audience for Prime Minister Anton Rop of Slovenia.


Friday, 4:  Pope welcomes U.S. President George W. Bush to Vatican for third time.

Saturday, 5 - Sunday, 6:  Pope makes third apostolic trip to Switzerland. Diplomatic ties between Holy See and Switzerland are normalized, at levels of apostolic nuncio and ambassador plenipotentiary.

Tuesday, 8:  Announcement that the Vatican Archives will publish "Inter Arma Caritas. The Information Office in the Vatican for Prisoners of War Instituted by Pius XII (1939-1947)."

Thursday, 10:  During Eucharistic celebration at St. John Lateran Basilica for the solemnity of Corpus Christi, John Paul II announces a Eucharistic Year starting October 2004 and ending October 2005.

Tuesday, 15:  Presentation in Holy See Press Office of "The Inquisition," a volume containing the acts of the international symposium that took place in the Vatican in  October 1998, organized by the Historical-Theological Commission of the Committee for the Jubilee Year. Division of the archdiocese of Barcelona, Spain and creation of new dioceses.

Friday, 18:  Letters of Credence of Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo of Spain.

Saturday, 19: Holy See expresses satisfaction at adoption of European Union constitution, but "distress over the opposition by some governments to explicit recognition of Christian roots of Europe." Archbishop Paul Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," leaves for Haiti and Dominican Republic.

Monday, 21: Audience for Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, president of the Spanish government.

Friday, 25:  Audience for President Edward Fenech Adami of Malta.

Monday, 28:  Pope welcomes Their Royal Highnesses, Felipe and Letizia de Borbon, Prince and Princess of Asturias. Papal telegram to His Excellency Sheikh Ghazi Ajeel Al-Yawar, president of Iraq, on the occasion of the transfer of power today to the Interim Government of the State of Iraq.

Tuesday, 29: Holy Father welcomes Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to the Vatican at 11 a.m.. At 6 p.m. in St. Peter's Square,  Eucharistic celebration in the presence of the patriarch, during which Pope confers palliums on 44 metropolitan archbishops.


Thursday, 1:  United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopts Resolution that upgrades Holy See role as permanent observer. Holy See does not need to ask permission to participate in debates, has right of reply, to circulate documents and to raise points of order.

Monday, 5:  Pope arrives Les Combes, Valle d'Aosta, for vacation (until July 17).

Thursday, 15:  Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of the Russian Federation meet.

Thursday, 22:  Papal envoy, Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," departs for Khartoum, Sudan to meet with Church leaders and to visit the Darfur region where there is a serious humanitarian and refugee crisis.
.../HIGHLIGHTS 2004/...                    VIS 20040730 (1560)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2004 (VIS) - The following telegram was sent in the Holy Father's name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State,  to Archbishop Karl-Josef Rauber, apostolic nuncio in Belgium, upon hearing of the gas explosion this morning in Ath, Belgium which caused numerous victims and wounded people:

  "Having learned of the tragedy that has struck the region of Ath in southern Belgium, the Pope has asked me to let you know that he is joined in prayer to the persons who have been struck by this drama.  He entrusts the deceased to the mercy of the Lord, that He may welcome them in His peace. He prays for the many wounded and their families, that they may be surrounded by support and comfort in their trials. He encourages the rescue workers and the many hospital people in their important mission of receiving and assisting the wounded, and bringing help to the families and inhabitants of the region. Asking the Lord to be close to everyone, the Holy Father extends to the wounded, their families and all persons touched by this calamity his Apostolic Blessing."

Thursday, July 29, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2004 (VIS) - On Saturday, July 31 at 12 noon, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will publish a document entitled "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World." It will be published in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

  The Vatican Information Service will transmit a special edition on Saturday, July 31, about this document.
OP/CDF:LETTER:COLLABORATION/...                VIS 20040729 (90)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2004 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Family has published a book on the themes addressed by bishops during courses promoted by the same dicastery in many countries and regions of the world over the past ten years.

  The volume, written in Italian and entitled "The Family and Ethical Questions," is the first in a series of three books, with publication scheduled in other languages. In the introduction, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the council, writes that during these courses, the more than 1,200 bishops who participated reflected on "the central themes of the pastoral mission in terms of the family and life and pastoral ethical questions."

  Those days, continues the cardinal, can be called "the days of 'aggiornamento' of  the topics necessary for the principal agents of the pastoral ministry, a pastoral ministry that is solid doctrinally and theologically." The courses start with "a doctrinal reflection which in the last years, has been greatly enriched by the pontifical magisterium and by bishops all over the world."

  The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family recalls that the first course was held in 1994 in Frascati, outside of Rome, and lasted almost three weeks. However, subsequent courses have lasted one week or even three or four days.

  "The twenty-five years of the pontificate of John Paul II, successor of Peter and the Pope of the family and of life," he writes at the end of the introduction, "have given a worldly and historical dimension to the questions addressed in this volume and in future editions. For this reason, we want this publication to be a tribute to the universal pastor, example of closeness and passionate concern for the family, the domestic Church and sanctuary of life." 
…/FAMILY:ETHICS/LOPEZ TRUJILLO                    VIS 20040729 (310)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2004 (VIS) - On August 5 the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major will mark the feast of Our Lady of the Snows as well as the anniversary of the  dedication of the basilica which was founded on that date in 358 by Pope Liberius.

  Liberius was inspired to build the basilica when the Virgin Mary appeared to him, and to his friends, the Roman patrician John and his wife, in a dream and asked that a church be built in her honor on the site on the Esquiline hill where snow would fall on August 5, a hot midsummer night. In the presence of many Romans, the Pope traced the outline of the church in the snow, and the first basilica built on that spot was called Our Lady of the Snows. The current basilica, better known today as St. Mary Major, is the result of centuries of rebuilding on the original site.

  The celebrations this year take place in the presence of the new archpriest of St. Mary Major, Cardinal Bernard Law. They commence on Sunday, August 1 with a triduum of Masses, the first of which will be presided over by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry. Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, apostolic nuncio, will celebrate Mass on Monday, August 2, and Cardinal Virgilio Noe, archpriest emeritus of St. Peter's Basilica, will preside at the final mass of the triduum on Tuesday, August 3.

  The feast itself will start on Wednesday, August 4 with first Vespers. On Thursday, August 5, there will be a solemn pontifical Mass of the morning and second Vespers, presided over by Cardinal Law. Bishops and priests are invited to concelebrate at this Mass. During Mass and vespers, there is the traditional "rain of flowers," symbolizing the miraculous August snowfall of 358, when thousands of flower petals are released both within the basilica and outside, from its rooftop, for the faithful who have gathered to commemorate this event.
.../FEAST:ST MARY MAJOR/LAW                VIS 20040728 (350)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 28, 2004 (VIS) - Psalm 15, "The Lord is my heritage," was the theme of the Pope's catechesis during the general audience celebrated today in the Paul VI Hall. As he did last week, John Paul II travelled to Rome by car from Castelgandolfo for the audience.

  The Holy Father said that this psalm is a "mystical hymn" that presents God "as the only good and therefore, the supplicant chooses to be part of the community of those who are faithful to the Lord."

  This psalm, he continued, develops two themes. The first is heritage "which was used to describe the gift of the promised land to the people of Israel. … The house of Levi was the only tribe that did not receive a portion of the land, because the Lord was their heritage."

  John Paul II indicated that the second theme is "perfect and continuous communion with the Lord. The psalmist expresses the firm hope of being preserved from death in order to be able to remain in intimacy with God."

  The psalmist asks the Lord to show him "the path of life. It is the way which leads to 'fullness of joy in the divine presence', to 'sweetness without end alongside' the Lord.  These words correspond to an interpretation that opens up to the prospective of hope in communion with God, beyond death, in eternal life."

  The Holy Father concluded by emphasizing that this psalm "was assumed in the New Testament in the perspective of the resurrection of Christ," as in St. Peter's sermon on Pentecost and St. Paul's words in the synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia.
AG/PSALM 15/…                                VIS 20040728 (290)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Francesco Gioia, president of "Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem," an organization created 70 years ago by the Holy See to assist pilgrims coming to the See of Peter, has just published a book entitled "Mendicanti del Cielo nel turismo, nei pellegrinaggi, nei santuari" (Mendicants from Heaven, in Tourism, Pilgrimages and Shrines).

   The archbishop studies the complex phenomenon of human mobility from a religious and sociological point of view. He looks at man as "a pilgrim in time and space," tourism as "a vehicle of evangelization," and a pilgrimage as "an itinerary of hope." In conclusion, he writes of shrines, terming man "the shrine of God," and saying that shrines are a "stage on the path of salvation" and "places of interior miracles."

  A press release from Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem (Pilgrimage to the See of Peter) announcing the archbishop's book, also announced the publication by this office of a small volume in French and Italian entitled "The Four Basilicas: Obligatory Stages for the Pilgrims." These booklets, which will soon be published in English and German, look at Rome's patriarchal basilicas of St. Peter, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls and present a historical perspective, a spiritual message and a practical guide on opening hours, telephone numbers, etc.

  The precursor of the peregrinatio was an office founded by Pope Pius IX at the end of the Extraordinary Holy Year of the Redemption 1933-1934 when he changed the  Central Committee into a permanent organization to assist pilgrims coming to Rome, to the See of Peter. Pope Paul VI gave this office juridical status in 1972, and reorganized it two years after the 1975 Holy Year. The Statutes which now govern the peregrinatio came into force on January 16, 2002.

  Directly answerable to the Secretariat of State, this office assists pilgrims - individuals, families or large groups - who come to Rome by coordinating travel and lodging plans, assisting in organizing liturgical celebrations, planning congresses and meetings and, in particular, planning and promoting all ecclesial activities. It does this by maintaining contacts with episcopal conferences, dioceses and national and diocesan groups or committees.

  The peregrinatio, with the Secretariat of State, organizes the travel of the apostolic trips made by the Holy Father and his entourage. It is governed by a Board of Directors, Pastoral Council and College of Auditors, and the president is directly appointed by the Holy Father.
.../PEREGINATIO PETRI SEDEM/GIOIA            VIS 20040727 (410)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2004 (VIS) - On the occasion of the Holy Father's pilgrimage to Lourdes on August 14 and 15 for the 150th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, we offer some statistics on the Catholic Church in France, updated through December 31, 2002.

  France has a population of 59,470,000, of which 46,110,000 are Catholic, or 77.5% of the total population. There are 181 bishops, 23,532 priests, 47,987 religious and 1,497 seminarians.

  The Catholic Church runs 7,337 primary schools, 2,691 middle and secondary schools and 215 high schools and universities attended by 2,143,995 students. In terms of social care centers owned or run by the Church or religious, there are 97 hospitals, 85 clinics, 505 rest homes for the elderly, invalid and handicapped, 107 orphanages, 26 centers for the family and the protection of life and 57 educational and social rehabilitation centers.
…/STATISTICS/FRANCE                            VIS 20040727 (160)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 27, 2004 (VIS) - On Saturday night July 24, members of the Jose David Suarez Front of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia kidnapped Bishop Misael Vacca Ramirez from Yopal in East Colombia, while he was visiting the Christian community of Morcote.

  One month ago, Alvaro Uribe, president of Colombia, began a dialogue with the ELN through the Mexican government. The kidnappers have made it known that they wanted to give a message to the prelate. The local Church has started contacts to free the bishop.

  In light of this event, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., vice director of the Holy See Press  Office, made the following declaration this morning:

  "The Holy Father received the news of this criminal act, in no way justifiable, with sorrow and concern, and he asks with paternal firmness for the immediate release of this prelate. It is regrettable and reproachable that a bishop, dedicated to announcing the Gospel of peace and hope to the faithful entrusted to his care, especially the poorest of the poor, is prevented in such a contemptible way from freely exercising his pastoral care."

Monday, July 26, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 26, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a communique from  Khartoum, Sudan, dated July 25, from Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," who has been in that African nation since July 22 as the Holy Father's envoy to show his closeness and solidarity with the Sudanese, especially with the refugees in the region of Darfur.

  The communique notes that Archbishop Cordes, after visiting the shantytowns near Khartoum where evacuees from the south have lived for more than ten years because of the war, visited the camp at Kalma near the city of Nyala in the region of Darfur. Here he met representatives of Catholic aid agencies that are preparing - together with other Christian agencies - an aid program worth $17 million. The conditions of the thousands upon thousands of persons - in Kalma alone there are 10,000 evacuees - camped in the desert under tends of straw and plastic, are indescribable.

  The local Arab-language media has given broad coverage to this trip by the papal envoy. The Church in Sudan and government representatives have repeatedly expressed their gratitude to the Holy Father for his concern for the African nation and for all those who are suffering.

  On Sunday, July 25 the president of Cor Unum celebrated Mass in the cathedral of  the capital city with Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, archbishop of Khartoum and with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, apostolic nuncio in Sudan.

  At the end of his visit yesterday, the Holy Father's envoy reaffirmed the need for "Sudanese leaders, together with the international community, to guarantee assistance and a safe return to their villages to all of those who have been deprived of everything; they have been forced to flee and live in conditions unworthy of man. The Catholic Church, through the local Episcopal conference, Caritas and other Christian agencies, is bringing a specific and ample contribution to support all those who, in more than 20 years of conflict, have abandoned their own homes. With the contribution of all the country's populations, a better future can be built for Sudan."

  "Unfortunately," ends the communique, "the war in Sudan has been overlooked and ignored by public opinion for too long. Finally the world is following this country with attention; leaders who inspire international policies have discovered they have a duty to look beyond their own interests. However, a future worthy of man will be realized in Sudan also - and by no means least  - in obedience to what the Holy Father asked in the July 25 Angelus: 'Pray for our brothers and sisters of Africa, on whom I invoke the maternal protection of Mary."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 25, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, in remarks made to the faithful who joined him today at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus, called for prayers for the peoples of regions of Uganda and Sudan, that have been marked by years of violent conflicts, and asked the international community "not to forget these brothers and sisters of ours who have been so sorely tried."

  "During these days of relaxation and rest," he said, "my thoughts turn often to the dramatic conditions of several regions of the world. Today, in particular, I would like to draw your attention to the tragic events that have marked for some time several countries of the beloved African continent."

  "For more than 18 years the north of Uganda has been devastated by an inhuman conflict that has involved millions of people, above all children. Many of them, overcome by fear and deprived of a future, feel forced to become soldiers. I turn to the international community and to the national political leaders to put an end to this tragic conflict and to offer real prospects for peace to the entire nation of Uganda."

  The Holy Father then turned to "the equally worrisome situation in which the dear populations of Darfur, the western region of the Sudan, on the border with Chad, find themselves. The war, which has intensified in recent months, brings with it ever more poverty, desperation and death. Twenty years of harsh conflicts in Sudan have caused an enormous number of deaths and refugees. How can we remain indifferent? I appeal with all my heart to political leaders and to international organizations not to forget these brothers and sisters of ours who have been so harshly tried."

  In closing, the Pope noted that "the Christian community is involved in facing these emergencies. In Uganda, the bishops, assisted by other dioceses in the world and by volunteer organizations, work with generosity for national reconciliation and to help those in difficulty. And just days ago I sent Archbishop Paul Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum' to Darfur to bring to the people the spiritual and  material solidarity of the Holy See and the universal Church."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace and "Cor Unum" as his special envoy to the centenary celebrations of the Social Weeks of France, which will take place in Lille from September 24 to 26, 2004.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2004 (VIS) - The Final Document of the Sixth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Tourism, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand from July 5 to 8, has been published. The Congress was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in collaboration with the Catholic Commission on Tourism of the Bishops' Conference of Thailand on the theme "Tourism at the Service of Bringing People Together."

   The Document underscored that the World Tourism Organization-approved "Global Code of Ethics for Tourism has already inspired the legislation of some countries and is still to be implemented in others." Particular attention was paid to "The Dimensions of Sex Tourism" and to the initiatives suggested to combat it. It also noted that "the pastoral ministry for tourism should not forget the importance of solidarity with the disadvantaged and the poor, giving special consideration to the consequences of poverty for their family lives."

   Sixteen Recommendations were listed, including: That governments make higher allocations for the moral and human formation of people engaged in tourism; that there be promotion of the awareness that tourism is a powerful instrument for bringing about justice and peace and a true encounter of peoples, and that travel agencies, airlines and hotels inform their clients about child victims of prostitution and the criminal/legal issues concerning travelers who transgress related laws in order to combat effectively the problem of sex tourism involving children.

   "During the Congress," states the document, "it was stressed that tourism, which has now become a social and economic phenomenon of global dimensions, should contribute to bringing together nations and cultures" and, among other things "to  fighting all forms of discrimination and exploitation or, worst still, of sexual violence in relation to women and minors."
   Among those who are exploited, it says, "the most vulnerable and in urgent need of proper care are certainly, women, minors and children." Among the Recommendations and Appeals Concerning Sex Tourism are: "That compassion, legal protection and the restoration of their human rights must be given to children in this situation"; "that the child must not be criminalized in cases where the contents of the Convention of the Rights of the Child have been violated, as in the case of sexual abuse"; "that state authorities give priority and urgency to counteracting trafficking and the economic exploitation especially of children in sex tourism."
  In addition, it recommends that: "State institutions intensify the implementation of laws that protect children from sexual exploitation in tourism and bring to justice the offenders through intensive, coordinated and consistent efforts at all levels of society, and in collaboration with international organizations" and that "dioceses and communities concerned give due pastoral care to children exploited for sexual purposes in the tourist industry, ... establish structures for the pastoral care of exploited children as an important aspect of their mission of evangelization" and "support existing means of apostolate, or establish new ones, that will care for the victims with compassion and love and provide legal assistance, therapy and reintegration into society and, where Christians are involved, into the faith community."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the Holy Father's Letter to Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain appointing him as his Special Envoy to the concluding celebrations of the pilgrimage of European youth which will take place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on August 7 and 8. The Letter was written in Latin and is dated July 19.

  The names of those who will accompany the cardinal were also published: Msgrs. Luigi Bianco, nunciature counselor in Spain, Salvador Domato Bua, of the clergy of Santiago de Compostela, secretary to the cardinal archbishop of Madrid, and Andres Pardo Rodriguez, of the clergy of Madrid, delegate for liturgy and master of  ceremonies of the Madrid cathedral.

Friday, July 23, 2004


VATICAN CITY,  JUL 23, 2004 (VIS) - The following telegram was sent in the Holy Father's name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, to Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio in Turkey, upon hearing of the train crash that occurred last evening between Istanbul and Ankara:

  "Having learned of the dramatic train accident that happened between Istanbul and Ankara and which caused many victims, the Holy Father expresses his sympathy and his spiritual closeness to the families touched by this tragedy. He entrusts the deceased to the mercy of the All Powerful and he assures all the wounded and their families of his prayers, remembering also all the people who took part in the rescue operation. The Pope presents his sincere condolences to the authorities of the country and to the Turkish people, asking everyone to show support for those tried by this catastrophe. As a sign of comfort, he implores for everyone the support of divine blessings."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 23, 2004 (VIS) - "Priests for the Formation of Saints for the New Millennium, In the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul" is the theme of the International Congress for Priests, organized by the Congregation for the Clergy, which will take place in Malta from October 18 to 23.

  The congress will begin on Monday afternoon, October 18 in the capital city of Valletta with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, presided over by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

  On Tuesday October 19, Cardinal Castrillon and Archbishop Bruno Forte, recently appointed metropolitan archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, will speak respectively on "Paul, Evangelization and the Challenge of the Encounter of Cultures," and "Trinitarian Holiness of the Priest". In the afternoon, there will be a penitential celebration followed by confessions in different languages, after which Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Evangelization of Peoples, will preside at Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Mosta.

  On Wednesday October 20, the third speech on the theme "The Christocentric Holiness of the Priest" will be given by Msgr. Juan Esquerda Bifet, a theologian. Later, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap., preacher of the Papal Household, will speak on "Pneumatological-Pauline Holiness of the Priest."  In the afternoon in the Grotto of St. Paul the Apostle, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, will give a meditation on "Pauline Holiness and Evangelization" and Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India, will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle.

  On Thursday October 21, Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy, will speak on "The Eucharistic Holiness of the Priest" and Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, will then deliver a talk on "The Marian Holiness of the Priest." In the afternoon, the participants will attend Eucharistic adoration, followed by a Mass presided over by Cardinal Cormack Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, Great Britain.

  On October 22, there will be a pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Ta' Pinu on the island of Gozo. In addition, there will be the rosary with meditation and a Mass with the Christian community of Gozo presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State. Cardinal Castrillon will then make an act of consecration to Our Lady.

  In a letter addressed to priests with information on the program of the congress, Cardinal Castrillon indicates that it has not been possible to create a fund of solidarity in order to cover the costs of those who could not afford the conference.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Bernard Moras of Belgaum, India, as metropolitan archbishop of Bangalore (area 29,850, population 20,186,450, Catholics 361,835, priests 596, religious 5,011), India. He  succeeds Archbishop Ignatius Pinto, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

  Yesterday afternoon it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio in Turkey, as apostolic visitator to the Syro-Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, on behalf of the Holy Father, to Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and envoy of John Paul II, who left today for Khartoum, Sudan to express the Holy Father's concern for and solidarity with the populations of Darfur, in western Sudan. Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, council undersecretary, accompanied the archbishop.

  In the Letter, written in English and dated July 16, Cardinal Sodano notes "the recent agreement between the government of Khartoum and the Sudanese People Liberation Army-Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLA-SPLM) has opened some good possibilities for peace and development for the country. However the serious humanitarian situation in Darfur, which has recently stirred up a public outcry, is a cause of great concern for Pope John Paul II." He added that the Pope sends greetings to the Catholic community "and to all peoples in the Sudan who are in distress and in need, especially in the region of Darfur."

  "It is the hope of the Holy Father," continues the Letter, "that the people in Darfur will be given all necessary humanitarian aid, especially in the upcoming rainy season, during which time their survival will become even more difficult. He trusts that the Sudanese authorities, in partnership with the international community, will intensify their efforts to reach a just solution for Darfur. This will happen when the voice of the peoples of Darfur is heard and recognized, and when their fundamental human rights are respected, especially the right to life, to political and religious freedom, and to a peaceful existence in their own territories."

  Cardinal Sodano writes that "the recognition of these rights of the various peoples of the Sudanese population will allow all citizens of the country, without distinction, to offer their own contribution to the building of a just society, based on solidarity and the good of each and every member. In particular, respect for the legitimate local authorities will ensure that the contrasts and problems of Darfur will not extend further or deepen, thus threatening to render vain the results of the peace accords between the North and the South, reached after prolonged and difficult negotiations."

  A communique from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum was also published today. It noted that Archbishop Cordes and Msgr. Dal Toso, while in Khartoum, will meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, apostolic nuncio and with Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, archbishop of Khartoum, and members of the country's Episcopal conference "to be informed about the conflict underway that (U.N. Secretary General) Kofi Annan has defined as a true and proper 'ethic cleansing'. With the assistance of the United Nations, Archbishop Cordes will go to Darfur, which has been increasingly difficult to reach because of conflicts, and he will visit the refugee camps in Nyala. In addition to the war, the conditions of desperate poverty in these camps cause over 100 deaths each day, according to the U.N."

  "The situation in Sudan," concludes the press release, "is so compromised - in over 20 years of conflict, there have been two million deaths and five million refugees - as to have been defined 'Rwanda in slow motion'. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum has already sent financial assistance to Darfur though the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees."

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2004 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Marcel Chauvin, C.SS.R., emeritus of Fada N'Gourma, Burkina Faso, on July 2 at age 90.

- Bishop Henri Derouet, emeritus of Arras, France on July 4 at age 81.

- Bishop Paul Nordhues, former auxiliary of Paderborn, Germany, on June 30 at age 89.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Appointed Bishop Luis Armando Collazuol, auxiliary of Rosario, Argentina, as bishop of Concordia (area 15,000, population 270,000, Catholics 265,000, priests 47, religious 111), Argentina.

- Fr. Eduardo Maria Taussig, of the clergy of Buenos Aires, professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of Argentina and director of the service for the pastoral care of universities in Buenos Aires, as bishop of San Rafael (area 87,286, population 230,000, Catholics 195,000, priests 81, religious 52), Argentina. Bishop-elect Taussig was born in 1954 in Buenos Aires and was ordained a priest in 1982.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father sent a telegram of condolences, through Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, to Bishop Stepan Meniok, C.SS.R., the archiepiscopal exarch of Donets'k-Kharkiv, Ukraine, upon the news of yesterday's mining disaster in Krasnolimansk in East Ukraine which caused many casualties.

  The Pope asks the exarch to convey his condolences to the authorities, family members and friends of those who died.  "While he assures you of his fervent prayers for the repose of the souls of the deceased and for consolation for the wounded and all those who are suffering as a result of this serious accident, he sends you a special apostolic blessing as a sign of his spiritual closeness."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Message to Fr. Gregory Gay, superior general of the Congregation of the Missions, as the members gather in Rome from July 5 to 29 for their 40th General Assembly, whose theme this year is: "Our Vincentian Identity Today, Having Lived the New Constitution for 20 Years: Evaluation and Three Challenges for the Future." The Congregation was founded in 1625 by St. Vincent de Paul.

  The Pope notes in the Message, dated July 18 and made public today, that, "responding generously to the needs of the Church in his day, Saint Vincent de Paul placed the evangelization of the poor and the formation of the clergy at the centre of his vision for your Congregation. As you have grown in number and spread throughout the world, your apostolate has naturally taken on many new forms, but these two aspects remain central."
   John Paul II says that "four centuries after your foundation, the task of 'bringing good news to the poor' remains as urgent as ever. Not only do millions of people throughout the world lack the basic necessities of life, but the modern world is afflicted by many other forms of poverty. Your Congregation is called to explore new ways of conveying the liberating message of the Gospel to our suffering brothers and sisters."

  He writes that "many generations of priests have reason to thank your Congregation for the formation they have received at your hands. The importance of this apostolate cannot be overstated. Consequently it is essential to assign exemplary priests to this work: priests of human and spiritual maturity, pastoral experience, professional competence, capable of working with others. Many Vincentians with these very qualities nobly dedicated themselves to priestly formation in the past."
  In closing, the Pope highlights their "outstanding contributions," adding: "But you also have a great history still to be accomplished! As you seek to consider how best to live the Vincentian charism, my message to you is this: 'Duc in altum!' Put out into the deep! Do not be afraid to venture forth, to put out the nets for a catch. The Lord Himself will be your guide!"


VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was Pope John Paul's Message to Fr. Hugh Cleary, superior general, and to the participants in the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Holy Cross as they meet in Rome. He noted they will examine their identity "as consecrated Religious and consider how best to preserve and adapt your spiritual patrimony to the changing historical and cultural situations of today."

  "In 1837," writes the Pope, "your founder, the Venerable Basil Anthony Mary Moreau, responded generously and wisely to the needs of the turbulent times in which he lived, dedicating himself and his spiritual sons to the task of renewing and strengthening French society through preaching the gospel, education, and assistance to those in need. Beginning from a place providentially called 'Holy Cross', the Congregation rapidly spread abroad, establishing missions and educational institutions across the globe."

  Noting that the Chapter's theme, "Crossing borders of every sort," is taken from their Constitution, he says it "expresses the desire to capture anew that initial spirit of your founder. ... In a world obsessed with material possessions and personal gratification, your witness of evangelical poverty, chastity, and obedience will shine for others, showing them what it means to follow Christ completely and unreservedly.  Consequently, I invite you to set out boldly 'into the deep'."
  "The recent establishment of the Congregation's new provinces in Haiti and North East India," the Holy Father continues, "is a clear sign of the fruitfulness of your apostolate for the life of the Church, demonstrating that the Gospel has taken firm root there. As the Second Vatican Council so wisely te aches, 'Missionary activity extends the saving faith of the Church, it expands and perfects her catholic unity . . . and bears witness to her sanctity'. As you consolidate your presence in these and other territories, you contribute to the growth of the Church, you enkindle the flame of hope in the hearts of God's children, and you carry out the Lord's injunction to 'go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news'."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2004 (VIS) - After a 12-day vacation in the mountains of Valle D'Aosta, today the Pope resumed his catechesis on the psalms during the general audience. Addressing 8,000 people who filled the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father spoke about one of the lines of Psalm 118, "Promise to keep God's commandments."

  The psalm, he affirmed, says that "on the path of life, we often encounter moments of darkness, but the light of  the Word of God dispels that darkness, often quite unexpectedly. … The perfect image of God's light is Christ Himself, Who proclaims: 'I am the light of the world'."

  John Paul II indicated that the psalmist evokes "the suffering and dangers of life that the faithful must confront and who need to be illuminated and sustained. … The faithful person passes through the world amidst dangers, cares, persecutions; he knows that tribulation is always close at hand. The Christian knows that every day he must take up the cross on the way to Calvary."

  "Nevertheless," he said, "the just man remains faithful. … Peace of conscience is the strength of the believer; his constancy in obeying the divine commandments is a source of serenity. He wants to be completely faithful to God's will. On this path, he will find  peace in his soul and will be able to overcome the dark entanglement of trials, gaining true happiness."

  While greeting Italian pilgrims, the Pope addressed in a special way the new general director of the Small Work of Divine Providence, Fr. Flavio Peloso, and the members of the General Chapter.  "I hope," he said, "that your joy at the recent canonization of your founder, St. Luigi Orione - on May 16 - may be translated into a renewed commitment to fidelity to Christ, the Church and the poor."

  After the audience, the Pope returned by car to his residence in Castelgandolfo.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Klaus Kung of Feldkirch, Austria as apostolic visitator for the diocese of St. Polten, Austria and in particular for the diocesan seminary.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 20, 2004 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 21, the general audience will take place in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican and not in Castelgandolfo as previously scheduled.

  Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, indicated that the change is due to increased requests for tickets to the audience. The courtyard in the apostolic palace in Castelgandolfo accommodates only about a thousand people.

  "It is possible," said Navarro-Valls, "that the same will be done for the remaining
Wednesdays, since so many people want to participate. The Pope will travel to the Vatican by car."

Monday, July 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JULY 18, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, who returned yesterday from a 12-day vacation period in the mountains of northern Italy to spend some time at the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, was joined today at noon by several thousand faithful who prayed the Angelus with him as he spoke from the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the summer residence.

  In reflections made before the Angelus, he highlighted today's Gospel where Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha, noting that "while Martha was busy with household chores, Mary was seated at the Lord's feet and listened to His word. Christ affirms that 'Mary has chosen the good portion which shall not be taken away from her'. Listening to the word of God is the most important thing in our life."

  The Pope pointed to the many occasions for listening to God: by reading Sacred Scripture, in private or community prayer, in silence before the tabernacle and "especially on Sundays when Christians are called to meet and listen to the Lord, ... through participation in the Mass."

 "When, through the action of the Holy Spirit, God resides in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier to serve our brothers. That happened in a singular and perfect way in Mary Most Holy. We entrust this vacation time to her, so that it will be best used as a propitious occasion for rediscovering the primacy of interior life."

  Following the Angelus prayer, John Paul II greeted the faithful present, especially the residents of Castelgandolfo, whom he thanked "for your always warm welcome." He also greeted Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, and other religious and civil authorities present.


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, S.J., apostolic vicar in Jaen, Peru, as metropolitan archbishop of Huancayo (area 15,145, population 783,107, Catholics 720,224, priests 63, religious 108), Peru.  The archbishop-elect was born in Lima, Peru in 1944 and was ordained a priest in 1971.

- Elevated Bishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz, military ordinary for Poland, to the dignity of archbishop.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2004 (VIS) - Following is the telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, in the Holy Father's name, for the victims of yesterday's fire in Kumbakonam, India:

  "The Holy Father was deeply saddened to learn of the devastating school fire in Kumbakonam which has taken the lives of so many young children and has left so many others injured. He assures all involved in this terrible tragedy of his closeness in prayer.  His Holiness commends the dead to the loving mercy of Almighty God, and upon their grieving families and those who have suffered harm he invokes the divine blessings of consolation, strength and healing."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2004 (VIS) - This afternoon, before leaving for Castelgandolfo, the Pope said goodbye to the mayor and city officials of Introd and the security staff who looked after him during his 12-day vacation in Les Combes.

  John Paul II thanked the mayor and members of the city council for "having facilitated in different ways a peaceful stay in the mountains of Valle d'Aosta" and he assured them that he would "remember them especially in prayer."

  Addressing the State police, or "carabinieri," the forest rangers and the Vatican gendarmes, whom he called his "guardian angels," the Pope said that they had "looked after him during my stay in Valle d'Aosta with efficiency and discretion. For this, I thank you."

  "I have appreciated your service very much," he continued.  "I am conscious of all the sacrifices, efforts and hard work involved and I am aware that you carry it out with competence and generosity. May God reward you and assist you always with His heavenly protection."
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Friday, July 16, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 16, 2004 (VIS) - When Pope John Paul II travels to Lourdes on August 14-15 to celebrate the feast of the Assumption and to mark the 150th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, it will be his 104th foreign apostolic trip and the seventh time he has been to France. His last visit was in August 1997 for World Youth Day.

  He was the first Pope ever to visit Lourdes when he went there in 1983 as a pilgrim during the Holy Year of the Redemption. This August is his second trip to the celebrated shrine where, on March 25, 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to the young peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous and announced: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Mary first appeared to Bernadette on February 11 of that year.

  On December 8, 1854, after having consulted the bishops of the world, Pope Pius IX, with the Apostolic Constitution "Ineffabilis Deus," solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which affirms: "We declare, pronounce and define that the  doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

  The Conference of the Bishops of France, in a July information bulletin, outlined the Holy Father's itinerary for the weekend. He will arrive at the Tarbes-Ousson Airport at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, where President Jacques Chirac of France is scheduled to meet him. Towards 1 p.m. the Pope will go to the Grotto where, in late afternoon, he will be joined by other pilgrims with whom he will pray the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary as the faithful process around the shrine. The fifth mystery will end in the square in front of the basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, following which the Holy Father will address the crowd. At 9 p.m. there will be the traditional torchlit procession on the shrine grounds.

  On Sunday, August 15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, John Paul II is scheduled to celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. at the shrine. In the afternoon he will spend some private time in prayer at the Grotto. His departure for Rome is set for 6 p.m.

  According to the bishops, more than 300,000 people, including 2,000 journalists who have registered for the occasion, are expected in Lourdes for the two-day event. The French bishops, together with the authorities of the Lourdes shrine and the prefecture of  Hautes-Pryenees, have created an Internet site, available in French and English, for the visit: www.lourdes2004.com.

  When he instituted the World Day of the Sick in 1992, Pope John Paul chose February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, as the date on which this day would be marked each year. The first world day took place in 1993 in Lourdes on the theme "That the sick and disabled will have their rightful place in society and in the Church." This year the World Day of the Sick was again celebrated in Lourdes, on the theme "The Immaculate Conception and Health in the Christian Roots of Europe."
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Thursday, July 15, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 15, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, presented by Bishop Geoffrey J. Robinson in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 15, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday in Loyola, Spain, birthplace of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, Archbishop John Foley gave the homily at a Mass for the meeting of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools.

  In a separate address to the group, he focused on ethics in business and in advertising, noting how difficult both fields can be when people are "seduced" to make decisions that can adversely affect their families, those who have invested money in a company and those who work for it.

  The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications recounted several personal experiences as a youth when he was forced to quit jobs because of unethical behavior on the part of others, saying he mentioned these experiences to let the business school leaders "know I have lived the very ethical dilemmas and challenges in business which some of you perhaps have taught." And he added: "I have always thought, what terrible dilemmas must be faced by married people with children in a tight job market who are asked to do something that is dishonest or, at least, open to ethical discussion - and who are fearful of questioning, of protesting or quitting, because they do not know where the next meal for themselves or their family might come from."

  Archbishop Foley mentioned the pontifical council's documents of recent years, in particular "Ethics in Advertising." He noted that advertising can sustain "honest and ethically responsible competition which contributes to economic growth, to the possibility of choice and to authentic human development." It "contributes to wider knowledge, lower prices and, usually, to more jobs" and to "promoting morally healthy activity, e.g., safe driving, and it has even been used effectively for religious purposes." However, he said, there is harm when it leads people to believe that "having is more important than being." He urged those who advertise - be it products, ideas or people - to focus on three principles: Being is better than having; Each person must be treated with respect; Work for the common good."

  In concluding remarks, he indicated that "a growing concern in democratic societies is the ethical aspect of political campaigning" which can either "inform about candidates and issues" or "obstruct the democratic process" when high advertising costs attract only  wealthy candidates or cause candidates to compromise principles and integrity in their search for funding.


VATICAN CITY, JUL 15, 2004 (VIS) - The vice-director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., made the following declaration this morning:

  "Today, July 15, Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister of the Russian Federation, met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State. Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States and Vitaly Litvin, ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Holy See, also participated in the meeting.

  "In the course of the meeting there was an exchange of views on bilateral relations between the Holy See and Russia and on the international situation, with special interest in dialogue among cultures and collaboration within international organizations.

  "The serious problem of peace in the Holy Land and Iraq was also touched upon.

  "The meeting demonstrated the cordial relations that exist between the two parties and the possibility of further developments."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2004 (VIS) - On July 12 in the Maison Bruil of Introd, near Les Combes in Valle d'Aosta where the Holy Father is vacationing, Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta and Osvaldo Naudin, the mayor of Introd, presented a book titled "John Paul II Among the Mountains," by Nadia Millery Ognibene and Raffaella Poletti.

  The recently renovated Maison Bruil is an extensive rural complex dating to the 17th century which has undergone enlargements and improvements since it was first built. The various farm structures that were built around a courtyard were linked by a vast roof. Today, some of the buildings are used for presentations, for art and photo exhibits and other events.

  The 120-page book contains photos from John Paul's various mountain sojourns in Italy in his years as Pope, as well as all the texts in which he has spoken of the value and beauty of mountains, of ecology and conservation. The book speaks of  the Pope's "love for mountains and the value they have had in his life as a man and as Pope, a kind of 'mountain fever' which has never left him."

  The authors write that, in the life of Karol Wojtyla, "mountains assume different values: a stimulus for his reflections, an aid in spreading the Word of God and praises for the beauty of creation." They add that "never, as in this pontificate, has the world seen a Pope-man who is never separated from reality, who has never hidden his difficulties, feelings or needs."

  The book, which opens with the Pope's Angelus remarks at Mont Chetif in Valle d'Aosta on the occasion of his pastoral visit to the city and diocese of Aosta  in 1986, shows how John Paul II "has, in a Christian way, looked at the value of vacations as a real need in life, not a superfluous one, and as an important time of the year for the body and spirit to rest."

  Mountains were part of the Pope's youth and life in his native Poland, say the writers. "He loves the world that is genuine and rich in traditions, the world found in mountain localities because these remind him of his native land and the places of his childhood. ...  He loves this milieu because he feels part of it."

  The volume concludes with the texts of all the Angelus reflections the Pope has made while on vacation in the mountains of northern Italy.
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Monday, July 12, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Holy Father to Fr. Giorgio Nalin, superior general of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus on the occasion of the 10th general chapter of the congregation.

  In the Message, dated June 26, the Pope joyfully recalls that on May 16 he canonized their founder, Hannibal Maria di Francia, "whom I defined as a 'distinguished apostle of prayer for vocations' and 'true father of orphans and the poor'."

  "The mission of the Rogationists is found in the program indicated by 'Rogate', an imperative before which the perspective of faith for the harvest becomes a prayer that the Lord send many workers for it. This mission is more timely than ever at the beginning of the third millennium and calls for good and hard working apostles, the first of whom you must be and you wish to be. Therefore, you intend to rediscover and relaunch your charism, while analyzing carefully the needs of the Church and the world in the light of the perennial teaching of Jesus on the fundamental importance of prayer."    

  After emphasizing that the "harvest" is plentiful, and that it is necessary to have "workers of reconciliation, witnesses to the saving truth and builders of a true and stable peace founded on justice and forgiveness," John Paul II writes that, in the face of this great task, the first priority is to pray. ... Through prayer one discovers the primacy of the contemplative dimension of life and gains strength of faith which conquers the world. Today, after the fall of the totalitarian ideologies of the modern age, faith appears ever more clearly the anchor of salvation which is so necessary and urgent."

  The Holy Father asks the Rogationists to work tirelessly "for the temporal and spiritual good of your neighbour, following the example of your founding father, through the education and sanctification of children and young people, evangelization, human promotion and helping the poor. ... The mission impetus is intrinsic to the identity of the apostles of 'Rogate'. Contemplating the 'harvest which is plentiful' and the 'laborers who are few' must open the soul to the desire for the universal evangelization of peoples. In this way, your holy founder wanted his sons to be available and attentive to the 'missio ad gentes' from the beginning."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 12, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Lucio Andrice Muandula, pastor of the cathedral in Maputo, Mozambique and professor at the St. Pius X Inter-diocesan Theological Seminary as bishop of Xai-Xai (area 75,709, population 1,266,431, Catholics 131,189, priests 26, religious 58), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in Maputo, Mozambique and was ordained a priest in 1989. He succeeds Bishop Julio Duarte Langa whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Ernesto Meguenge, of the clergy of Maputo, and rector of the St. Pius X Inter-diocesan Theological Seminary, as bishop of Pemba (area 82,625, population 2,000,000, Catholics 400,000, priests 21, religious 50), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in 1964 in Chidenguele, Mozambique and was ordained a priest in 1989.

- Appointed Bishop Ignacio Gogorza Izaguirre, S.C.I. of Betharram, of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, as bishop of Encarnacion (area 16.525, population 519,769, Catholics 425,643, priests 47, permanent deacons 1, religious 62) Paraguay.

- Appointed Fr. Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, chaplain of Ykua University Center of the Prelature of Opus Dei, as bishop of Ciudad del Este (area 27,415, population 600,000, Catholics 590,000, priests 81, religious 77), Paraguay. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in Corrientes, Argentina and was ordained a priest in 1978.

  On Saturday, July 10, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Elevated the apostolic vicariate of Baguio, the Philippines to the rank of diocese, making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Church of Nueva Segovia, the Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Carlito J.Cenzon, C.I.C.M., apostolic vicar of Baguio as first bishop of the diocese of Baguio (area 2,655, population 790,000, Catholics 519,000, priests 63, religious 258), the Philippines.

- Appointed Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, archbishop emeritus of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as special envoy to the celebrations of the coronation of the statue of "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" and of the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which will take place in Aparecida, Brazil on September 8, 2004.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2004 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, who is accompanying the Pope while on vacation in Les Combes in northwest Italy from July 5 through July 17, spoke yesterday morning with journalists before the Holy Father prayed the Angelus.

  When asked about the Pope's decision to return a sacred icon of the Virgin of Kazan to the Russian Orthodox Church, Navarro-Valls said: "The decision is not related to the possibility of a meeting between the Pope and Alexis II in Russia, something  which was clear from the very beginning."  The Holy Father, he added, "feels the time is right to give it back to them." The icon, which has been in the Vatican for years, will be given back on August 28, feast of the Dormition of Our Lady according to the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Before returning it, there will be "an act of devotion, not necessarily public, ... an act of farewell which concludes the pilgrimage of the Madonna of Kazan to Rome." Details about the ceremony will be made available shortly.

  With respect to relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches, the director of the press office told journalists that after the visit to Moscow of Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, they "have improved. It is a long process, and the Pope hopes that the restitution of the icon will contribute to further steps forward. The signs of improvement in relations are reflected in bilateral conversations, in the mixed commissions to identify and resolve problems between the Churches in a climate of collaboration."

  Responding to questions about Patriarch Bartholomew's invitation to the Pope to visit Istanbul, Turkey on November 30 on the occasion of the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople, Navarro-Valls said that "the Pope was grateful for the invitation but for the moment no decision has been made."

  Regarding the sentence of the International Court of the Hague on the construction by Israelis of a wall on the West Bank, Navarro-Valls indicated that "it is a weighty sentence because the United Nations has asked for it. Now we must see what governments do."

  The director also commented on John Paul II's vacation, saying it is "proceeding very well and, as has happened on other occasions, following some days of rest, he is better.  The cool climate allows him to sleep better and the outings keep him in very good spirits." What are the Pope's days like in Valle d'Aosta? "The Pope," he affirmed, "dedicates a lot of time to reading and to prayer, not only in the chapel, and to long conversations on various topics."

  The Holy Father, said Navarro-Valls, "is not preparing any document during these days of rest." About the hypothesis that he is writing a book on totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, he said: "During these days no, perhaps it is already finished, but I have not seen him work on this project here."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 11, 2004 (VIS) - Today at noon, Pope John Paul, who has been in Les Combes d'Introd, Valle d'Aosta since July 5, recited the Angelus with an estimated 6,000 faithful who came to the residence where he has been staying. In remarks made before the prayer, he greeted the pilgrims present, as well as the civil and religious authorities, including Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta and the Salesian communities of Les Combes and Lombriasco.

  "In this oasis of quiet," said the Pope, "amidst the marvelous spectacle of nature, one  easily senses the value of silence, today an increasingly rare good. The many opportunities for relationships and for information that modern society offers risk sometimes eliminating room for recollection, to the point of making people incapable of reflecting and  praying. In reality, only in silence can man succeed in listening, in the intimacy of his conscience, to the voice of God which truly makes him free. And vacations can help us rediscover and cultivate this indispensable inner dimension of human existence."

  Saying that "the perfect model of listening to God" is Mary, to whom many shrines are dedicated in Valle d'Aosta, he blessed the statue of Our Lady of Gran Paradiso, a mountain in the area where he is vacationing, noting that the statue "had been restored 50 years after being placed on the peak of that majestic mountain. May Mary, whom we will celebrate in a few days as Queen of Mount Carmel, help us to see in the beauty of creation a reflection of divine glory, and encourage us to aim with all of our strength to the spiritual peak of holiness."

Friday, July 9, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Santiago Garcia Aracil of Jaen, Spain, as metropolitan archbishop of Merida-Badajoz (area 17,405, population 578,638, Catholics 575,661, priests 327, religious 937), Spain. The archbishop-elect was born in Valencia, Spain in 1940 and was ordained a priest in 1963. He succeeds Archbishop Antonio Montero Moreno whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Gustavo Rodolfo Mendoza Hernandez, chancellor of the Curia and pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in the archdiocese of Guatemala City, Guatemala and Fr. Gonzalo De Villa y Vasquez, S.J., consultant and rector of Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala City, as auxiliary bishops of the same archdiocese (area 2,591, population 3,214,280, Catholics 2,249,056, priests 515, permanent deacons 3, religious 2,416). Bishop-elect Mendoza was born in 1934 in Guatemala City and was ordained a priest in 1958. Bishop-elect De Villa was born in 1954 in Madrid, Spain and was ordained a priest in 1983.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the apostolic nunciature in Bratislava, Slovakia, Archbishop Henry Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio in the Slovak Republic and Martin Fronc, minister of education, exchanged instruments of ratification for the Accord between the Holy See and Slovakia on education and Catholic instruction, signed in Bratislava on May 13.

  Among the participants in the ceremony were Archbishop Jan Sokol of Bratislava-Trnava and Bishop Frantisek Tondra of Spis, president of the Slovakian Bishops' Conference, representing the Holy See, and, for Slovakia, Daniela Remenova, official of the section of private and Catholic schools in the Ministry of Education and Marek Smid of the Department of International Law in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the Holy Father's Letter to Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on the occasion of the international seminar the council has sponsored, being held today in the Vatican, on "Poverty and Globalization: Financing for Development, including the Millennium Development Goals."  The Letter is dated July 5.

  Assuring the participants of his "prayers and encouragement for this most important work," the Pope noted that "the conditions of extreme poverty afflicting many millions of people are a cause of grave concern to the international community. The Church, committed to a 'preferential option for the poor', naturally shares in that concern and strongly supports the Millennium goal of halving the number of people living in poverty by the year 2015. Through the many Catholic aid and development agencies she makes her own contribution to relief efforts, thereby continuing the work of Christ Himself, who came to bring good news to the poor, to feed the hungry, to serve and not to be served."

  "Much work has already been done," he wrote, "to reduce the burden of debt afflicting poor countries, but more is needed if developing nations are to escape from the crippling effects of under-investment and if developed countries are to fulfil their duty of solidarity with their less fortunate brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.  In the short to medium term, a commitment to increase foreign aid seems the only way forward, and the Church therefore welcomes the search for innovative solutions, such as the International Finance Facility."

  The Pope added that "at the same time, financial support from wealthy nations places an obligation on the receiver to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the use made of such assistance. I am confident that the governments of rich and poor countries alike will take seriously their responsibilities towards each other and towards their people."

Thursday, July 8, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Pierre Warin, president of the seminary of the diocese of Namur, Belgium, and episcopal vicar, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 8,067, population 698,000, Catholics 550,000, priests 823, permanent deacons 57, religious 1373), Belgium. The bishop-elect was born in Rocourt, Belgium in 1948 and was ordained a priest in 1972.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 8, 2004 (VIS) - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, announced this morning in a press conference on the 2003 Consolidated Financial Statement that Holy See closed the year with a deficit of 9.56 million euro, lower than the 2002 deficit of 13.5 million euro. It is the third consecutive year that the Holy See has had a deficit following the period of surpluses up to the year 2000.

  Cardinal Sebastiani said that, starting with the end of the year 2000, the world economy entered into a phase of crisis that reflected the effects of the turbulence provoked by different kinds of events such as the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, the last series of terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  "Only since the second half of 2003," he said, "was a certain recovery of stock activity evident, but in Europe investments are still lacking and above all demand is weak."

  In terms of the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, Congregations, Councils, Tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the president indicated that this sector closed the year with a deficit of 19.7 million euro, slightly lower than 2002.  "The volume of donations that came to the Holy See in 2003," he said, "showed in its various components a decrease, due also to the increased value of the euro in relation to the U.S. dollar and to other currencies, falling from roughly 85.4 million to 79.6 million."

  The president of the prefecture said that the sector of financial activities (7 consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) had a net deficit of 11.6 million euro. The real estate sector, he continued, closed with a surplus of 22.4 million euro, compared to 19.1 million in 2002.  The activity of the media institutions (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and Vatican Television), closed with a deficit of 1.2 million euros, compared to a 1.7 million deficit in 2002.
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