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Monday, February 2, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JAN 31, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father received 10,000 young people from the Youth Missionary Service (SERMIG - Arsenal of Peace, Turin, Italy), which for years has been dedicated to promoting concrete initiatives in favor of peace in various parts of the world.

The Pope affirmed: "You seek to be messengers, witnesses and tireless apostles of peace. Thank you for your youthful enthusiasm! Thank you for the hope you give to the Church and to the world!"

John Paul II addressed a special greeting to Ernesto Olivero, who founded the association forty years ago, and to the actors of Turin's "Teatro Stabile," who staged an artistic and musical performance.

After recalling the theme of the meeting, "Peace will win if we talk together," the Pope highlighted "the close connection that exists between respect for others, dialogue and peace." And he added, "in our own time, characterized by a dense network of exchanges between different cultures and religions, it is necessary to promote and facilitate acceptance and reciprocal understanding between individuals and peoples. Your Fraternity is dedicated to this mission and offers a much-appreciated contribution to the cause of peace."

The Holy Father went on to refer to the "University of Dialogue" which, he said, "seeks to give a voice to young people from all nations, cultures and religions so as to build a world in which everyone is a full member of the single human family. This dialogue must embrace all aspects of social, economic and religious life."

"In the face of increasing violence, of a spreading hedonistic and consumerist mentality, and of growing diffidence and fear, we most vigorously reaffirm that peace is possible and that, being possible, it is also right and necessary. This conviction has guided you", he concluded, "in the four decades of your history."
AC/PEACE/SERMIG VIS 20040202 (320)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for February is: "For peaceful coexistence among Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land."

His mission intention is: "That in Oceania priestly and religious vocations for evangelization in the local Churches may receive special care."


VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2004 (VIS) - Before praying the angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, John Paul II spoke about the Day for Life, which is being held in Italy today and the theme of which is: "There is no future without children."

The Pope mentioned that in their message for this Day, Italian bishops highlight the "multiple causes behind the current crisis in births" and recall that "very often the cultural and social context does not favor the family or the mission of parents. Furthermore, many couples would like to have more children, but are forced to give up because of economic difficulties. The assistance of public organizations, though appreciable, is often insufficient. The need is felt for a more comprehensive policy in support of the family."

After stressing that the family is the "fundamental unit of society," the Holy Father said that "within the family, life must always be promoted, defended and protected. This Day for Life reminds everyone of this fundamental duty."

"We must not resign ourselves to the attacks against human life, first among them abortion" the Pope exclaimed. "I renew my appreciation for the courageous support that the Italian Movement for Life gives this cause, and I exhort all ecclesial communities to support its initiatives and services. Efforts must be increased in order to affirm the right to life of children not yet born, not against mothers but together with mothers."
ANG/DEFENSE LIFE/... VIS 20040202 (250)


VATICAN CITY, JAN 31, 2004 (VIS) - Below is the calendar of liturgical celebrations due to be presided by the Holy Father during the months of February and March.


- Monday 2, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Day of Consecrated Life. In the Vatican Basilica at 5:30 p.m., blessing of candles, procession and Mass with members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

- Wednesday 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. In the Vatican Basilica at 4:30 p.m., Mass for the "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi" and UNITALSI, presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. At the end of the celebration, the Holy Father will greet and bless the sick present in the basilica.

- Thursday 19, in the Clementine Hall at 11:00 a.m., consistory for a number of causes of canonization.

- Wednesday 25, Ash Wednesday. In the Vatican Basilica at 10:30 a.m., celebration of the Word, blessing and imposition of the ashes.

- Sunday 29, first Sunday of Lent. In the Apostolic Palace's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel at 6:00 p.m., beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.


- Saturday 6, In the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel at 9:00 a.m., conclusion of Roman Curia's spiritual exercises.

- Sunday 21, fourth Sunday of Lent. At 9:30 a.m., beatification of the Servants of God: Luigi Talamoni, Matilde del Sagrado, Corazon Tellez Robles, Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz Real, and Maria Candida dell'Eucaristia.


VATICAN CITY, FEB 2, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Enrique Planas y Coma, study assistant of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, as bureau chief of the same pontifical council.

- Bishop Pierfranco Pastore as member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

On Saturday, January 31, it was made public that he:

- Raised Msgr. Raffaello Funghini, president of the Court of Appeal of Vatican City State, to the dignity of archbishop. Up until now Msgr. Funghini was dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

- Appointed Msgr. Antoni Stankiewicz, prelate auditor of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, as dean of the same apostolic tribunal.

- Appointed Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Appointed Fr. Juan Navarro Castellanos, pastor of St. Julian, Mexico, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Acapulco (area 18.603, population 3.955.000, Catholics 2.836.000, priests 108, permanent deacons 20, religious 224) Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in San Jose de Gracia, Mexico, in 1945 and ordained priest in 1977.
NA:NEA/.../... VIS 20040202 (200)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 2, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences four bishops of the French Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Hippolyte Simon, of Clermont.

- Bishop Henri Brincard, of Le Puy-en-Velay.

- Bishop Pascal Roland, of Moulins.

- Bishop Rene Sejourne, of Saint-Flour.

On Saturday, January 31, he received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal James Francis Stafford, major penitentiary.

- Archbishop John Patrick Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, accompanied by his co-workers.
AP/.../... VIS 20040202 (90)


THE OFFICE OF LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF today announced that Cardinals Tomas Spidlik, S.J., and Phillipe Barbarin, metropolitan archbishop of Lyon, France, will take possession, respectively, of the Deaconate of Sant'Agata dei Goti (February 5 at 6:30 p.m.) and the Title of the Most Holy Trinity at Monte Pincio (February 7 at 5:00 p.m.).

MADE PUBLIC TODAY WAS A LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER, written in Latin and dated January 28, in which he appoints Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Ministry, as his special envoy at the celebration of the Twelfth World Day of the Sick, which is due to take place on February 11 at Lourdes, France. The cardinal will be accompanied by Frs. Pierre-Marie Charriez and Henri Frechou, of the diocese of Tarbes et Lourdes.
.../IN BRIEF/... VIS 20040202 (140)
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