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Friday, February 13, 2004


VATICAN CITY, FEB 13, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, accompanied by Bishop Bruno Bertagna and Msgr. Bernard A. Hebda, respectively secretary and undersecretary of this pontifical council.

This afternoon the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio in Haiti.

- Mario Baccini, Italian undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, with his family.

- Bishop Bernard Charrier of Tulle, France on his "ad limina" visit.

- A group of prelates from the French Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit.
AP:AL/./. VIS 20040213 (80)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 13, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul delivered the homily at the funeral this morning in St. Peter's Basilica of Cardinal Opilio Rossi, 93, who died four days ago in Rome after a life dedicated to service in the Roman Curia and in the Vatican's diplomatic corps.

The Pope underscored that it was "faith which animated the long and fecund priestly ministry of Cardinal Opilio Rossi. How many times did he celebrate the divine Sacrifice, drawing from the Eucharist the light and inner strength needed for his daily choices and for his apostolate!"

Noting that his episcopal motto was "Omnia in Christo" ("All in Christ"), the Pope said: "We can say that, even within the limits of human fragility, this total tension towards Christ was behind the tireless service he gave to the Holy See in the pontifical representations in diverse countries in America and Europe, and again within the milieu of the Roman Curia.

"During the dramatic moments of World War II," he continued, "Fr. Opilio Rossi, then an auditor in the pontifical representative in Berlin, gave everything he had, along with the late apostolic nuncio, Msgr. Orsenigo, to assist many suffering brothers and sisters, giving them courage and nourishing in them faith and Christian hope. It was an enriching experience of humanity and solidarity towards the weakest. He then sought, over the course of his life, to transmit this experience to new generations. He was in fact convinced that young people must draw from the history of the 20th century an important lesson: that is, that hatred, disdain for others, violence, and exasperated nationalism bring forth only tears and blood."

John Paul II then recalled that Cardinal Rossi returned to the Roman Curia where he became the first president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and that he himself called the cardinal to preside over the Permanent Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

"Wherever he undertook his pastoral and diplomatic ministry," concluded the Pope, Cardinal Rossi "knew how to become close to everyone."
HML/FUNERAL ROSSI/. VIS 20040213 (350)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 13, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Roland Minnerath, professor of Church History in the Faculty of Theology at the State University of Strasbourg, France, as metropolitan archbishop of Dijon (area 8,760, population 506,783, Catholics 408,973, priests 222, permanent deacons 28, religious 398), France. The archbishop-elect was born in 1946 in Sarreguemines, France and was ordained a priest in 1978. He succeeds Archbishop Michel Coloni whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.
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