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Tuesday, February 17, 2004


VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Bishop Gerard Daucourt of Nanterre on his "ad limina" visit.

- Fouad Aoun, ambassador of Lebanon, on his farewell visit.

- Archbishop Alfons Nossol of Opole, Poland, with a delegation from the University of Opole.
AL:AP/./. VIS 20040217 (60)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2004 (VIS) - On February 25, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent and a day of fasting, the Holy Father will preside at 10:30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica at the celebration of the Word, during which he will bless and distribute ashes, according to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

The celebration will include the rite of introduction, the liturgy of the Word and a homily by the Holy Father, the blessing and imposition of ashes, the prayers of the faithful, the prayer of the Lord, and the concluding rite.
OCL/ASH WEDNESDAY/. VIS 20040217 (110)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2004 (VIS) - Twenty representatives of the University of Opole, Poland, who are in Rome to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its founding, were welcomed by the Pope today upon whom they conferred an honoris causa doctorate. The Pope recalled that ten years ago he consented to the institution of the Theology Faculty within the structure of a state university, knowing that "the birth of this athenaeum was very important for Opole."

"I thank God," he said, "for the fact that the University cooperates with the Church in the work of integration of society in Opole. . If we speak of integration of society, we do not mean this in the sense of the canceling of differences, of the unification of the way of thinking, of forgetting history - often marked by events that created divisions - but rather as a continuing search for those values that are common among men, that have different roots, a different story and, as a result, their own vision of the world and references to the societies they are living in."

"Today," the Holy Father stressed, "we speak of the Christian roots of Europe. If one sign of these are the cathedrals, the works of art, music and literature, they in a certain sense speak in silence. Universities, however, can speak out loud. . Yes, this voice might not be received by those who have been deafened by the ideology of the secularism of our continent but this does not release men of science . from the duty of giving witness . to that science and knowledge which grew in the fertile terrain of Christianity."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Archbishop Lawrence Burke, S.J., of Nassau, Bahamas, as metropolitan archbishop of Kingston in Jamaica (area 3,267, population 1,407,000, Catholics 92,000, priests 51, permanent deacons 21, religious 209), Jamaica. He succeeds Archbishop Edgerton Roland Clarke whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Patrick Pinder, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Nassau, Bahamas, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 13,872, population 310.000, Catholics 47,688, priests 28, permanent deacons 14, religious 43).
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