Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Monday, March 29, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 29, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Six prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop John Francis Donoghue of Atlanta.

    - Bishop Robert Joseph Baker of Charleston, accompanied by Bishop emeritus David Bernard Thompson.

    - Bishop Peter Joseph Jugis of Charlotte, accompanied by Bishop emeritus William George Curlin.

    - Bishop Francis Joseph Gossman of Raleigh.

- Msgr. Ambrose Madtha, nunciature counselor, charge d'affaires "ad interim."

  On Saturday, March 27,  the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians, Ukraine.
- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

- Archbishop Arturo Antonio Szymanski Ramirez, emeritus of San Luis Potosi, Mexico

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of  the Congregation for Bishops.
AP:AL/.../...            VIS 20040329 (150)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 29, 2004 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received the president and members of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and told  them that "your visit is yet another sign of the bonds of friendship between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church, bonds which we hope will grow ever stronger."

  This committee was founded in 1914 with the purpose of assisting Palestinian Jews caught in the throes of World War I. Throughout the years, the JDC has helped millions of Jews in 85 countries.  Its mission is to serve the needs of Jews throughout the world, particularly where their lives as Jews are threatened or made more difficult.

  "God has created man," continued the Pope, "in His image and has endowed human beings with the capacity to love. It is through love that we fulfill our destiny to act in the likeness of God. From this stems our duty to serve one another according to the commandment found in the Book of Leviticus: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.'  We are called especially to serve those who need our help to live in security, justice and freedom."
AC/.../AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE      VIS 20040329 (210) 


VATICAN CITY, MAR 28, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul II, in reflections made today before reciting the Angelus at noon with the faithful in St. Peter's Square, referred to his Lenten Message this year which centered on the precarious situation of countless children in the world who are victims of illness, lack of education and hunger, and asked the faithful to listen to "the anguished appeal" for help by these children.

  He stressed that many children suffer not only from malnutrition and "worrisome sanitary deprivations" but lack "even the minimum necessary for survival." In addition, he said, "in several places of the world, especially the poorest countries, there are children and adolescents who are victims of a horrible form of violence: they are enlisted to fight in the so-called 'forgotten conflicts'. They undergo in fact a scandalous double aggression: they become both victims and at the same time protagonists of the war, overcome by the hatred of adults. Deprived of everything, they see their future threatened by a nightmare that is difficult to remove.

  "These little brothers and sisters of ours who suffer hunger, war and illness," he said, "are making an anguished appeal to the world of adults. May their silent cry of pain not go unheard! Jesus reminds us: 'Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me'."

  After reciting the Angelus, John Paul II noted that almost "ten years have passed since April 7, 1994 when in Rwanda serious clashes broke out between Hutu and Tutsi, culminating in genocide where hundred of thousands of people were barbarically killed. Let us pray to the Lord that such a tragedy never happens again." He encouraged the people and civil and religious leaders of Rwanda, and the international community, to "not be discouraged" and to work to bring peace to the Great Lakes region.
ANG/CHILDREN:RWANDA/...        VIS 20040329 (320)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Marcel Madila, rector of the John Paul II University Seminary of Kinshasa, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Kananga (are3a 33,000, population 2,200,000, Catholics 1,320,000, priests 159, religious 294), Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bishop-elect Madila was born in 1955 in Demba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and was ordained a priest in 1981.

- Appointed Fr. Andrzej Dziuba, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Gniezno and teacher of moral theology at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University of Warsaw, as bishop of Lowicz (area 5,806, population 606,414, Catholics 604,354, priests 370, religious 566), Poland. He succeeds Bishop Alojzy Orszulik whose resignation the Pope accepted upon having reached the age limit. Bishop-elect Dziuba was born in 1950 in Zegocin, Poland and was ordained a priest in 1975.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, spoke on March 22 during the 60th session of the Human Rights Commission during the debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. This session started March 15 and ends April 23.

  In his talk, which was published today, the nuncio noted that "the wound of racism keeps returning to poison human relations. The forms taken by contemporary manifestations of racism are evident in spontaneous, officially tolerated or sometimes institutionalized behavior. In recent events intolerance, based on the idea of group superiority on the basis of the group's origin or attributed characteristics, provokes new violence and death, ethnic cleansing, refugee flows and untold misery."
  In the ongoing fight against racism, affirmed Archbishop Tomasi, "the cornerstone remains the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with its principles of equality without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

  "The challenge now facing us is to implement the growing body of directives protecting human rights and aiming in particular at the elimination of every form of racism and related intolerance. ... The achievement of these objectives has to begin from an attitude of acceptance of the ''other' and of a genuine appreciation of the multiplicity of gifts that human groups and cultures contribute to the work of the human family."

  In concluding remarks, the archbishop said that "the struggle against racism and all forms of intolerance stands a chance of success when human dignity and equality are recognized as the true foundation of social relations."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004  (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace today published the itinerary for the pastoral visit to Mexico of council president, Cardinal Renato Martino.

  His trip, which starts tomorrow and ends April 2, will include the inauguration of the Third World Congress of Families in Mexico City on March 29 and a speech to the congress on Wednesday, March 31. The aim of the world congress, says a council communique, "is to sensitize the government for concrete legislative and social initiatives in defense of the family, the primary and basic cell of society."

  On March 29 the cardinal will speak to students and teachers at the Iberoamericana University on the Church's commitment in favor of the poor. He will speak again on poverty in the afternoon to academicians of the Research Institute on Sustainable Development and Social Equity at this same university.

  On March 30 Cardinal Martino will visit the Minister for Social Development, dedicating special attention to the problems of indigenous peoples and will visit one of their towns, Aquixtla, near Puebla.

  The head of the pontifical council will address the World Congress of Families on Wednesday, March 31 on "The Family, Culture and Globalization." The following day, he will meet with the bishops of Mexico and members of the Episcopal Commission for Social Ministry and, in the afternoon, with the Mexican Institute of Social Doctrine. Before his departure on April 2, Cardinal Martino will meet with the Mexican Minister of Labor and Social Security.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - This afternoon the Pope celebrated Mass in the Paul VI Hall for the faithful of the Roman parishes St. John of the Cross, St. Felicity and the Seven Brothers Martyrs and Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria.

  In the homily, the Holy Father said that the parishioners had prepared for this gathering by reflecting on the "pastoral priorities and the most urgent and important apostolic challenges." They arrived at the conclusion that "for incisive Christian witness in today's world promoting fraternal communion among all members of the parish is indispensable."

  "A united parish," he continued, "in which the diversity of ministries and charisms is respected, shows its face as an embracing family, uniquely inspired by the desire to announce and bear witness to the Gospel! Continue on this path, dear brothers and sisters!"

  John Paul II reiterated his invitation to "set out into the deep" and urged the faithful "to worry about those who are far from the faith, in addition to those who are believers. In the first place, take special care of families and young people. May the privileged objective of your evangelical activity be the pastoral care of young people. ... Furthermore, never tire of nurturing vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life with prayer and example. ... In addition, be attentive to the spiritual and material needs of your brothers and sisters, near and far. In this respect, I thank you for the commitment that every community wanted to show me today in adopting a child in another country."

  After urging them to allow themselves to be "conquered by Christ," he concluded by saying: "May His word of salvation and merciful love penetrate your consciences and guide you in your daily decisions. ... It is necessary to spread the Gospel to many people who are waiting for it perhaps without even knowing it. Christ is counting on you.  Do not let Him down!"
HML/.../ROMAN PARISHES            VIS 20040329 (330)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning received the participants in the course on the internal forum that is organized each year by the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary, headed by the major penitentiary, Cardinal James Francis Stafford.

   When the new "Rite of Penance, so rich in biblical, theological and liturgical references," entered into force in Italy thirty years ago, said the Holy Father, "the Church placed in our hands an opportune aid to live the Sacrament of pardon in the light of the Risen Christ."

  John Paul II noted that "the fruit of this   sacrament is not only the remission of sins, necessary for who has sinned. It also performs an authentic "spiritual resurrection', restores the dignity and the good of the life of the children of God, the most precious of which is friendship with God. It would be illusory to desire to reach holiness, according to the vocation that each one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and sanctification," that, together with the Eucharist, "accompanies the path of the Christian towards perfection."

  "Penance, by its nature," he explained, "involves purification, in both the acts of the penitent who lays bare his conscience because of the deep need to be pardoned and reborn, and in the effusion of sacramental grace that purifies and renews."

  The Pope stated that "Penance is a sacrament of enlightenment. ... Those who go to confession frequently and do so with the desire to make progress, know they have received in this sacrament, through pardon from God and grace from the Spirit, a precious light for the path of perfection."

  "Finally," he said, "the Sacrament of Penance achieves a 'unifying encounter with Christ'. Progressively, from confession to confession, the faithful feel an ever deeper communion with the merciful Lord - up to fully identifying with Him - that one has in that perfect 'life of Christ' in which true holiness consists."

  The Holy Father underlined that this Sacrament "is also a gift for us priests who, called to exercise the sacramental ministry, also ask to have our sins pardoned. The joy of pardoning and being pardoned go hand in hand."

  "All confessors," he concluded, "have the great responsibility to exercise this ministry with benevolence, wisdom and courage. Their duty is to make lovable and desirable this encounter which purifies and renews us on the path to Christian perfection and on our pilgrimage to our home."
AC/PENANCE/STAFFORD        VIS 20040329 (410)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service