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Monday, April 5, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2004 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Bishop Rafael Caro Bellido, emeritus of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, on March 16 at age 80.

- Bishop Miguel D'Aversa, S.D.B., emeritus of Humaita, Brazil, on March 20 at age 88.

- Archbishop-Bishop Ricardo Florez Durand, S.J., emeritus of Callao, Peru on March 19 at age 86.

- Archbishop Luis Anibal Rodriguez Pardo, emeritus of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia on March 26 at age 89.

- Archbishop Joakim Segedi, emeritus of Krizevci, Serbia-Montenegro on March 20 at age 99.

- Bishop Kenneth Edward Untener of Saginaw, U.S.A., on March 27, 2004 at age 66.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Wroclaw, Poland, presented by Cardinal Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz upon having reached the age limit. He promoted Bishop Marian Golebiewski of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Poland to the same metropolitan see.

 - Appointed Bishop Francois-Xavier Yombandje of Kaga-Bondoro, Central African Republic and apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese, as bishop of Bossangoa (area 62,420, population 498,458, Catholics 124,615, priests 34, religious 56), Central African Republic.

 - Appointed Fr. Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru as canonist and Fr. Ubaldo Todeschini, O.S.M., as counsellor of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

  - Appointed Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, archbishop of Krakow, Poland, as his special envoy to the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Lisieux, France which will take place  on July 11, 2004.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, president of the Republic of Costa Rica, and an entourage.

- Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger , archbishop of Paris, France.

  On Saturday April 3, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations offices in Geneva, has been participating in the 60th session of the Human Rights Commission which is taking place in that Swiss city March 15-April 23. On April 1 he addressed the assembly on the topics of civil and political rights and religious intolerance.

  On the question of religious freedom and the place of religions in society, the nuncio pointed out that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights both articulates and promotes religious freedom. He cited, in part, Article 18: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion," adding that this right "includes both an individual and an institutional dimension. ... International juridical instruments ... have constantly affirmed the value and importance of religious freedom and also provided protection against discrimination for all religious believers."

  "Unfortunately," said Archbishop Tomasi, "religious freedom continues to be violated in several places and there is an added dimension today of non-State groups taking upon themselves the initiative to discriminate and even use violence against religious minorities, in many cases with impunity. Places of worship and cemeteries are even burned down or vandalized or desecrated; believers are threatened, attacked and even killed, and their leaders are made a special target of discrimination."

  He added that "an emerging subtle form of religious intolerance is opposing the right of religion to speak publicly on issues concerning forms of behavior that are measured against principles of a moral and religious nature. While respecting a healthy sense of the State's secular nature, the positive role of believers in public life should be recognized. This corresponds, among other things, to the demands of a healthy pluralism and contributes to the building up of authentic democracy."


VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received the president of the Republic of Costa Rica, Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, to whom he expressed his joy at "the existing collaboration between the Church and the authorities of your country."

  After urging Costa Ricans "to continue walking on the solid foundation of a just, unified, responsible and peaceful society," John Paul II renewed his wishes "for the spiritual and material progress of your people, for their coexistence in harmony and freedom."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father received 3,000 young people from 30 different countries who are participating in the UNIV International Congress 2004, which is meeting on the theme "Protecting Culture: The Language of Advertising."

  Referring to this year's World Youth Day theme, "We want to see Jesus," the Pope urged those present "not to stifle this desire in the depths of your heart. Know how to overcome every superficial emotion, while resisting the seductions of pleasure and the ambitions of selfishness and comfort."

  While commenting on the theme of the annual congress, John Paul II said that "it is necessary to know how to use language that is capable of transmitting positive messages and of promoting ideals and noble initiatives in an attractive way.  It is also necessary to know how to discern what are the limits and the snares of the languages that the media propose to us. Sometimes, advertisements offer a superficial and inadequate vision of life, the person, family and of morality."

  "In order to carry out this difficult mission, it is necessary to follow Jesus closely in prayer and in contemplation.  In addition, being His friends in today's world means going against the current.  I invite you in a special way to spread the Christian vision of the virtue of purity, knowing how to show your peers that 'purity comes from love and the strength and gaiety of youth are no obstacle for noble love'."

  The Pope asked the young people of UNIV to be "the leaven of hope in this world that looks for Jesus sometimes without even knowing it," and he repeated what he said in a similar gathering twenty years ago: "If man ... walks with God, he is capable of changing the world.' ... In order to make this world better, make an effort to change yourselves through the sacrament of reconciliation and through intimate identification with Christ in the Eucharist."
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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Square, the Pope presided at the solemn Eucharistic celebration of Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord in which 30,000 people participated. Before the Mass, he blessed palm and olive branches.

  In the homily, John Paul II said that "in a climate of joy, veiled in sadness, which characterizes Palm Sunday, we celebrate the 19th World Youth Day whose theme this year is 'We want to see Jesus'."

  The Pope indicated that "Jesus dies on the cross for each one of us. The cross, therefore, is the greatest and most eloquent sign of His merciful love, the unique sign of salvation for each generation and for all of humanity."

  After recalling that twenty years ago, at the end of the Holy Year of the Redemption, he gave the cross of that Jubilee to young people, he affirmed that since then "it continues to travel to many countries in preparation for the World Youth Days. ... It has become a luminous sign of the faith that inspires the young generations of the third millenium."

  In commemorating this anniversary, he said, "let the same gift of that moment renew you: 'I entrust the Cross of Christ to you!' Carry it throughout the world as a sign of Jesus Christ's love for humanity, and announce to all that only in Christ, Who died and rose from the dead, is there salvation and redemption."

  "Certainly the message that the Cross communicates is not easy to understand in our age in which material well-being and comforts are proposed and sought after as important values. But for you, dear young people, do not be afraid to proclaim the Gospel of the Cross in every circumstance!  Do not be afraid to go against the current!"

  During the prayers of the faithful, reference was made to the conflict in the Middle East, with a prayer for peace in Jerusalem "so that it may become a place of encounter and dialogue among believers in one God". There was also a prayer in Arabic for young people who place their hope in a more just and habitable world.

  After the Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted young Germans who had participated at the Brandenburg Gate in a liturgical celebration presided by Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky, archbishop of Berlin, as they welcomed the Cross of past World Youth Days. "The Cross," said the Pope, "will travel throughout your land until it arrives in Cologne where in August, 2005 the 20th World Youth Day will be celebrated.  I encourage the entire Church in Germany to come this great gathering."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2004 (VIS) - Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will present The Holy Father's Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 2004 in a conference to be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Holy See Press Office on Tuesday, April 6. Joining the cardinal for the presentation will be Archbishop Csaba Ternyak, secretary of the congregation.


VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning welcomed a group of 500 faithful from the Vatican City parish church of St. Anne as celebrations get underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the parish, instituted by Pope Pius XI on May 30, 1929 with the Apostolic Constitution "Ex Lateranensi pacto." Among those present were a number of Augustinians, to whom the church is entrusted, including the pastor, Father Gioele Schiavella, representatives of religious who work in the parish and the lay faithful.

  The Pope recalled that "following the stipulations of the (1929) Lateran Pacts which constituted Vatican City State, Pius XI wanted to provide for the spiritual life of the faithful living in the territory of the new State and entrusted the parish to the pastoral care of the Augustinian Order." Over time, he said, and "thanks to everyone's efforts, the Church of St. Anne has become an oasis of the spirit where prayer and participation in liturgical celebrations are led with great decorum and devotion."

  "I also know," added the Holy Father, "that within the parish there are many groups dedicated to many different apostolic and evangelizing activities," especially to caring for "our neediest brothers and sisters." He said that this anniversary is "an occasion to thank God for the rich past experiences" but also "to become stimulated and encouraged to pursue the path undertaken."

  "Dear brothers and sisters," said John Paul II in closing, "I feel especially united to your church, which is right at the entrance to the Vatican."

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