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Monday, May 10, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger, as apostolic nuncio in Sri Lanka.

  It was made public on Saturday May 8 that the Holy Father appointed Msgr. Rene Rebolledo Salinas, vicar general of the diocese of Villarrica, Chile as bishop of Osorno (area 9,236, population 211,509, Catholics 113,159, priests 41, permanent deacons 7, religious 96), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Cunco, Chile in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1984.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Twelve prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Region XI) on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Thomas J. Curry, Gabino Zavala, Gerald E. Wilkerson, Edward William Clark, Oscar Azarcon Solis, and Joseph M. Santoris, emeritus.

    - Bishop Robert Henry Brom, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone.

    - Bishop John Thomas Steinbock of Fresno.
    - Bishop Sarhad Yawsip Jammo of Saint Peter the Apostle of San Diego of the Chaldeans.

    - Bishop Sylvester D. Ryan of Monterey in California. 

- Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

- Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan and president of the Toniolo Institute.

  On Saturday May 8, the Holy Father received in audience Msgr. Francesco Follo, permanent observer to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2004 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, made the following declaration this morning:

  "Upon the invitation of the government of the United Kingdom, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, will make an official visit to London on May 11-13, 2004.

  "In the course of his stay, Archbishop Lajolo will meet with different government authorities including the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jack Straw, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, and will visit the two houses of Parliament.

  "In addition, he will meet with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster and with Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2004 (VIS) - Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of he Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, arrives today in Bucharest, Romania where he is scheduled in coming days to meet His Beatitude Teoctist, other religious and civil authorities and to receive an 'honoris causa' doctorate at the University of Babes-Bolyai.

  According to a communiqué published this morning by the council, Cardinal Kasper will meet His Beatitude Teoctist, patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, tomorrow in the patriarchal residence. The day will start with a "paraclisi" followed by lunch. The cardinal will bring a gift and a special message to His Beatitude from Pope John Paul II to mark the fifth anniversary of their historic encounter on May 6, 1999. The patriarch returned that visit by coming to Rome in October 2002.

  During his visit Cardinal Kasper will meet with the Latin Catholics, the Greek Catholics of Romania and members of the government. On May 13 he will travel to Cluj-Napoca where he will receive an honoris causa doctorate at the University of Babes-Boyai. The university has four theology faculties: Orthodox, Latin, Greek Catholic and Protestant, in addition to an Institute of Hebrew Studies. Cardinal Kasper will deliver a talk entitled "Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church Forty Years After the Council Decree 'Unitatis Redintegratio'." While in Cluj-Napoca the cardinal will also visit Lucian Blaga University.


VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, before praying the Regina Coeli this morning with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, focused on Mary, and said that, in this month traditionally dedicated to her, "her maternal presence is a support for Christians and for the entire world."

  Her "yes" to becoming the mother of the Redeemer led to her becoming the spiritual mother of all mankind, said the Pope. "Our Lady expresses her maternity 'in her exceptional closeness to man and to all that happens to him'. If only all human beings could feel this extraordinary gift! How much easier it would be for them to feel like brothers, renouncing hatred and violence to open up their hearts to pardon for the offenses received and to respect, without reserve, for the dignity of every human being,"

  The Pope noted that May 13 marks the anniversary of the apparition of Mary at Fatima and her call to conversion. "May the men and women of our time welcome the pressing invitation of she who lovingly  watches over the Church and the world."

  After reciting the Regina Coeli, John Paul II remarked on the celebration today in Rome of the Spring Marathon promoted by the diocese of Rome, adding that other Italian dioceses had sponsored similar initiatives.

  In his greetings to teachers and students, he stated that "unfortunately many children in the world are deprived of primary education and end up being exploited as workers. The World Congress Against the Exploitation of Minors, which will meet in coming days in Florence, will be highlighting this. I hope that this meeting will contribute to promoting the effective recognition of the rights of children."

  The Holy Father closed by noting that today is Mother's Day. "May the Mother of Jesus protect and sustain all mothers in the world."
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father wrote a letter to participants in the ecumenical meeting "All Together for Europe," which takes place today in Stuttgart, Germany. Representatives from 175 Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Anglican movements and communities are participating in the meeting which is being broadcast simultaneously in 158 European cities.

  The Pope writes in the letter than on this European day of encounter and dialogue participants "gather to reflect on their Christian roots and on the future of the European continent in the light of the Gospel."

  After emphasizing that the Christian faith "represents the present and future of Europe," John Paul II recalls that "the many witnesses to the faith who have been victims of the bloody and painful persecutions of European history during the 20th century represent a common heritage for all Christian confessions. May this heritage strengthen the desire for unity among European Christians and their commitment to the work of evangelization."

  The Christians gathered in Stuttgart, he continues, "bear witness that the Gospel has helped them to overcome egotistical nationalism and to see Europe as a family of peoples, rich in culture diversity and historical experiences, but at the same time, united in a sort of community of destinies.  This is the awareness that the Europe of tomorrow needs in order to participate in the great events to which it is called by history. ... Ecumenical dialogue decisively contributes to developing a European identity based on the Christian faith."

  "A united Europe, however, cannot think only of itself and close itself off within its borders and its own well-being. Europe is called to serve the world, especially the poorest and most forgotten parts like Africa, in particular, characterized by so many serious problems. It is not possible to build a common European house without worrying about the general well-being of humanity."

  The Pope concludes by emphasizing that "Europe needs the commitment and enthusiasm of Christians, especially the youth, in order to receive the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ... The new evangelization," he concludes, "gives a new soul to Europe and helps the continent to no longer live for itself and only within its own borders, but rather to make humanity more human, respectful of life, and to create a generous presence in the theaters of the world."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2004 (VIS)  - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, metropolitan archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, will take possession of the titular church of Sts. Joachim and Anne at Tuscolano on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. on Viale Bruno Rizzieri, 120 in Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2004 (VIS) - Ambassadors of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization were welcomed this morning to the Vatican by the Holy Father who, in his talk to them in English and French, said he "prays that organizations like UNESCO remain an essential element in building a true culture based on peace, justice and fairness."

   "The advancement of human society is directly related to the progress of culture," he said. "Mankind, in fact, lives a truly human life because of culture, an important expression of which is found in the arts and sciences."

  The Pope went on to say that "the Church has always been a friend of arts and sciences. In fact, the world artistic heritage is a treasure of human creativity. ... The Church constantly uses fine arts to help celebrate the gift of life and, especially, her sacred rites in a worthy, just and beautiful manner." He stressed the Church's support for and encouragement of arts and sciences,  "especially in her promotion of the dignity and value of human life."

  In the Church, he added, this support has been tangibly expressed through institutions such as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which just marked its fourth centenary, and the Pontifical Academies of Social Sciences and Life.

  "Unfortunately," stated John Paul II, "in these difficult times, we often see our progress threatened by the evils of war, poverty, racism and the exploitation of others. These adverse influences not only weigh on our human existence but they also hinder our capacity to build a better world."
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