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Wednesday, May 12, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Filippo Santoro, auxiliary of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, as bishop of Petropolis (area 2,880, population 760,000, Catholics 595,000, priests 109, religious 459), Brazil.  He accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Jose Carlos de Lima Vaz, S.J., upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Ignace Bessi Dogbo, vicar general of the diocese of Yopougon and pastor of the Cathedral in the Ivory Coast, as bishop of Katiola (area 32,835, population 544,776, Catholics 51,075, priests 44, religious 47), Ivory Coast.  The bishop-elect was born in Niangon-Adjame, Ivory Coast in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1987.

- Appointed Bishop Marie Daniel Dadiet of Katiola, Ivory Coast as metropolitan archbishop of Korhogo (area 22,595, population 687,819, Catholics 25,819, priests 37, religious 70), Ivory Coast.

- Appointed Rafael Llano Cifuentes, auxiliary of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as bishop of Nova Friburgo (area 10,086, population 620,000, Catholics 500,000, priests 74, permanent deacons religious 76), Brazil.

- Appointed Fr. Paulo Francisco Machado, rector of the diocesan seminary of Petropolis, Brazil as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of  Juiz de Fora (area 10,737, population 667,000, Catholics 533,000, priests 118, permanent deacons 1, religious 212), Brazil.  The bishop-elect born in 1952 in Andorinhas, Brazil and was ordained a priest in 1977.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2004 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience and the weekly catechesis in Italian, French, English. Spanish, German and Portuguese, the Pope greeting the 15,000 faithful in St. Peter's Square in those languages as well as Dutch, Croatian, Slovak and Polish.

  John Paul II greeted his fellow Poles and said he was especially happy "for the presence of a large group of children making their First Communion in the church of St. Stanislaw in Rome. I entrust to God all children who at this time of year are receiving Christ in their hearts for the first time. I hope they may nourish the spirit of faith of their parents and their dear ones. May they learn to love Jesus with all their lives and, with Our Lady's help may they persevere in the faith."

  The Pope then welcomed members of an Italian association that promotes peace, accompanied by several bishops from Tuscany. "To them and to all present I renew my invitation to pray for peace in the world, especially in Iraq and the Middle East. With the support of the international community, may those dear populations be able to start walking decisively on  the path of reconciliation, dialogue and cooperation."

  In closing remarks to young people, the sick and the newlyweds, he noted that tomorrow is the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima. "I exhort you all to incessantly turn to Our Lady with faith, entrusting to her your every need."
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2004 (VIS) - During today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope's catechesis focused on Psalm 29 "Gratitude at being freed from death."

  John Paul II said that the psalm invites us to give thanks to God "who has freed us from the fear of death. ... The night of death has passed and the dawn of a new day breaks. Christian tradition has therefore read this psalm as a paschal hymn. The psalmist repeatedly addresses the Lord ... in order to announce that he will praise Him as well as to recall the cry to Him in the time of trial and his liberating intervention, and to invoke once again His mercy."

  "Emotions," he continued, "vacillate between terrible memories of the trial and the joy of liberation. ... The vision of life which continues has overshadowed death."

  The Holy Father indicated that the psalm "teaches us that we must never be ensnared into the dark confusion of despair when everything seems to be lost.  Of course, we also cannot fall into the trap of believing that we can save ourselves on our own, with our own resources. The psalmist is tempted by pride and self-sufficiency 'I said in my prosperity, I shall never be moved'."

  "The Fathers of the Church taught us," he added, "that this is a temptation that comes in times of well-being and they saw a divine call to humility in times of tribulation."

  The Pope concluded by affirming that "aspiration to victory has always continued to be present despite everything, and has become, in the end, a hope for resurrection.  Satisfaction for this powerful aspiration has been fully ensured with Christ's Resurrection which we can never thank God enough for."
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