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Thursday, June 17, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2004 (VIS) - In recent weeks the following prelates died:

- Archbishop Ubaldo Calabresi, apostolic nuncio, on June 14 at age 79.

- Bishop Antonio Cardoso Cunha, emeritus of Vila Real, Portugal on June 13 at age 88.

- Bishop Nicholas Dattilo of Harrisburg, U.S.A on March 5 at age 72.

- Bishop Karl Borromaus Flugel, former auxiliary of Regensburg, Germany, on June 1 at age 88.

- Bishop Michel-Joseph-Gerard Gagnon, M. Afr., of Laghouat, Algeria on June 1 at age 71.

- Bishop Alfredo Maria Garsia, emeritus of Caltanissetta, Italy on June 4 at age 76.

- Bishop Victor Guazzelli, former auxiliary of Westminster, England on June 1 at age 84.

- Bishop Ramon Masnou Boixeda, emeritus of Vic, Spain on June 9 at age 96.

- Bishop Luigi Sposito, former secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, on June 11 at age 83.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Erected the new ecclesiastical province of Trivandrum of the Latins, India dividing it from the ecclesiastical province of Verapoly, India. The new ecclesiastical province will consist of the suffragans of Alleppey, Neyyattinkara, Panular and Quilon.

- Appointed Bishop Maria Callist Soosa Pakiam of Trivandrum of the Latins, India as  the first metropolitan archbishop of  the new ecclesiastical province of Trivandrum (area 9,518, population 11,253,583, Catholics 756,301, priests 500, religious 2,062).

- Appointed Fr. Andrew Marak, pastor of St. Teresa Parish in Dadengre, India as coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Tura (area 8,500, population 791,502, Catholics 189,029, priests 71, religious 163), India. The bishop-elect was born in 1950 in Chimagre, India and was ordained a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, apostolic nuncio in Korea, as apostolic nuncio in Mongolia.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil and president of the National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil, accompanied by Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer, auxiliary of Sao Paulo and secretary general of the same episcopal conference

- Four prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Colombia on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Julio Enrique Prado Bolanos of Pasto.

    - Bishop Gustavo Giron Higuita, O.C.D., of Tumaco.

    - Bishop Edgar Hernando Tirado Mazo, apostolic vicar of Tierradentro.

    - Bishop Hernan Alvarado Solano, apostolic vicar of Guapi.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 17, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received bishops from the Colombian ecclesiastical provinces of Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, Manizales, Popayan and Santa Fe de Antioquia, the first group from Colombia to make their "ad limina" visit this year.

  After emphasizing the "fruits of holiness" in the Colombian Church, with the recent beatifications of Fr. Mariano Euse and Mother Laura Montoya, "venerated as a mother of the indigenous," the Pope encouraged the bishops to keep up their hope for the future, "while working for the service of the kingdom of God, spurred on by Christ's words, 'Duc in altum.' ... With these words of Christ which I have proposed as a motto for the third Christian millennium, I want to encourage you to continue, without disappointments and with total confidence in the Lord in the task of evangelization, the primordial mission of the Church."

  In Colombia, he continued, "where for years there has been an internal conflict that causes so many innocent victims, so much pain for families and society; a conflict which generates poverty, insecurity and stifles the possibilities for integral development, you are conscious that in pastoral care you must give priority to peace and reconciliation, contributing in this way to building up society on the solid Christian principles of hope, justice, love and freedom, and also fomenting the forgiveness that is born from a sincere desire for reconciliation with God and our brothers and sisters."

  John Paul II urged the prelates never to hesitate "to put all their zeal and pastoral commitment into promoting reconciliation which comes from evangelization, with the intimate conviction that it will illuminate the activity of Christian lay people and will be an effective and permanent remedy for the difficult and serious evils that afflict many citizens of your nation, due to the internal civil conflict which has caused so many deaths, claiming as its victims even servants of the Gospel." He then recalled Msgr. Isaias Duarte, archbishop of Cali, as well as other priests and religious who have been assassinated in recent years.

  "Another area of pastoral activity that requires special attention," he said, "includes promoting and defending the institution of the family, which is so attacked today from diverse fronts with multiple and subtle arguments." The Pope highlighted the bishops' efforts "to defend and promote the institution of family" and he emphasized the "need to continue to proclaim firmly the truth about marriage and family, established by God, as an authentic service to society.  Not doing so would be a grave pastoral omission that would induce believers to error, as well as those have the serious responsibility to make decisions for the common good of the nation."

  After stressing that "a sign of hope for the Church in Colombia is the flourishing of vocations," the Holy Father encouraged the bishops not to "neglect an assiduous pastoral care for the future" in this field, "conscious of the irreplaceable role of each ecclesial community in this duty," founded on prayer for vocations and preparation of young people in order to hear the divine call to follow Christ.

  The Pope asked the Colombian prelates to convey his greetings to young people and in particular "to those who are preparing for the priesthood or religious life, to families, ... and especially to those families that are suffering due to members who have been kidnapped, to the poor and needy, ... and the sick and elderly."
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