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, June 21, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Illigan, Philippines, presented by Bishop Emilio L. Bataclan in accordance with Canon 401, par. 2 of the Code of Canon Law and he appointed him auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Cebu, (area 5,088, population 3,320,497, Catholics 2,872,434, priests 592, religious 1,636), Philippines.

- Appointed Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, official of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as undersecretary of the same council.

  On Saturday, June 19, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop André Rivest, auxiliary of Montreal, Canada, as bishop of Chicoutimi (area 90,850, population 264,486, Catholics 260,915, priests 203, permanent deacons 39, religious 697), Canada.  He succeeds Bishop Jean-Guy Couture whose resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Jose Miguel Angel Giles Vazquez, vicar general of Toluca, Mexico, as bishop of Ciudad Altamirano (area 16,000, population 690,000, Catholics 676,100, priests 61, religious 100), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Coatepec Harinas, Mexico in 1941 was ordained a priest in 1964.

- Appointed Fr. Florentino Galang Lavarias, director of the "Assist" Program of the Filipino Episcopal Conference, as bishop of Iba (area 3,642, population 650,637, Catholics 520,509, priests 41, religious 93), Philippines.  The bishop-elect was born in 1957 in Santa Ines, Philippines and was ordained a priest in 1985.

- Appointed Bishop Isabelo Caiban Abarquez, auxiliary of Cebu, Philippines, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Palo (area 4,620, population 1,572,472, Catholics 1,257,977, priests 142, religious 142), Philippines.

- Appointed Bishop Louis Dicaire, auxiliary of Montreal, Canada, as auxiliary of Saint-Jean Longueuil (area 2,073, population 654,066, Catholics 569,000, priests 148, permanent deacons 3, religious 432), Canada.

- Appointed Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, as his special envoy to the closing celebrations of the pilgrimage of European youth in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on August 7 and 8, 2004.
RE:NEA:NA:NER:/.../...            VIS 20040621 (330)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Three prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

    - Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett of Seattle.

    - Bishop William Stephen Skylstad of Spokane

    - Bishop Carlos Arthur Sevilla, S.J., of Yakima. 

- Archbishop Mario Giordana, apostolic nuncio in Haiti, with family members.

  On Saturday June 19, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Armand Gaetan Razafindratandra, archbishop of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

- Acisclo Valladares Molina, ambassador of Guatemala on his farewell visit.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AL:AP/.../...                     VIS 20040621 (100)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2004 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following declaration today:

  "This morning the Holy Father received in audience Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, president of the Spanish government, who then met with Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano and Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States.

  "Mr. Zapatero was accompanied by Miguel Angel Moratinos Cuyaube, minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo, ambassador of Spain to the Holy See, Luis Calvo Merino, undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Carles Maria Casajuna Palet, general director of the International Department and Security of the Presidency of the Government.

  "In the course of the conversation, they reviewed the principal bilateral relations in light of the Accords between the Holy See and Spain, in particular those of 1979, and a desire for dialogue and collaboration was reaffirmed. In addition, there was an exchange of perspectives on the international situation with a special focus on the European perspective and on the countries of Latin America."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2004 (VIS) - An international conference on the New Age celebrated in the Vatican on June 14-16, an initiative of various dicasteries interested in studying sects and new religious movements, has come to a close. Delegates from episcopal conferences from twenty-two countries, members of the Roman Curia and a representative from the General Union of Superiors participated in the study session.

  During the conference, the episcopates' answers to questions on the document, "Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the 'New Age'" (2003), were examined and, in addition to the summary of these answers, two fundamental aspects were studied: the discernment of the techniques and finalities of the New Age, and the comparison between Christian spirituality and the mystical experiences proposed by the New Age.

  With respect to the techniques of the New Age, certain criteria to identity them, in nature and religion, specifically in Christianity, were highlighted. The need for new analysis was reaffirmed.

  In terms of spirituality, the workshops were focused on perspectives that offer the New Age with respect to the expectations of men and women in our age.  In particular, "the solid richness of the spiritual, ascetic and mystical patrimony of Christianity, which many Catholic do not know adequately," was highlighted.

  At the end of the discussion on these aspects of the New Age, a summary was presented of the doctrinal and pastoral evaluation, enriched by the contribution of participants in the plenary sessions and in particular in the linguistic groups.

  The workshops concluded with pastoral indications considered to be important and urgent about the foundation of the elements that came up during the conference in order to put them at the disposition of the episcopacies in response to their requests.

  Participants reaffirmed "the utility of continuing an exchange of information in order to respond in a rich and articulate way to the silent request for help made by so many people faced by the phenomenon of the New Age which is so complex in its ideas and manifestations."
.../CONFERENCE NEW AGE/...           VIS 20040621 (360)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received in audience the recently-elected president of the Spanish government, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The Pope assured the president that this visit "shows his esteem for the Apostolic See."

  "Your presence here," he affirmed, "reflects your desire to continue to maintain good relations with the local Church and the State for the good of the Spanish people, a desire that you expressed to me when I met you at the end of a Mass in Columbus Square in Madrid on May 4 last year."

  John Paul II expressed the desire that Spain "may always continue toward integral progress, may peaceful coexistence in unity among persons and peoples of your great land become ever stronger, with its marvelous and varied diversity, and may cultural and moral values be preserved, as well as your Christian roots."

  After recalling that last Friday, during his meeting with the new Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, Jorge Dezcallar, he had spoken about various aspects of Spanish society, he said: "Reaffirming what I said on that occasion, I want to renew my sincere gratitude for your visit. I truly hope that your personal commitment, as well as that of your government, may allow you to reach your objectives of fomenting the modern development of Spain, and in that task may ethical values, which are so much a part of the religious and cultural tradition of your people, be taken into consideration."

  The Pope assured the president of the "Holy See's collaboration to work together for the great cause of peace and to promote the spiritual progress of peoples; to help in the eradication of terrorism and violence in all its forms; to achieve the legitimate needs of the human person, with his dignity, rights and freedom."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 20, 2004, (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at midday with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that "last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, last of the great liturgical feasts which, after the Easter season, constitute a wonderful syntheses of the Christian mystery: the Most Holy Trinity, the Body and Blood of Christ and, specifically, his Most Holy Heart."

  "No one can know Jesus Christ profoundly without penetrating his Heart," he said,
"that is, in the depth of his divine-human Person. The mystery of merciful love, which is expressed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, helps us to live better today's World Refugee Day, whose theme is 'A Place to Call Home: To Rebuild Lives in Security and Dignity.' Every person has the need of a safe environment in which to live. Refugees aspire to this but, in many countries around the world, there are, unfortunately, millions who remain in refugee camps, or at least limited in the exercise of their rights."

  "Let us not forget our refugee brothers!" he exclaimed.  "I express my appreciation and encouragement to all those in the Church who work by their side. At the same time, I appeal for a renewed commitment by the international community, so that the causes of this painful phenomenon will be removed."

  The Holy Father concluded by asking Our Lady, "that humanity, receiving the message of love of Christ, may make progress in fraternity and in peace and that the earth will become the 'common home' of all nations."

  After the Marian prayer, addressing his compatriots in Polish, John Paul II expressed his disappointment that the Christian roots of Europe were not recognized in the European constitution: "We cannot forget our roots," he affirmed with energy.  "I thank Poland who in the European forum has faithfully defended the Christian roots of our continent from which our culture and the development of the civilization of our time has come."
ANG/REFUGEES:CHRISTIAN ROOTS/...            VIS 20040621 (350)


VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," has been sent by the Holy Father to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to assess reconstruction in these two countries which were affected by serious floods in which more than 2,000 people died.

  On June 19-22 in Santo Domingo, the archbishop will meet with the country's bishops and with them he will visit the areas of Jimani, where more than 900 houses were destroyed, and Monte Plata. In addition, he will celebrate the Eucharist for the repose of the souls of those who died. The prelate will also meet with the heads of Caritas and other Catholic organizations.

  From June 22 to 25 in Haiti, the president of "Cor Unum" will meet with Prime Minister Gerard Latortue and Yvon Simeon, minister of the Foreign Affairs and Worship. He will also celebrate Mass for the victims of the disaster in the Cathedral in Jacmel and will visit the ghetto of Cite Soleil as well as Fond Verettes and Mapou, areas affected by the flood. Before returning to Rome, Archbishop Cordes will meet with the main Catholic aid organizations in Port-au-Prince.


VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2004 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls,  director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following declaration at midday:

  "The media have reported the adoption by consensus in Brussels of the European constitution by the heads of State and Government of the twenty-five member countries.

  "The Holy See express its satisfaction for this new and important step in the process of European integration that has been hoped for and encouraged by the Roman Pontiff.  The introduction in the document of a measure which safeguards the status of religious confessions in the Member States, and commits the Union to maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with them, recognizing their identity and specific contribution, is also a reason for satisfaction."

  "The Holy See cannot but express its distress over the opposition of some governments to the explicit recognition of the Christian roots of Europe. It is a question of disregard of the historical evidence and of the Christian identity of European peoples."

  "The Holy See expresses heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to those governments that, aware of the past and of the historical horizon in which the new Europe is taking shape, worked to express concretely its recognized religious heritage."

  "Not to be forgotten is the intense commitment of different entities to have the Christian heritage of Europe mentioned in this treaty, stimulating the reflection of political leaders, citizens, and public opinion on a question that is not secondary in the present national, European and world context."
OP/CHRISTIAN ROOTS/NAVARRO-VALLS            VIS 20040621 (270)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service