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Friday, July 2, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

- Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, apostolic nuncio in Brazil.

- Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, apostolic nuncio in Bangladesh.

- Ambassador Bernard Davenport of Ireland on his farewell visit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the General Assembly adopted a Resolution, submitted as a presidential text, on the participation by the Holy See in the work of the U.N. The Holy See's role as a pernanent observer now includes all the same rights and privileges as other observers  and it will be easier for it to participate in U.N. sessions without a vote.  The Holy See no longer has to ask permission to participate in debates, it has a right of reply, the right to circulate documents and to raise points of order.

   Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer to the United Nations, addressed the General Assembly and thanked the president for "the adoption by consensus of this Resolution on the participation of the Holy See in the work of the United Nations, under agenda item 59, entitled "Strengthening of the United Nations system." He noted that "the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See is happily celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its presence at this Organization this year."

  "The adoption of this Resolution is an important step forward and reflects the lofty values and collective interests shared by the Holy See and the United Nations. We are committed to the same objectives that necessitate the protection of the fundamental human rights, the preservation of the dignity and worth of the human person and the promotion of the common good. To achieve these goals, we need an ordered international community built upon the strong edifice of law   a law not of whim and caprice but of principles stemming from the very universality of human nature - that can guide human reason for the future. With an edifice built on such principles guiding our efforts, we can be assured of attaining our mutual quest for a lasting and universal justice and peace."

  He concluded by thanking the "many Permanent Representatives who expressed to me their personal and their Governments' support for the Resolution just adopted" and "all Member States for their invaluable support in the adoption of this Resolution."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today were the Holy Father's remarks in English to several members of the Bruderhof Communities whom he received in the Vatican on June 26. Founded in Germany in 1920 this is an international movement of Christian communities that are located in North America, Europe and Australia.
  "You share a tradition," said the Pope, "in which Christ's call to discipleship finds expression in common life in the Spirit and in daily witness to the evangelical law of love. Christians always need to hear anew the radical summons to holiness which is the heart of our Savior's message. Your witness to that message is especially reflected in your respect for God's creation and your deep commitment to defending the sacredness of all human life.
  "I greet you with affection in the Lord and I pray that the growing contacts with the Catholic Church which you are fostering will bear fruit in ever greater mutual understanding, respect and cooperation.  May God our merciful Father pour out upon you and your communities his abundant blessings of wisdom, joy and peace."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2004 (VIS) - Nearing the conclusion of his visit to Rome, Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, paid a farewell visit yesterday afternoon to the Pope, following which they both signed a Common Declaration. The patriarch arrived in Rome on June 28 and departs at noon today.

  John Paul II said: "Together let us give thanks to God" for having been able "to show the faithful a clear sign of our fraternity and to confirm the proposal to make decisive progress toward full unity between Catholics and Orthodox. There is great need for these signs of communion, as well as for the words that accompany them and explain them which we have written in the joint declaration."

  "Another important event during these days, which has been a motive for special joy for me, is to have had the opportunity to grant the ecumenical patriarchate use of the church of St. Theodore on the Palatine Hill in the heart of ancient Rome. This will allow the faithful of the Greek-Orthodox archdiocese in Italy to have a significant and continuing presence close to the tomb of the Apostle Peter.  All of this, we know, is a gift from God. And it is beautiful that brothers and sisters live together in this common recognition."

  The Holy Father thanked His Holiness Bartholomew I and the members of his entourage. He concluded by saying: "With the memory of these days of grace, and today's meeting, may we remain in communion in prayer and fraternal charity."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2004 (VIS) - At the end of their meeting yesterday afternoon, Pope John Paul II and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I signed a Common Declaration "witnessing to the firm will to continue on the path towards full communion between us in Christ."

  The Declaration recalls that the encounters in recent days in the Vatican marked the 40th anniversary of the embrace between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in January 1964 which "visibly expressed a hope present in the hearts of everyone," that "all may be one" as Christ desired. 

  "Unity and Peace! The hope kindled by that historical meeting has illuminated the path of these last decades," says the statement. It adds that "notwithstanding the Christian world for centuries has suffered the drama of separation," there have been signs of progress, such as reciprocal meetings in Fanar and Rome between John Paul II and the ecumenical patriarchs and the establishment in 1979 of the International Mixed Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as a whole. Whereas the Commission's work has recently come to a standstill, the Pope and Patriarch state: "It is our duty to continue in the decisive commitment to reactivate work as soon as possible."

  The Declaration affirms: "Notwithstanding our firm desire to continue on the path towards full communion, it would be unrealistic not to realize there are obstacles of various natures: doctrinal above all, but also arising from a difficult history. In addition, new problems have arisen from the profound changes that have occurred in the European socio-political context have not been without consequences in the relations between the Christian Churches. With the return to freedom of Christians in central and eastern Europe fears have been awakened, making dialogue difficult."

  It closes: "In the particular context of Europe, the path towards higher forms of integration and enlargement towards the East of the continent, we give thanks to the Lord for this positive development and express the hope that in this new situation collaboration between Catholics and Orthodox will grow. Many are the challenges we must face together in order to contribute to the good of society: healing with love the scourge of  terrorism; infusing a hope of peace; contributing to rectifying so many painful conflicts; restoring in Europe the awareness of its Christian roots; building a true dialogue with Islam, because indifference and reciprocal ignorance can only lead to  distrust and even hatred; nourishing the awareness of the sacredness of human life; working so that science does not deny the divine spark that every man receives with the gift of life; collaborating so that our earth is not disfigured and creation can preserve the beauty that God has given it; but above all, announcing with renewed vigor the Gospel message, showing modern man how the Gospel helps him to renew himself and to build a more human world."

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