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Wednesday, July 7, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2004 (VIS) - In recent weeks the following prelates died:

- Archbishop Luigi Accogli,  apostolic nuncio, on June 21 at age 86.

- Bishop Joseph Sunday Ajomo of Lokoja, Nigeria on June 21 at age 65.

- Bishop Sofio G. Balce of Cabanatuan, the Philippines on June 25 at age 62.

- Bishop John Edward Heaps, former auxiliary of Sydney, Australia on June 21 at age 77.

- Bishop Virgilio Lopez Irias, O.F.M., of Trujillo, Honduras on June 22 at age 77.

- Bishop Francois Vollaro, O.SS.T, emeritus of Ambatondrazaka, Madagascar on June 23 at age 89.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2004 (VIS) - Tomorrow, at 11:30 in the Holy See Press office, Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, will preside at a press conference for the presentation of the Holy See's 2003 consolidated financial statements. Joining him will be Bishop Franco Croci and Paolo Trombetta, respectively secretary and general accountant of the prefecture.


VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2004 (VIS) - On July 9 in the office of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican, an international study seminar will take place on poverty and globalization during which the topic of funds for development in light of the Millennium Development Goals will be examined. Representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as from governments, Catholic Non-governmental Organizations and local churches will participate in the meeting.

  According to a communique published today, the themes that will be studied during the meeting are: the situation of international debt today, innovative proposals for financing, especially the English initiative "International  Finance Facility (IFF) whose objective is to collect funds totaling an additional $50 billion per year in order to achieve the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals from now to 2015, by issuing bonds in international markets.

  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, England, will introduce the morning session which will be presided by Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who headed the Holy See Delegation to the United Nations International Conference in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002. In the afternoon session, presided over by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, proposals will be made in order to form a "coalition of aid and promotion for financing development."


VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2004 (VIS) - In its third day in Bangkok, Thailand, the Sixth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Tourism, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, featured speakers who addressed tourism as leaving one's own reality to meet others, "welcome" as the evangelizing mission of the Church and the pastoral care of tourism as viewed by the receiving peoples, especially those of the Third World.

  Archbishop Raul N. Gonsalves, archbishop-patriarch emeritus of the archdiocese of Goa and Damao, India, highlighted tourism as seen by receiving countries, pointing to "the host countries who have had the sad experience of not only not enjoying the many benefits expected to improve their human living conditions but, on the contrary, of being deprived of their natural resources and made victims of deceit and exploitation when tourism is seen and capitalized on as an industry and commercial venture for market forces." Quoting the council's 2001 Guidelines, he spoke of the "grave injustice that occurs when tourist centers are provided with services that the local community does not normally have." He also noted that one of the worst forms of exploitation is sexual tourism.

  Our vision of tourism should be, he said, "a renewed world tourism, wherein people enrich their lives in encounters that safeguard the dignity of every person, respect diverse cultural heritages, protect and promote the Earth's integrity and thus foster harmony and peace." Volunteers and Church groups are doing much to promote a hope-filled future for the apostolate of tourism, he said, but their job is enormous and the resources, human and economic, very limited.

  Archbishop Ramon Benito de la Rosa y Carpio of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, spoke on "Welcome, an Evangelizing Mission," and focused on five themes: welcome as a human and Christian virtue; welcome in the pastoral care of the Church; welcome, a sign of catholicity; welcome in the tourist industry, and welcome in the pastoral care of tourism. He spoke of the "spirituality of welcome,"  and noted that dialogue is part of welcome: "The dialogue that the Church encourages with all nations, their cultures and religions, begins and progresses with a continuous and cordial welcome. ... Without welcome dialogue is not possible, nor does it prosper."

  Father Jean-Yves Baziou of the Catholic University of the West in Angers, France, entitled his talk "Leaving One's Home to Meet Others." He noted that "the act of departing and the act of meeting are two components of traveling for tourism. They are also profoundly significant actions at the level of both human existence and Christian experience." He went on "to relate these two actions with the Christian faith in order to understand how Christianity can contribute towards building an authentic humanism of tourism and also how the experience of tourism nourishes and challenges the life and activity of Christians."
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