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Thursday, July 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Bernard Moras of Belgaum, India, as metropolitan archbishop of Bangalore (area 29,850, population 20,186,450, Catholics 361,835, priests 596, religious 5,011), India. He  succeeds Archbishop Ignatius Pinto, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

  Yesterday afternoon it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio in Turkey, as apostolic visitator to the Syro-Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch.
NER:RE:NA/…/MORAS:PINTO:FARHAT              VIS 20040722 (90)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 22, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, on behalf of the Holy Father, to Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and envoy of John Paul II, who left today for Khartoum, Sudan to express the Holy Father's concern for and solidarity with the populations of Darfur, in western Sudan. Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, council undersecretary, accompanied the archbishop.

  In the Letter, written in English and dated July 16, Cardinal Sodano notes "the recent agreement between the government of Khartoum and the Sudanese People Liberation Army-Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLA-SPLM) has opened some good possibilities for peace and development for the country. However the serious humanitarian situation in Darfur, which has recently stirred up a public outcry, is a cause of great concern for Pope John Paul II." He added that the Pope sends greetings to the Catholic community "and to all peoples in the Sudan who are in distress and in need, especially in the region of Darfur."

  "It is the hope of the Holy Father," continues the Letter, "that the people in Darfur will be given all necessary humanitarian aid, especially in the upcoming rainy season, during which time their survival will become even more difficult. He trusts that the Sudanese authorities, in partnership with the international community, will intensify their efforts to reach a just solution for Darfur. This will happen when the voice of the peoples of Darfur is heard and recognized, and when their fundamental human rights are respected, especially the right to life, to political and religious freedom, and to a peaceful existence in their own territories."

  Cardinal Sodano writes that "the recognition of these rights of the various peoples of the Sudanese population will allow all citizens of the country, without distinction, to offer their own contribution to the building of a just society, based on solidarity and the good of each and every member. In particular, respect for the legitimate local authorities will ensure that the contrasts and problems of Darfur will not extend further or deepen, thus threatening to render vain the results of the peace accords between the North and the South, reached after prolonged and difficult negotiations."

  A communique from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum was also published today. It noted that Archbishop Cordes and Msgr. Dal Toso, while in Khartoum, will meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, apostolic nuncio and with Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, archbishop of Khartoum, and members of the country's Episcopal conference "to be informed about the conflict underway that (U.N. Secretary General) Kofi Annan has defined as a true and proper 'ethic cleansing'. With the assistance of the United Nations, Archbishop Cordes will go to Darfur, which has been increasingly difficult to reach because of conflicts, and he will visit the refugee camps in Nyala. In addition to the war, the conditions of desperate poverty in these camps cause over 100 deaths each day, according to the U.N."

  "The situation in Sudan," concludes the press release, "is so compromised - in over 20 years of conflict, there have been two million deaths and five million refugees - as to have been defined 'Rwanda in slow motion'. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum has already sent financial assistance to Darfur though the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees."

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