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Wednesday, September 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2004 - Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Mario Roberto Cassari, apostolic nuncio in the Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy See will once again participate in the celebrations of the European Patrimony Days, an initiative of the Council of Europe in which more than 40 countries on the continent take part. The celebrations this year will take place on Sunday, September 26 on the theme "Patrimonies from Afar. Patrimonies from Others."

  The Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archeology will collaborate in this event. On September 26, entrance to the Vatican Museums is free. A small exhibit in the Asian section of the Missionary-Ethnological Museum, currently closed for restoration, will be opened for one day only. It is entitled "The Missionary-Ethnological Museum Open for Restoration: A look at the gates of Asia."

 All catacombs in Rome that are normally open to the public will also be free of charge. The San Callisto Catacombs on the  Old Appian Way will inaugurate an exhibit entitled "At the origins of the Eucharist: Images and Signs between East and West."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Commission for Migration and the European Directors for the Pastoral Care of Migrants of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) held their annual meeting at the diocesan pastoral center in Mechelen (Malines), Belgium, from September 17-19. Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, represented the Holy See.

  Also present were representatives from 24 bishops' conferences, the Commission of Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), Caritas, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME). The theme of the meeting was the consequences of the enlargement of the European Union for the Church's pastoral care for migrants in Europe.

  On the first day, Archbishop Marchetto presented the Council's recent document on the Catholic Church's pastoral care for migrants, 'Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi', which was then discussed by participants in two language-groups.

  On September 18 there was an analysis of the policy of the European Union on asylum and refugees, where it emerged just how closely the Church can and does co-operate with civil society in this area. That same day, Father Beniamino Rossi, regional superior of the Scalabrini Fathers, offered a theological reflection on the issue of European Union migration policy and its consequences, and provided questions to guide the discussion that followed in language-groups.

  Sunday, September 19, participants approved a concluding statement which included recommendations that would be offered to the bishops of Europe.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2004 (VIS) - The hymn of the second chapter of the first letter of St. Peter, "The voluntary passion of Christ, Servant of God," was the theme of the Pope's catechesis today during the general audience held in St. Peter's Square.

  John Paul II told the crowd of 13,000 people that this canticle "presents the face of the suffering Christ to us" and recalls the prayer of the early Church. "He bore our sins in His body…so that we would live for justice, not for sin. Through His wounds, we have been healed."

  "'He' is the patient Christ," the Pope continued, "He who committed no sin, He who was reviled, did not ask vendetta. ... It is He, Christ, who starts on the bitter path of the passion, without opposing injustice and violence, without recriminations or complaint, but giving Himself and His painful situation to 'the One Who judges with justice'. ... It is not, therefore, a blind and passive resignation but a courageous faith, destined to be an example for all his disciples who will go down the dark path of trial and persecution."

  The Holy Father highlighted that Christ "is presented as the Savior, uniting himself to us in His human 'body'. … He is and always will be the Son of God and His solidarity with us is radically transforming, liberating, purifying and saving."

  "In this way," he concluded, "our poor humanity, wounded by the twisted and perverse ways of evil, is guided toward 'justice,' the beautiful plan of God. The last sentence of the hymn is particularly moving: 'By His wounds we have been healed.'  We see here the great price Christ paid for our salvation."
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