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Monday, September 27, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jean-Pierre Grallet, O.F.M., superior of the Convent of Franciscan Friars Minor of Strasbourg, France, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 8,280, population 1,713,416, Catholics 1,300,000, priests 907, permanent deacons 50, religious 2,146).  The bishop-elect was born in Rozelieures in Lorena, France in 1941 and was ordained a priest in 1969.

  On Saturday, September 25, it was announced that the Holy Father appointed Msgrs. Kenneth E. Boccafola and Josef Huber and Fr. Giuseppe Urru, O.P., as judges for the Court of Appeals of  Vatican City State.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences two prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia on their "ad limina" visit:

 - Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga of Tunga.

 - Bishop Jorge Enrique Jimenez Carvajal of Cartagena.

  On Saturday September 25, the Holy Father received in audience six prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Colombia on their "ad limina" visit:

 - Archbishop Victor Manuel Lopez Forero of Bucaramanga, accompanied by Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba Villota.

- Bishop Jaime Prieto Amaya of Barrancabermeja.

- Bishop Dario de Jesus Monsalve Mejia of Malaga-Soata.

- Bishop Ismael Rueda Sierra of Socorro y San Gil.

- Bishop Luis Albero Cortes Rendon of Velez.
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CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, LIBRARAN and Archivist of Holy Roman Church, delivered the homily at a solemn Mass in St. Stephen's Cathedral In Vienna, Austria on September 17 on the occasion of the 48th International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference. In that homily, published today, the cardinal told the representatives and members of the specialized agencies of the United Nations Organization in Vienna, that they "have a special vocation - namely, to proclaim that peace is possible! ... As Christians and by vocation we witness to peace by condemning all types of violence; by disavowing the ideologies that sustain it and the political systems that promote it; by eliminating violence from all walks of life. Violence is the imposition of one's own judgment, not tempering one's own right with charity. Violence is the exclusion of the weakest and the least gifted, as well as the promotion of a vindictive spirit. ... In the merciless world we have constructed, Christians are called to exercise what I dare to call 'the power of the heart'. ... In this enormous task, Christians can count on the help of believers of other religions. More than ever, especially in today's international context, it is extremely urgent to give witness, through concrete gestures, that the great religions are factors of and for peace, and not war."

MSGR. LEO BOCCARDI, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE AT THE 48TH IAEA General Conference, which took place in Vienna September 20 to 24, addressed the assembly on September 22. In his address in English, published today, the Holy See representative said "the acts of violence recently perpetrated in Russia and in other parts of the world gravely offend all humanity. The continued violations of human dignity and the innocent victims of terrorism draw the attention of all to the need to face the causes which underlie such a modern form of barbarism and to deal with them effectively. We must also continue to believe in dialogue as essential to establishing peace and security." He underscored the "continued threats to peace and stability due to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," or WMD. He also noted the warnings that nuclear proliferation is on the rise, that there are countries interested in the illicit acquisition of WMD and the "risk that terrorists will gain access to such materials and technology." Highlighting the rising insecurity in the Middle East, especially in the Holy Land and Iraq, he stressed the need to promote "the peaceful applications of nuclear technologies" as they "can make a significant contribution to responding to the most urgent concerns" such as managing drinking water supplies, crops, fighting malnutrition, treating disease and giving a greater salt tolerance in arid climates.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received officials of the Department of Prison Administration, the inspector general of chaplains and a number of female police officers assigned to women's prisons who have just concluded a year of formation.

  "I have learned with delight," he told the new agents, "that during the course you demonstrated a laudable commitment, achieving encouraging results. I congratulate you and take this occasion to make a suggestion: Always take care of your spiritual life. In fact, your work calls for a solid human maturity that allows you to wed firmness with attention to the individual. To this end, being women certainly helps you, as you have those qualities proper to women that have such a positive effect on interpersonal relations."

  John Paul II noted that "by a happy coincidence today, September 27 is the liturgical memory of St. Vincent de Paul, the great saint of charity. He personally suffered the harshness of prison, and he taught the 'Dames' and then the Daughters of Charity to pay special attention to that category of poor people called 'convicts'. He asked them to show understanding and to demand human treatment for prisoners."

  "The primary value of the human person," concluded the Pope, "must be the basis for all civil and professional ethics and of all relative formation. I am therefore happy to place your work under the protection of St. Vincent de Paul."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father gave the "Fidei testis" Award to Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev, Belarus, upon whom, several days earlier the Paul VI Institute in Brescia, Italy had conferred the prize during a symposium held on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its founding.

  The Pope said that this prize "is the most suitable for a Christian; and even more so for a pastor who is a cardinal, and one who gave faithful and brave testimony to Christ and His Gospel during the difficult years of the persecution of the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe."

  Shortly after your priestly ordination, continued the Pope, "Providence called you to take up the 'via crucis' of persecution, united to the passion of the Christian people entrusted to you, personally carrying the cross of prison, unjust condemnation and work camps with their burden of fatigue, cold and hunger." 

  Recalling the cardinal's words "I could only survive with the faith," John Paul II said, "The Lord gave you a strong and courageous faith in order to overcome that long and harsh trial, after which you returned to the ecclesiastic community as an even more credible witness of the Gospel: 'Fidei testis'."

  "With word and example," the Pope concluded, "you have announced to everybody, believers and non-believers alike, the truth of Christ, the light which illuminates every man."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 26, 2004 (VIS) - Before returning to the Vatican on Wednesday, September 29, the Pope today expressed his gratitude to the director and employees of the pontifical villas at Castelgandolfo for their "commitment and fidelity" in carrying out their tasks.

  "As I return to the Vatican," he said, "I will take with me the memory of the peaceful and restful days which I spent at the villa, thanks to your help. I count on your prayers and, on my part, I assure you that I will always pray that the Lord may always accompany you with His help."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 26, 2004 (VIS) - In remarks made today before praying the Angelus, the Pope decried the imbalance between the rich and poor of the world, and pointed to the Gospel of "the rich man who lived in opulence and did not care for the beggar lying outside his door and starving. But after death, the situation was reversed. Lazarus was welcomed into paradise whereas the rich men lived in torment."

  Addressing the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father said that "the lesson learned from this parable is clear: every person must make use of their own goods in an unselfish way, showing solidarity." He said this Gospel was appropriate because "in recent days there was an important meeting in New York of heads of State and government for a more efficacious and united action against hunger and poverty. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, spoke at the meeting, expressing the Holy See's adherence to this initiative."

  "The Catholic Church," the Pope stated, "assures everyone of its commitment to uproot from the world the scourge of hunger and the other consequences of this miserable state. In this context, I am pleased to remind you of the meeting in recent days in the Vatican of the apostolic nuncios in Africa."

  "Let us pray that the Lord sustains such efforts of the international community for justice and solidarity in development. This is, in fact, the path that will guarantee the world a future of peace."

  After praying the Angelus, John Paul II greeted the pilgrims present in five languages, reminding everyone that tomorrow the Church celebrates the liturgical memory of St. Vincent de Paul. He also noted the celebration on September 30 of World Maritime Day, organized by the United Nations, saying his "thoughts go to all who work at sea and I pray they may be able to live with dignity and security."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter from the Holy Father, written in Latin and dated August 6, 2004, in which he appointed Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, archbishop emeritus of Florence, Italy, as his special envoy to the celebration of the 17th centenary of the martyrdom of St. Benedict in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy on October 3.

  Msgrs. Romualdo Scarponi, prelate of honor of His Holiness, vicar general of the diocese of San Benedetto del Tronto and pastor of St. Benedict the Martyr, and Giovanni Anelli, chaplain of His Holiness and penitentiary canonist of the Cathedral of San Benedetto del Tronto, will accompany the cardinal.


VATICAN CITY, SEP 25, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the Pope to Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, special envoy to the Social Weeks of France, which were held from September 23 to 26 in Lille on the theme, "Europe, participating in building up a society to be invented."

  John Paul II writes that the centenary of the Social Weeks "is an occasion to discover once again the great tradition of the social Magisterium of the Church and the many saints that have characterized the European continent from the first centuries, saints such as Benedict, Cyril and Methodius, Boniface, Thomas More, the martyrs of Pontons de Rochefort, Edith Stein, Maximillian Kolbe, Brigid of Sweden; they all gave testimony that the Gospel and Christian values are a fertile terrain for the life of persons and peoples, as well as for building up society."

  After recalling that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of France, the Holy Father says that this date "brings us back to the scandal that wars represent."  These years, he continues, "have been characterized by many gestures of reconciliation and by the desire to make the continent a Europe of brothers and sisters."

  Referring to Europe, the Pope indicates that true integration, "in order to preserve all its richness, must preserves national cultures and identities, which are part of the common heritage and contribute to the growth of the entire continent."

  The Pope emphasizes that an opening between Eastern and Western Europe "invites Europeans to intensify the relation of cooperation between north and south, to block the scourges of misery, epidemics, all types of conflicts. In the face of these urgent matters, we are called to participate in a truly lasting development which goes through the channel of international cooperation founded on partnership and solidarity, and which is concerned with preserving the riches of the land and with making all peoples beneficiaries of the resources of the planet through just and equal distribution."

  "In this spirit," he concludes, "the presence of Christians in society constitutes a true testimony. … The commitment of Christians in politics is important.  I invite them not to flee from their mission in this field, always seeking coherence between the Gospel, divine and apostolic tradition, the Magisterium of the Church, and the options they choose and decisions they are called to make."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 25, 2004 (VIS) - The pontifical representatives from Africa and Madagascar, who have been meeting in the Vatican for three days with officials from the secretariat of State and various congregations of the Roman Curia, were welcomed today to Castelgandolfo by the Holy Father. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, organized this meeting to mark the 10th anniversary of the Synod for Africa and the sixth anniversary of the post-synodal document "Ecclesia in Africa."

  The Pope began his talk to the diplomats by recalling Archbishop Michael Courtney,  apostolic nuncio in Burundi who was assassinated last December. "May his heroic witness infuse renewed vigor in everyone working for peace in Burundi and on the entire continent of Africa."

  "I know," said John Paul II, "that you undertake your service with zeal and fidelity, in the midst of difficult situations, sharing the sufferings and dramas of the Churches and peoples to whom you were sent." Expressing his gratitude for their work, he added: "Know that the Pope and the Roman Curia are close to you, as witnessed by this meeting of ours."

  He underscored that "the Church in Africa must deal with old and new problems but it is also open to great hopes." Your work, he added, "is to accompany the development of ecclesial communities, favoring the integral progress of society and, above all, of sustaining the 'encounter of cultures with Christ and His gospel'."

  "In all of your commitments, "concluded the Holy Father, "continue to be witnesses to communion, helping to overcome tensions and misunderstandings, to defeat the temptation to particularisms, to strengthen the sense of belonging to the one and undivided People of God."
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