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Monday, October 18, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- President Nicanor Duarte Frutos of the Republic of Paraguay, with his wife and entourage.

- Archbishop Beniamino Stella of Midila, apostolic nuncio in Colombia.

- Bishop Bernard Bududira of Bururi, Burundi.
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CARDINAL RENATO MARTINO, PRESIDENT of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presided at a conference at 11:30 this morning in the Holy See Press Office, for the presentation of the volume, "Pope John Paul II and the Challenges of Papal Diplomacy." He was joined by Archbishop Andre Dupuy, apostolic nuncio in Venezuela and Msgr. Pietro Parolin, under-secretary for Relations with States. Archbishop Dupuy edited the volume which was co-published by the pontifical council and the Path to Peace Foundation. Cardinal Martino underscored "the harmonious composition of an extraordinary Magisterium that, over 26 years, has touched all aspects of the realities of our times, setting forth a vigorous series of variations on the unifying theme of the defense of human dignity and its basic rights. ... In reading the pages, and  between the lines, what emerges is the greatness, not only of a very lofty Magisterium, but of a courageous and solid faith, a hope that hopes against hope, a love for truth, for peace and for man which makes John Paul II's pontificate one of the greatest blessings that the Church and the world have received in history."

ARCHBISHOP CELESTINO MIGLIORE, HOLY SEE PERMANENT OBSERVER  to the United Nations, addressed the plenary of the 59th General Assembly of the U.N. on Item 45, the 10th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, that took place in Cairo in September 1994. The nuncio noted that "the well-being and progress of every member of the human family, ... continues to have a heightened significance in the light of the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor of the world is still widening, a situation which poses an ever-increasing threat to the peace for which humanity longs." Pointing to U.N. studies 10 years ago predicting a decrease in the global rate of population growth, he said "it is now a fact that population growth has declined appreciably in many of the industrialized developed nations, and that this decline poses a serious threat to their future."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II welcomed the president of Paraguay this morning, Nicanor Duarte Frutos, and expressed his affection for the people of Paraguay, assuring them of remembrance in his prayers.

  "I hope," he added, "that the Christian message which has penetrated the soul of this noble people and has given fruits of holiness in St. Roch and his companion martyrs will inspire and impel all involved in the development of Paraguay on the path of justice and solidarity. Invoking the protection of the Pure and Immaculate Virgin of Caaupe, I bless with all my heart all the people of Paraguay"

  Prior to the papal audience, President Duarte met with Cardinal Sodano, secretary of State, for an exchange of documents ratifying the Accord between the Holy See and the Republic of Paraguay regarding religious assistance to members of the country's Armed Forces and national police that was signed in Asuncion on December 24, 2002.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the participants in the World Conference of Women Parliamentarians for the Care of Children and Adolescents, taking place in Rome under the sponsorship of the presidency of the Italian Parliament.

  John Paul II remarked that the objective of the encounter was "to find together efficacious forms of caring for minors by institutions. In this regard I wish to express  my appreciation for this praiseworthy involvement in favor of the youngest members of the population, while I encourage you to pursue this path in the awareness that children and adolescents are the future and hope of mankind."

  "Children are the most precious treasure of the human family," he continued, "but at the same time the most fragile and vulnerable members. Therefore it is important to constantly listen and pay attention to all of their legitimate needs and aspirations. In a special way, no one can remain silent or indifferent when innocent children suffer, are marginalized or wounded in their dignity as human persons."

  The Pope emphasized that "the immense cry of pain of those children who are abandoned and violated in many regions of the earth, should compel public institutions, private associations and all people of good will to become aware again of the duty that we all have to protect, defend and education with respect and love these fragile creatures."

  "To be efficacious," he concluded, "every action of caring for children and adolescents can only be inspired by the dutiful consideration of their fundamental rights."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2004 (VIS) - With a solemn Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, John Paul II early this evening opened the Year of the Eucharist, which will end in October 2005. The inauguration took place concomitantly with the closing of the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

  Following Mass, which was presided over by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano and several other members of the College of Cardinals, there was the exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

  Via television linkup with Guadalajara, the Pope sent a Message to the closing  ceremony of the Eucharistic congress. He said that "the theme of the congress, 'The Eucharist; Light and Life of the New Millennium', invites us to consider the Eucharistic mystery not only in itself but also in relationship to the problems of our times."

 "The human heart needs light, as it is weighed down by sin, often disoriented and tired, tried by sufferings of every type. The world needs light in the difficult search for a peace that seems so distant, at the beginning of a millennium upset and humiliated by violence, by terrorism and by war."

  John Paul II underscored that life is the greatest human aspiration, adding that "threatening shadows weigh on this universal longing, the shadows of a culture that denies respect for life in every stage; the shadow of an indifference that send countless people to destinies of hunger and underdevelopment: the shadow of scientific research that often aims to serve the egoism of the strongest."

  "We must all feel called," he affirmed, "by the needs of so many of our brothers and sisters," without forgetting that nourishing ourselves with the Body of Christ "means welcoming life itself from God, opening ourselves to the logic of love and sharing."

  The Holy Father invites the faithful to ask, as did the disciples of Emmaus, "the divine Wayfarer, Who knows our hearts, not to leave us as prisoners of evening shadows.  Sustain us in our fatigue, pardons our sins, orient our steps to the path of good. ... Bless all of mankind!"

  "In the Eucharist You made yourself 'the remedy for immortality': give us delight in a full life that makes us walk on this earth as trusting and joyous pilgrims, always looking to the goal, the end of the life that has no end. Stay with us, Lord. Stay with us!"

  The Pope concluded by announcing that the next International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Quebec, Canada in 2008.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2004 (VIS) - At the noon Angelus, recited with the faithful who had gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul's thoughts turned to the International Eucharistic Congress, which will conclude today in Guadalajara, Mexico, and to the 26th anniversary of his pontificate which he celebrated yesterday.

  The Pope pointed out that "for one week the Eucharist has been celebrated and adored as the 'light and life of the new millennium'. 'Light' because the presence of Christ, Light of the world, shines forth in the Eucharistic mystery. 'Life' because in the Eucharist Christ has given Himself, the Bread of life, to us."

  He noted that in the afternoon he would celebrate Mass in St. Peter's, concomitantly with the closing of the congress in Mexico and "in spiritual union" with all participants. "I will thus solemnly start the Year of the Eucharist which will last until October 2005."

 "In the wake of Vatican Council II and the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Year of the Eucharist should be a strong time of encountering Christ, present in this sacrament of His Body and His Blood. In this mystery He brings about sacramentally His paschal sacrifice that redeemed mankind from the slavery of sin and established the divine Kingdom of love, justice and peace."

  Following the Angelus prayer, John Paul II said: "I wish to express great gratitude to everyone who, on the anniversary of my election to the Chair of Peter, expressed their best wishes and assured me of their prayers. While I ask the Lord to comfort each person with the abundance of His gifts, I entrust myself to Him and I ask, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, for His constant help for the fruitful exercise of my ministry in the Church."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci, apostolic nuncio in Kenya, as nuncio in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. He succeeds Archbishop Piero Biggio who resigned for reasons of health.

- Appointed Msgr. Radeusz Ploski, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Warmia, Poland and chancellor of the Military Ordinariate for Poland, as military ordinary for Poland.  Archbishop-elect Ploski was born in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1982.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 16, 2004 (VIS) - Last evening in the Paul VI Hall the choir, orchestra and ballet corps of the Russian Army, also known as the Red Army, interpreted in song and dance traditional Russian folklore music, including songs about the Red Army, war and several traditional ones such as "Kalinka." The evening's entertainment was a tribute to Pope John Paul who today marks the 26th anniversary of his election to the papacy.

  At the end of the concert, the Holy Father thanked the artists for this tribute and underscored his affection for "the noble Russian people." He invoked on them "the protection of the 'Mother of God' of Kazan, whose icon recently returned to Russia, a land very dear to me."
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