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Friday, November 5, 2004


VATICAN CITY, NOV 4, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Ronald Paul Herzog of the clergy of the diocese of Biloxi, U.S.A., and pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Laurel, U.S.A., as bishop of Alexandria (area 28,780, population 389,970, Catholics 48,050, priests 69, permanent deacons 5, religious 64), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Akron, U.S.A. 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1968.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 5, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Participants in the Ninth meeting of the Post-synodal Council of the Special Assembly for America:
    - Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
    - Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, under-secretary of the synod, and the following members:

    - Archbishop  Kelvin Edward Felix of Castries, St. Lucia.

    - Archbishop Estanislao Esteban Karlic, emeritus of Parana, Argentina.

    - Archbishop William Joseph Levada of San Francisco, U.S.A.

    - Archbishop Luciano Pedro Mendes de Almeida of Mariana, Brazil.

    - Archbishop Francois Gayot, emeritus of Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

    - Archbishop Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero of La Paz, Bolivia.

    - Archbishop Luiz Demetrio Valentin of Jales, Brazil.

    - Bishop Alvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri of San Marcos, Guatemala.

- Archbishop Franc Rode, emeritus of Ljubljana, Slovenia, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, with Archbishop Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti, emeritus of Camerino-San Severino Marche, Italy, secretary of the same dicastery.
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THE POPE TODAY RECEIVED THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NINTH meeting of the post-synodal council of the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops for the Special Assembly for America. He told them that among the current challenges they face are "the nefarious actions of sects; ... the sale and use of drugs; modern ideologies that believe that the concept of the family founded on marriage is outdated; the growing divide between the rich and poor; human rights violations; migration movements and the complex problem of foreign debt." He also referred to the "culture of death, which is expressed in many ways, such as the arms race" and "the unleashed violence of guerrilla warfare and international terrorism."

CARDINAL ADAM MAIDA, ARCHBISHOP OF DETROIT and the trustees of the John Paul II Cultural Center were welcomed by John Paul II today on the occasion of their annual pilgrimage to Rome. The Pope thanked them for their "support of the Center's work of promoting dialogue between the worlds of faith and culture. It is my hope that the Center will bring the truth of the Gospel and the wisdom of the Church's tradition to bear on the great issues shaping contemporary society. May your pilgrimage to the Eternal City lead all of you to deeper union with the Lord and His Church."

POPE JOHN PAUL WILL PRESIDE AT MASS ON NOVEMBER 11 at 11:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica for the repose of the souls of the cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, together with other  cardinals.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 5, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the annual Message for all Muslims at the end of Ramadan from the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and council president, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald. The theme of the Message this year ('Id al-Fitr 1425 A.H./2004 A.D.) was "Children, Gift of God for the Future of Humanity."

  Following are excerpts from the Message, released in English, French and Italian:

  "At the earliest age possible you teach your children to observe this month of fasting, thus developing in them a sense of God and a spirit of religious obedience. … In this way the family is, par excellence, the place where your children receive their first religious education.

  "Today I would like to call attention to children in general and to the welcome they should receive, at different moments of their life, from their parents, their family and from society. Every child has an inalienable right to life and, in so far as this is possible, to be welcomed within a natural, stable family. All children have moreover the right to nourishment, clothing and protection, and furthermore to be educated."

  "You consider the child to be a blessing from God, in particular for the parents. As Christians we share with you this religious attitude, but our Christian faith teaches us also to discover in the child a model for our relationship with God."

  "On several occasions these last years representatives of the Holy See and of countries with a Muslim majority have defended together in international fora fundamental human values. It was often a matter of defending the rights of those who are the weakest, and notably the family as the natural environment in which children are nurtured and their rights are better preserved.

  "Although the child has benefited, … there are still many evils which cause suffering (child labor, sexual abuse, children conscripted for war, families that break up, drug use and abuse, trafficking in organs)."

  "Dear friends, we should unite our efforts, reminding people of the dignity of every human being whose existence is willed by God Himself. We should denounce untiringly everything that degrades the child, combating with all the force we can muster the "structures of sin", to use an expression taken up by Pope John Paul II. We are conscious that on the future of children depends the future of humanity."


VATICAN CITY, NOV 5, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received participants in the General Chapter of the Augustinian Recollects, to whom he expressed the Church's gratitude "for their life witness as consecrated religious and for their apostolic activity carried out in 18 countries and three continents" where they are present.

  After emphasizing that the Chapter "is a decisive moment for the life of the order," the Holy Father indicated that it is also "an eminent expression of the unity that must reign among all religious around the one vocation and mission of the Church."

  "A deep spiritual life," he continued, "so linked to your tradition of observance and contemplation, interior life and tireless search for God, is always the starting point for authentic renovation and the soul of every apostolic initiative."

  John Paul II stressed that "progress in the supernatural life, based on arduous prayer and participation in the sacraments, is a fundamental premise for fruitful apostolic activity. In particular, the Eucharist, which is the real presence of Christ in the history of man. It is also the 'font and epiphany' of the fraternal communion that must reign in your communities and must be a lively message of peace in a world frequently dominated by rivalry and conflict."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 5, 2004 (VIS) - On Tuesday, November 9 at 11:30 a.m. in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan will present the 19th International Conference promoted annually by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry. It will take place November 11-13 in the Vatican on the theme, "Palliative Cures."

  Bishop Jose Luis Redrado Marchite, O.H., and Fr. Felice Ruffini, M.I., secretary and under-secretary of the same dicastery, will participate in the presentation. Among those who will also be present are a specialist in oncology and hematology, a researcher on anesthesia, rehabilitation and therapy, and a doctor specializing in physical therapy.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 4, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Holy Father to Archbishop Carlo Ghidelli of Lanciano-Ortona, Italy, on the occasion of the first centenary of the dedication of the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Bridge in Lanciano.

  The Pope notes in the Message, dated October 4, that on this anniversary the archbishop has announced a special Marian-Eucharistic year.

  After recalling that two Eucharistic miracles took place in the city of Lanciano, John Paul II says: "When I was archbishop of Krakow, I visited the church of St. Francis in Lanciano where the relics from the miracle from the eighth century are preserved."

   The Holy Father urges the faithful "to be aware of the great favours that God" has granted them and he encourages them "to adore the Holy Eucharist not only in the Church where the miracle took place but in all the Churches in your beautiful region.  I also join you, especially to ask Our Lord Jesus for the gift of many priestly vocations for the present and future of your diocesan community.  I ask Our Lord to build up holy Christian families in your land."

  The Pope invites young people to trust in God: "Choose him as your special friend, become His disciples by listening to and meditating on the Gospel, share it with your neighbour, especially with the needy and the poor, and I assure you that you will find what you need to fully live the ideals of your age."


VATICAN CITY, NOV 4, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II received a group of Polish pilgrims from the dioceses of Gdansk and Tarnow in Poland who came to express their best wishes to the Pope who today, the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, is celebrating his name day. He was baptized Karol, Polish for Charles.

  The Pope noted today's feast of St. Charles and recalled that "420 years have passed since his death. He was a zealous bishop, reformer of the Church after the Council of Trent, and a great supporter of the poor. His piety is based on the love of the Cross of Christ and the mystery of His death and resurrection. This love was expressed in the care he took to devoutly celebrate Mass and in the adoration of Christ present in the Eucharist."

  The Holy Father said he hoped that "St. Charles' example would be an inspiration for all of us as we live this particular period" of the Year of the Eucharist. Make he make us burn with love for the Savior, Who wished to remain with us in the species of bread and wine."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 4, 2004 (VIS) - This morning at 11 Pope John Paul welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to the Vatican and, in a speech in English, assured him of his "continued closeness to the Iraqi people, so sorely tried by the tragic sufferings of recent years."

  "I pray," continued the Pope, "for all the victims of terrorism and wanton violence, for their families and for all those who generously work for the reconstruction of your country."

  The Holy Father encouraged "the efforts made by the Iraqi people to establish democratic institutions which will be truly representative and committed to defending the rights of all, in complete respect for the ethnic and religious diversity which has always been a source of enrichment for your country. I am confident that the Christian community, present in Iraq from apostolic times, will make its own contribution to the growth of democracy and the building of a future of peace in the region."

  "Upon you and your associates," concluded the Pope, "and upon all the beloved people of Iraq, I cordially invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God."

  Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made a statement following the papal audience in which he noted that Prime Minister Allawi was also received by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State. "During their talks, various aspects of the situation in Iraq were discussed more deeply, including the prospects for peace and reconciliation which would allow the deep wounds of the past to heal, as was the question of peace in the region. They also talked about the need to assure full religious freedom and about the contribution that the Christian community can offer to the moral and material rebuilding of the nation. The prime minister deplored the attacks undergone by several Christian churches and gave assurances, on the part of the government, of the will to proceed to restore them."
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