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Monday, November 8, 2004


VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Enrique Benavent Vidal, head dean of the faculty of Theology in Valencia, Spain, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 13,060, population 2,499,357, Catholics 2,294,307, priests 1,556, religious 4,900).  The bishop-elect was born in Quatretonda, Spain in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1982.

  It was made public on Saturday November 8 that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Edouard Mathos, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bangui, Central African Republic, as bishop of Bambari (area 173,000, population 334,714, Catholics 121,957, priests 23, religious 28). He succeeds Bishop Jean-Claude Rembanga whose resignation from the same diocese was accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Msgr. Sofronio Aguirre Bancud, S.S.S., auxiliary of the diocese of Cabanatuan, the Philippines, as bishop of the same diocese (area 2,743, population 1,703,280, Catholics 862,313, priests 46, religious 68).  The bishop-elect was born in 1948 in Atulayan, the Philippines, and was ordained a priest in 1977.

- Appointed Bishop Dominik Duka, O.P., of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, as apostolic administrator "sede plena et donec aliter provideatur" of the diocese of Litomerice area 9.380 population 1,335,154, Catholics 277,736, priests 143, permanent deacons 14, religious 102) Czech Republic.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Three prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Indian Ocean on their "ad limina" visit:

   - Bishop Maurice Piat, C.S.Sp. of Port-Louis, Ile Maurice (Mauritius).

   - Bishop Alain Harel, apostolic vicar of Rodrigues, Ile Maurice (Mauritius).

   - Bishop Denis Wiehe, C.S.Sp. of Port-Victoria or Seychelles, Seychelles.

- Cardinal Jozef Glemp, archbishop of Warsaw and primate of Poland.

  On Saturday November 6, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

- Archbishop Domenico De Luca, apostolic nuncio.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
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POPE JOHN PAUL WROTE A LETTER TO CARDINAL ENNIO ANTONELLI, archbishop of Florence, Italy, on the occasion of the upcoming celebrations for the centenary of the birth of Giorgio La Pira, former mayor of Florence and "an exemplary Christian lay person." In the November 1 Letter he wrote that "La Pira was gifted with great intellectual and moral strength," and noted "the spiritual legacy that he left the Church of Florence and the entire ecclesial community. His spirituality was, so to speak, 'immanent' to daily activity; from Eucharistic communion to meditation, to his cultural commitment, to social and political action, there was continuity in all he did. .... Faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, ... he understood public office as serving the common good. ... Let us pray that his example will stimulate and encourage all those who make an effort to witness, with their lives, to the Gospel in modern society and who work for the common good."

IN A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 18, AND PUBLISHED TODAY, to Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop of Palermo, Italy and president of the Sicilian Episcopal Conference, the Holy Father expressed his "spiritual presence" at the October 24 Eucharistic celebration in Palermo that concluded a week of prayer and reflection preparatory to celebrations in Sicily to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope noted that, in the 17th century, the city of Palermo officially asked the Holy See to proclaim this dogma, adding that "the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed the principal patroness of all Sicily, with the faithful committed to professing and defending this truth, to the point of dying for it. ... In 1850 the Sicilian episcopacy, answering a query by Pope Pius IX, unanimously expressed their hope that this dogma would be proclaimed, affirming that the belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary was an integral and undeniable part of the patrimony of faith and piety of the Christian people of the island."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the annual message of Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, to Hindus on the festival of Diwali which represents the victory of light over darkness, or good over evil.

  The theme of the message, published in English, French, and Italian, is: "Collaboration between Hindus and Christians with Special Reference to Children."  Archbishop Fitzgerald writes that children participate in the festival with great enthusiasm and he recalls that Jesus expressed a special love for them, especially for their "simplicity, their joy of life, their spontaneity, and their faith filled with wonder," as the Holy Father reminds us.
  After discussing the evils that afflict children, such as forced labor, forced conscription, breakdown of the family, trafficking in organs and persons, sexual abuse, forced prostitution, AIDS, the sale and use of drugs, Archbishop Fitzgerald posed the question: "What have children done to merit such suffering?"

  The president of the council urges Hindus and Christians in India to work together "in support of underprivileged children, who are often the innocent victims of war and violence, inadequate food and water, forced immigration and the many forms of injustice present in today's world."

  "I am fully aware that such cooperation between the followers of our two religious traditions already exists, but we could and should do more, as the problem is serious, indeed it is tragic. Your suggestions as to what could be done to give children their rightful place in society would be most welcome. Our children are our future; they are the future of humanity."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Pope received the participants of the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has been meeting since November 5 in the Vatican's Casina Pius IV on the theme "Paths of Discovery."

   He underscored that "this year's plenary session, devoted to science and creativity, raises important questions deeply connected with the spiritual dimension of man. ... Revelation teaches that men and women are created in the 'image and likeness of God' and thus possessed of a special dignity which enables them, by the work of their hands, to reflect God's own creative activity."

   "The creativity which inspires scientific progress," said John Paul II, "is seen especially in the capacity to confront and solve ever new issues and problems, many of which have planetary repercussions.  Men and women of science are challenged to put this creativity more and more at the service of the human family, by working to improve the quality of life on our planet and by promoting an integral development of the human person, both materially and spiritually. If scientific creativity is to benefit authentic human progress, it must remain detached from every form of financial or ideological conditioning, so that it can be devoted solely to the dispassionate search for truth and the disinterested service of humanity."

   He told the academicians that the theme of their meeting "invites renewed reflection on the 'paths of discovery'. ... The 'wonder' which sparked the earliest philosophical reflection on nature and which gave rise to science itself, has in no way been diminished by new discoveries; indeed, it constantly increases and often inspires awe at the distance which separates our knowledge of creation from the fullness of its mystery and grandeur."

   In concluding, the Holy Father said: "Despite the uncertainties and the labor which every attempt to interpret reality entails - not only in the sciences, but also in philosophy and theology - the paths of discovery are always paths towards truth. And every seeker after truth, whether aware of it or not, is following a path which ultimately leads to God, Who is Truth itself."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 7, 2004 (VIS) - Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke today at the International Media Conference 2004, organized in Castelgandolfo by the Focolare Movement on the theme "Silence, Word and Light: At the Source of Communication."

  He said that "to be credible communicators of the most important message the world has ever received and can ever receive, we must be men and women of silence - of silent reflection, of quiet observation, of unobtrusive charity. Too many today think and speak superficially, from the surface alone. We must speak from the depths of our being, from the depths of our faith. Even of Jesus, it is written: 'The light shone in darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it'. … We too speak in the darkness; it is important that we do not speak from the darkness. We seek to communicate to our own, and often our word is not received."

  On Thursday, November 4, Archbishop Foley gave a round-table address during a theological study of St. Anthony, at the saint's shrine in Padua. He spoke on the "Catholic Mass Media in an Age of Globalization: What are the Challenges and Responsibilities?"
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 7, 2004 (VIS) - Prior to praying the Angelus today, the Holy Father addressed the faithful who had assembled in St. Peter' s Square, reminding them that "popular devotion dedicates the month of November to the memory of the deceased faithful," adding that God "remains faithful to the covenant sealed with man, a covenant that not even death can break."

  "This pact," he said, "sealed in the Easter of Christ, is constantly made current in the sacrament of the Eucharist. There, too, prayers for the deceased also have their pinnacle. In offering Mass for them, believers support their final purification. Receiving communion in faith, they strengthen with them the bonds of spiritual love."

  During multi-language greetings after the Angelus prayer, John Paul II welcomed "the Africans present for the Angelus. I express my concern for the serious news that is coming from the Ivory Coast where violence has caused new victims. May arms become silent, may peace accords be respected, may the path of dialogue be resumed! I entrust the people of the Ivory Coast to Mary, Queen of Peace."

  In addressing Polish pilgrims, the Pope noted that "today Poland celebrates Hospice Day, whose motto is 'Hospices are also life'. The attention with which healthcare workers and volunteers welcome persons who are incurably ill and dying, is a great work of mercy. I ask God to recompense their love and dedication with His grace. I entrust to Mary Most Holy those who accompany the sick people in their families. May God bless everyone."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 6, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was Pope John Paul's Letter to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, naming him as his Special Envoy to the closing celebrations of the millennium of the martyrdom of St. Benedict of Benevento and his four companions, evangelizers of Poland. The ceremonies will take place in Poland November 13 and 14. The Letter, written in Latin, was dated August 26, 2004.

  Also published were the names of those joining the cardinal as members of the Pontifical Mission: Msgrs. Pompilio Cristino, vicar general of the archdiocese of Benevento and Pasquale Maria Mainolfi, diocesan delegate for the Year of St. Benedict of Benevento.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 6, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received 7,000 directors and associates of the Bank of Cooperative Credit of Rome on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation.

  After recalling that the bank was founded with the aim "of offering a service of solidarity and cooperation to society, based on the principles and teachings of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church," the Pope expressed the desire that with their contribution "it may continue on its path, always keeping in mind the needs of the common good."

  John Paul II thanked them for the bank's help "for ecclesiastical communities, parishes, especially in rural areas and for the promotion handled by Church and religious communities. … As believers, always keep in mind that in order to carry out your task, you must cultivate an assiduous personal relationship with Christ."

  "In all times, especially in our age," he concluded, "Christians must inspire authentic social change and hope in the Gospel. For this reason, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which was recently published, will be useful to you for your  formation and Christian witness."
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