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Monday, November 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2004 (VIS) - In recent weeks the following prelate died:

- Cardinal Gustaaf Joos, archbishop emeritus of Gent, Belgium, on November 6 at age 81.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, O.F.M.Cap., vice-provincial of his religious order in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as bishop of Bokungu-Ikelam (area 42,000, population 520,450, Catholics 44,300, priests 18, religious 29), Democratic Republic of Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Boto, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1988.

- Appointed Fr. Jose Miguel Gomez Rodriguez, director of the Department for Catechesis and Biblical Ministry of the Permanent Secretariat of the Colombian Episcopate, as bishop of Libano-Honda (area 3,477, population 310,000, Catholics 290,000, priests 22, religious 80), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1987.

- Appointed Msgr. Francois Xavier Maroy, vicar general of the archdiocese of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area 8,815, population 1.346,216. Catholics 860,599, priests 187, religious 686). The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Bukavu and was ordained a priest in 1984.

  On Saturday November 20, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Luciano Nervi, S.M.M., missionary in Malawi, as bishop of Mangochi (area 11,385, population 1,180,000, Catholics 205,000, priests 117, religious 56), Malawi. The bishop-elect was born in Sforzatica di Dalmine, Italy in 1938.

- Erected the diocese of Dori (area 36,896, population 710,000, Catholics 2,726, priests 16, religious 32), Burkina Faso, with territory taken from the diocese of Fada N'Gourma and Ouahigouya, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Koupela.

- Appointed Fr. Joachim Ouedraogo, rector of the Minor Seminary and vicar general of the diocese of Ouahigouya, as bishop of the diocese of Dori. The bishop-elect was born in 1962 in Rouko, Burkina Faso and was ordained a priest in 1991.

- Appointed the following as members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts: Cardinals Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Attilio Nicora, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and Archbishop-Bishop Agostino Vallini, emeritus of Albano, Italy and prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience nine prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Region IX) on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of St. Louis, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Hermann.

- Bishop John Raymond Gaydos of Jefferson City.

- Bishop Raymond James Boland of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Robert W. Finn.

- Bishop John Joseph Leibrect of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

- Archbishop Jerome George Hanus, O.S.B., of Dubuque.

- Msgr. Roger J. Augustine, diocesan administrator of Sioux City, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Lawrence Donald Soens.

  On Saturday November 20, the Holy Father received Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, addressing the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Angelus, reminded them that today is the feast of Christ the King and the last Sunday of the liturgical year, it is Pro Orantibus Day when the faithful pray for those in the contemplative life and it is also the Day of Migrations, celebrated this year on the theme "The World as a Home: From Mistrust to Welcoming."

  The Pope began his remarks by noting that on "November 21, forty years ago, the Fathers of Vatican Council II promulgated the Dogmatic Constitution that starts with the words' Lumen gentium com sit Christus,' 'Christ is the light of humanity'. Lumen gentium marked a milestone in the Church's journey on the streets of the contemporary world and stimulated the People of God to assume with ever greater decision their responsibilities in building the Kingdom of Christ which will have its complete fulfilment only outside of history."

  "Making the Gospel alive in the temporal order is, in fact, the duty of every baptized person, in particular the lay faithful. A useful aid for this mission is the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published this year by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to whom I once again express my gratitude."

  The Holy Father, adding that "all human activity, to reach its goal, must be supported by prayer" asked the faithful "to give spiritual and material support to our sisters and brothers" in the contemplative life.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today welcomed 150 participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which has been meeting for three days in the New Synod Hall on the theme "The Mission of Mature, Experienced Couples with Engaged and Young Married Couples."

  The Pope said the council's work "of spreading the 'Gospel of the Family'" is "a noble and decisive mission. The family, founded on marriage, is a natural, irreplaceable institution and a basic element of the common good of every society. Whoever destroys this basic fabric of human coexistence, not respecting its identity and distorting its duties, causes a deep wound to society and provokes often irreparable damages." He noted that the plenary has been reflecting on the council's work on family issues at both national and international levels.

  The Holy Father underscored the "singular" mission of married couples and Christian families "in building the Church and the Kingdom of God in history.  This mission has lost nothing of its actuality and has, in fact, taken on an urgent nature."

   He counseled "a renewed commitment in favor of young families" and newlyweds. It is usually in the early years of marriage, he said, that couples can experience difficulties. It is then that the Church's pastoral ministry for families, and the "discreet, delicate and generous assistance" of older married couples can play an important role in helping young couples overcome the problems associated with the newness of married life and of having children.

   "I note with pleasure," added John Paul II, "the growing presence throughout the world of movements in favor of families and of life. ... Ten years ago, in my Letter to Families, I underlined how important the rich experience of other families can be, especially when the 'we' of the parents, the husband and wife, is developed ... into the 'we' of the family, with the precious gift of children."
  The Pope concluded his talk with a reference to the Fifth Meeting of Families which the council is helping to plan and which will take place in Valencia, Spain in 2006.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 20, 2004 (VIS) - Members of the International Board of Trustees of Saint Joseph's Hospital in Jerusalem were welcomed by John Paul II to the Vatican this morning.

   "I take this opportunity to encourage you, and all associated with the work of the Hospital," he said in brief remarks in English, "always to give the best of yourselves in generous service to the sick, with the greatest respect for their human dignity and their unique value in the eyes of God. I appreciate the praiseworthy sense of solidarity and concern for the needs of the Palestinian community which led to the establishment of Saint Joseph's as the only Catholic hospital in Jerusalem.  May the Hospital continue to find moral and material support both in the Holy Land and abroad."
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