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Thursday, November 25, 2004


VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Angel Polibio Sanchez Loayza, vicar general of the diocese of Machala, Ecuador as bishop of Guaranda (area 3,336, population 169,370, Catholics 161,118, priests 36, permanent deacons 1, religious 88), Ecuador.  The bishop-elect was born in 1946 in Ayapamba, Ecuador and was ordained a priest 1975.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience five prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Region IX) on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss of Omaha.

- Bishop Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz of Lincoln.

- Bishop-elect William J. Dendinger of Grand Island.

- Bishop-elect Paul S. Coakley of Salina, accompanied by Bishop Emeritus George Kinzie Fitzsimons.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2004 (VIS) - Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will arrive in Rome tomorrow for a two-day visit during which, in an ecumenical celebration in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday, November 27, he will receive from Pope John Paul the relics of Saints John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus, Bishops and Doctors of the Church.

  Accompanying the patriarch on the plane from Turkey will be Cardinal Roger Etchegaray and Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio in Turkey. On the return trip to Istanbul, to celebrate the November 30 feast of St Andrew, patron of the ecumenical patriarchate, Bartholomew I will be accompanied by a Holy See delegation comprised of Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Bishop Brian Farrell, Archbishop Farhat and Msgr. Johan J. Bonny.

   Among those who will be at the airport tomorrow to welcome the patriarch will be Cardinal Kasper, Bishop Farrell and Msgr. Fortino, president, secretary and under-secretary of the council, Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, Archbishop Piero Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies and Msgr. Renato Boccardo, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Also present will be the first counselor of the Turkish embassy to the Holy See, and the ambassadors to the Holy See from Greece and Cyprus.

  Patriarch Bartholomew and his delegation will reside at the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Marthae. A welcome dinner offered by the pontifical council will inaugurate the visit to Rome.

  According to a background document from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Patriarch Bartholomew I met John Paul II in Rome on June 29, 2004, at which time he invited the Pope to Istanbul, and also asked if the relics of the saints could be returned from the Vatican, where they were kept in St. Peter's Basilica, to the See of Constantinople. An exchange of letters between the Pope and the Patriarch followed, and this week's encounter is the result of that correspondence.

  "The handing over of the relics," says the communique, "is a deep encouragement to walk the path of unity: the mortal remains of the two Saints, Patriarchs of Constantinople, who did everything possible to safeguard unity between East and West, venerated in their land of origin, welcomed with great honors in the Church of Rome, which for many centuries has preserved and venerated them, walk once again on the path to the East, thanks to this gesture of spiritual sharing which nourishes and fortifies communion between the Sees of Peter and Constantinople."

  Pope John Paul has asked that the relics be placed in two crystal shrines and enclosed in precious alabaster reliquaries. When they arrive in Istanbul on Saturday, they will be placed in a chapel of the patriarchate and, on the feast of St. Andrew, they will be permanently placed in the patriarchal church of St. George.

  Saturday's ceremony in St. Peter's will be transmitted live via television and will be seen in the United States and Greece, among others.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Laity who are reflecting on the theme "Discover once again the true face of the Parish."

  John Paul II recalled some of the initiatives promoted by the dicastery, such as the meeting of Catholics in Eastern Europe last year in Kiev, Ukraine "which emphasized the role of lay people in the spiritual and material rebuilding of those nations after years of atheistic totalitarianism." In addition, he referred to the publication of the "Catalogue of the International Associations of the Faithful" as a fruit of "greater collaboration among the different associations, communities and movements."

  "I must mention," he continued, "the intense preparation for World Youth Day which will be celebrated in Cologne, Germany in 2005. This gathering, whose theme is 'We have come to adore Him,' encourages the entire Church and especially young people to take up the path of the Three Magi in order to encounter God, made man for our salvation."

  The Pope indicated that participants in this plenary were beginning to reflect on the parish, a study which will last for years. "The first step ... consists in helping the lay faithful to discover once again the true face of the parish, .... the place par excellence to announce Christ and to educate people in the faith.  Precisely for this reason it must be constantly renewed in order to become the true 'community of all communities,' capable of truly incisive missionary activity."

  "In this year dedicated to the Eucharist," he added, "we must remember that the Eucharist is the beating heart of the parish, font of its mission and presence which continually renews it." John Paul II concluded by expressing his hope that the assembly's reflection on the parish "may help everyone to understand better that the parish community is a place to encounter Christ and our brothers and sisters."
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