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Monday, December 20, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, apostolic nuncio in Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Dominica, Sts. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadine, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname and apostolic delegate in the Antilles, as apostolic nuncio in Grenada.

  It was made public on Saturday, December 18 that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Archbishop Salvatore Nunnari of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi-Conza-Nusco-Bisaccia, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Cosenza-Bisignano (area 2,537, population 382,000, Catholics 374,000, priests 254, permanent deacons 26, religious 703), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Giuseppe Agostino whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Erected the diocese of Alindao (area 18,457, population 160,000, Catholics 38,000, priests 15, religious 12), Central African Republic, with territory take from the diocese of Bangassou, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Bangui.

- Appointed Fr. Peter Marzinkowski, C.S.Sp., provincial superior of Germany, as bishop of Alindao, Central African Republic. The bishop-elect was born in 1939 in Leipzig, Poland and was ordained a priest in 1966.

- Appointed Msgr. Luigi Ernesto Palletti, chancellor general of the archdiocese of Genoa, Italy as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area 966, population 726,093, Catholics 690,133, priests 582, permanent deacons 23, religious 1,917). The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Genoa and was ordained a priest in 1983.

- Appointed Archbishop Ambrose B. De Paoli, apostolic nuncio in Japan, as apostolic nuncio in Australia.

- Appointed Archbishop Luis Robles Diaz, vice president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Appointed Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, as his special envoy to the solemn celebration of the 17th centenary of the martyrdom of St. Anastasia, patron of the archdiocese of Zadar, which will take place on January 15 in 2005 in Zadar, Croatia.

- Appointed Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany, as his special envoy to the solemn celebration of the 850th anniversary of the arrival of St. Henry, bishop, in Finland and the 50th anniversary of the erection of the diocese of Helsinki, Finland, which will take place on February 27, 2005 in Helsinki.

- Appointed Msgr. Kazimierz Gurda, of the clergy of the diocese of Kielce, Poland and rector of the diocesan seminary, as auxiliary bishop of the same diocese (area 8,319, population 788,824, Catholics 768,525, priests 696, religious 507), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in 1953 in Ksiaznice Wielke, Poland and was ordained a priest in 1978.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

- Marcelo Fernandez de Cordoba Ponce, ambassador of Ecuador on his farewell visit.

  On Saturday, December 18, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Ferenc Gyurcsany, prime minister of Hungary, and an entourage.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall in the presence of the Holy Father, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the postulators of the respective causes, 22 new decrees were promulgated. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the congregation, read a discourse about the lives of the Servants of God and Blesseds.


- Blessed Joseph Bilczewski, archbishop of Leopoli of the Latins, Ukrainian (1860-1923).

- Blessed Zygmunt Gorazdowski, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Ukrainian (1845-1923).

- Blessed Gaetano Catanoso, diocesan priest and founder Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face, Italian (1879-1963).

 For Venerable Servants and Servants of God:

- Clemens August von Galen, cardinal, German, bishop of Munster (1878-1946).

- Luigi Biraghi, Italian, diocesan priest, founder of the Institute of the Religious of St. Marcelina (1801-1879).

- Bronislaw Markiewicz, priest and founder of the Congregations of St. Michael the Archangel, Polish (1842-1912).

- Charles de Foucauld, ne Charles of Jesus, diocesan priest, French (1858-1916).

- Mother Rita Amata di Gesu, nee Rita Lopez de Almeida, religious and foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Portuguese (1848-1913).

- Maria Crocifissa Curcio, nee Rosa, religious and foundress of the Congregation of the Carmelite Missionaries of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, Italian (1877-1957).

- Mother Ascencion del Corazon de Jesus, nee Fiorentina Nicol Goñi,  religious of the Dominicans of the Third Order, co-foundress and first superior general of the Dominicans of the Holy Rosary, Spanish (1868-1940).

- Mother Maria Anna Cope, nee Barbara, religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse, U.S.A., German (1838-1918).


- Fr. Ladislaw Findysz, diocesan priest, Polish (1907-1964).


- Servant of God Luigi Maria Olivares, of the archdiocese of Milan and former bishop of Sutri and Nepi, Italy, religious of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, Italian (1873-1943).

- Servant of God Bolewslaw Sloskans, Latvian, bishop and apostolic administrator of Mohilev and Minsk (1893-1981).

- Servant of God Virgilio Angioni, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Divine Providence and of the Good Shepherd, Italian (1878-1947).

- Servant of God Ignatius Klopotowski, Polish, diocesan priest and founder of the Sisters of Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto (1866-1931).

- Servant of God Michael Spocko, priest, Polish (1888-1975).

- Servant of God Titus Horten, priest of the Order of the Friars Preachers, German (1882-1936).

- Servant of God Mariano de la Mata Aparicio, priest and religious of the Order of St. Augustin in Spain, Spanish (1905-1983).

- Servant of God Mary Colomba Bialecka, nee Rosa Filippina, religious and foundress of the Congregation for the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic, Polish (1838-1887).

- Servant of God Mother Mary Merkert, religious and co-foundress and first superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth, Polish (1817-1872).

- Servant of God Marta Wiecka, of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Polish (1874-1904).
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2004 (VIS) - This morning, John Paul II received 50 boys and girls from Italian Catholic Action, along with the general assistant, Msgr. Francesco Lambiasi, and the national president, Paola Bignardi, who come every to wish the Pope  a Merry Christmas.

  "I was happy to learn," said the Pope, "of your annual initiative to develop a plan of formation centered on the theme of 'company' or fellowship. Carry out this project with joy and generosity! It is important that each one of you grow in conscience and friendship with Jesus. You can do it fully in that 'company' which is the Church, so loved by Christ as house and school of communion and solidarity."

  The Holy Father told the young people of Catholic Action that he hoped that Christmas, "with its spiritual allure, might arouse in you the desire to get to know Jesus Who came to the world to save us."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 19, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, addressing the faithful in St. Peter's Square who came to pray the Angelus with him, said that "Christmas, the celebration that is perhaps dearest to popular tradition, is rich in symbols linked to different cultures. The most important is certainly the nativity scene, as I underscored last week."

  "Next to the nativity scene, such as we find here in St. Peter's Square," the Pope continued, "we find the traditional Christmas tree. This is also an ancient custom that exalts the value of life because during winter, the evergreen fir becomes a sign of life that does not die. Christmas gifts are usually placed under the Christmas tree. The symbol thus becomes eloquent even in a typically Christian sense: it reminds us of the 'tree of life', a figure of Christ, God's supreme gift to all of mankind."

  John Paul II pointed out that "the message of the Christmas tree is thus that life is 'evergreen' if one makes a gift, not of material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, in fraternal help and in pardon, in time shared and in reciprocal listening."

  After the Angelus, the Pope, speaking Russian, welcomed some children from Beslan, North Ossetia who are guests with some of their relatives of the Discalzed Carmelites of Trento. "Dear ones, may the good that you are receiving from so many friends help you overcome the wounds caused by the terrible experience in the past." The Pope was referring to the September assault by terrorists on a school in Beslan where more than 300 people, mostly school children, died.


VATICAN CITY, DEC 18, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in Lisbon, in Portugal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, and Antonio Victor Monteiro Martins, the minister of Foreign Affairs and of the Portuguese Communities, exchanged documents of ratification of the Concordat between the Holy See and the Portuguese Republic, signed in the Vatican on May 18, 2004. The agreement regulates matters of common interest between the Church and State.

  "The Accord," says a communique, "which renews the original concordat signed on May 7, 1940, regulates the juridical position of the Catholic Church and its institutions. The State guarantees the Church the public and free exercise of its activities, especially with regard to worship, Magisterium and ministry, as well as jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters. It also recognizes religious freedom, especially with regard to personal beliefs, the right to assemble, public expression, teaching and charitable activity."

  In a declaration following the exchange of the documents of ratification, Archbishop Lajolo underscored the "great principles that inspire the Concordat: the Church's freedom" and "cooperation which allows the Church, with respect for the State's competence, to be associated with other private and public institutions in the service of society, for the good of man; and it does this above all through its educational and charitable works in line with two foundations of its activity: truth and love."

  He continued: "Also very important are the clauses on the teaching of religion and Catholic morality in public schools, the possibility to build new Catholic schools and the official recognition of the Portuguese Catholic University. How can we not see the importance of an accord in the field of the formation of young people who represent the future of the Church and society?"

  The secretary for Relations with States also cited, "as one of the typical dispositions of modern concordats, the stipulation to safeguard cultural heritage, which is extremely rich in Portugal and which has been greatly shaped by the religious values that make up the foundation on which the noble traditions of the Portuguese people have developed.  Putting aside space for religious purposes ... indicates the desire to continue to make these spiritual values a point of reference also for the future."
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 18, 2004 (VIS) - Ferenc Gyurcsany, prime minister of Hungary, was received today by the Pope who, noting Hungary's entrance this year into the European Union, told him he was "confident that your country will make a specific contribution to the future of this Continent by drawing on the rich patrimony of cultural and spiritual values which, from the time of St. Stephen, have formed the soul of the Hungarian people."

  "In this regard," the Holy Father continued, "I think especially of the young people of your nation, and the importance of their training in sound moral and civic values. This is an area of particular concern to the Church as she seeks to contribute to the common good in the fulfillment of her religious and educational mission. I am therefore most appreciative of the series of juridical agreements entered into by Hungary and the Holy See in recent years, particularly the 'Agreement on Financing the Activities of Public Service and other Religious Activities undertaken in Hungary by the Catholic Church'."

  John Paul II said that that Agreement "defines in a juridically binding way the role of the Church in an important area of Hungarian society, with due respect for the human rights to religious freedom and to education." He said he hoped that "a spirit of constructive cooperation" would continue to mark the working relationship between the two.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 18, 2004 (VIS) - Delegates from the Forum of Family Associations, in Rome for their Program Conference, were received today by the Pope who thanked them for their 10 years of work in favor of families and for "being a voice for those who have none, for being spokesmen for family rights."

  "The family is not only at the heart of Christian life," he said, "it is the foundation of social and civil life, and thus constitutes a central chapter in Christian social teaching." He urged deeper studies of "that union between a man and a woman which takes place in marriage and gives rise to the family community. Whoever destroys this basic fabric of human coexistence causes a deep wound to society and often causes irreparable damage."

  John Paul II outlined the attacks taking place on marriage and the family, saying "they grow stronger and more radical every day. ... The attempt to reduce the family to a private affective experience, socially irrelevant; to confuse individual rights with those proper to the family nucleus constituted by a bond of matrimony; to make cohabitation equal to marriage; to accept, and in some cases promote, the suppression of innocent human lives with voluntary abortion; to distort the natural processes of generating children by introducing artificial forms of procreation, these are some of the areas in which subversion is underway in society."

  Devaluating marriage and losing respect for human dignity, said the Pope, is not progress. "What is presented as progress of civilization or scientific conquest, in many cases is, in fact, a defeat for human dignity and for society. ... The truth about man ... cannot be sacrificed to technological dominion or the prevarication of desires over authentic rights."

  In concluding, the Holy Father encouraged Catholic associations "and all who believe in the values of family and life, not to give in to pressures of a culture which threatens the very foundations of respect for life and promotion of the family."
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