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Thursday, January 20, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JAN 20, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, John Paul II received participants in the General Chapter of the International Union of Families of Schoenstatt.

  After recalling what he wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation "Familiaris consortio," namely, that "the future of humanity passes by way of the family," the Pope asked those present to deepen "their understanding of marriage and the family in the light of faith. It is good that the family represents the charism of your union. The family is a 'school of love.' Transmit your enthusiasm for marriage and the family to your people."

  "Society currently needs more than ever healthy families who are capable of defending the common good," the Pope said. "If we strengthen the sacred institution of marriage and the family in keeping with the divine plan, love and solidarity between people will grow."

  The Holy Father stressed that the year of the Eucharist represents "an urgent invitation to find 'the source of all communion in the supreme Sacrament of love'. Discover anew the immense gift of the Eucharist 'in order to experience fully the beauty and the mission of the family'."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 20, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Braulio Rodriguez Plata of Valladolid.

    - Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila.

    - Bishop Atilano Rodriguez Martinez of Ciudad Rodrigo.

    - Bishop Carlos Lopez Hernandez of Salamanca.

    - Bishop Luis Gutierrez Martin. C.M.F., of Segovia.

  On the evening of Wednesday, January 19, he received in separate audiences three prelates from the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Elias Yanes Alvarez of Zaragoza.

    - Bishop Casimiro Lopez Llorente of Zamora.

    - Bishop Alfonso Milian Sorribas of Barbastro-Monzon.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 20, 2005 (VIS) - Published today was the speech given in New York on January 18 by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, before the plenary of the General Assembly on Item 39, Strengthening the Coordination of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance of the United Nations, Including Special Economic Assistance: Draft Resolution.

  The archbishop, referring to the December 26 tsunami disaster, expressed "deepest condolences to the concerned countries," and noted that "since the very start of the emergency, His Holiness Pope John Paul the Second has expressed his deepest sympathy.  He has committed the agencies of the Catholic Church to act in a genuine gesture of solidarity to all people without exception in each nation touched by this enormous tragedy."

  He added that the Catholic Church's "institutions and the Papal Representatives present in the affected countries went into action immediately. Firstly, they gave out food and clothes as well as sheltering the affected populations. Tragically, it has become clear that the most affected group has been young children, of whom at least fifty thousand were swept away, but there are also tens of thousands left orphaned.  For this reason we are placing special emphasis upon ways to bring help to surviving children in the zones worst affected."

  "In cooperation with the Pontifical Council Cor Unum," stated Archbishop Migliore, "a very long list of Catholic agencies is already using funds from throughout the world, amounting to nearly five hundred million dollars, some of which is going into emergency aid and the rest into longer term projects through our local networks." He underscored that "the extraordinary impact of the power of nature ... elicited an equally extraordinary response from the peoples and governments of the whole world. ... Such a swift and practical expression of global solidarity is surely a sign of the fundamental decency of the peoples of the world."

  The nuncio remarked that "the world's nations should seize this opportunity and the good will generated by the world's peoples so as to further important humanitarian goals on the broader agenda at this time. ... My delegation earnestly hopes, therefore, that this year will be one in which solidarity will be the hallmark of the political agenda."
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