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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Monday, February 28, 2005


VATICAN CITY, FEB 28, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls today transmitted to journalists the following medical bulletin on the Pope's health:

  "The Holy Father's post-operative phase is taking place without complications.

  "His general condition and biological parameters continue to be good.

  "The Holy Father is eating regularly, spends some hours in an armchair and has begun  exercises to rehabilitate breathing and phonation.

  "The next communique will be on Thursday, March 3."
OP/POPE:HEALTH/NAVARRO-VALLS                VIS 20050228 (90)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 27, 2005 (VIS) - Shortly after the Angelus prayer recited in St. Peter's Square yesterday by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, Pope John Paul appeared unannounced at the window of his hospital room, and waved to and blessed the crowd that had gathered at Gemelli Polyclinic. This was the first time in more than 26 years of pontificate that the Holy Father did not personally recite the Angelus.

  As the Pope was ordered by his doctors not to talk for several days, Archbishop Sandri led the Marian prayer, read the Pope's customary Sunday reflections and, in the Pope's name, imparted the apostolic blessing. Photos taken by the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano photographer were released that showed John Paul II, surrounded by doctors and several collaborators, as he followed the Angelus on television in his hospital suite.
 "Once again, dear brothers and sisters," said the Pope's message, "I address you from Agostino Gemelli hospital. I thank you affectionately and I feel your spiritual closeness. I am thinking of all of you gathered in St. Peter's Square, both individuals and groups, and of those from around the world who have expressed interest in me. I ask you to continue to be with me, especially with your prayers.

  "The penitential climate of Lent, which we are now living, helps us to better understand the value of suffering that in one way or another, touches all of us. It is in looking at Christ and following Him with patient trust that we are able to understand how every human form of pain has within it the divine promise of salvation and joy. I would like this message of comfort and hope to reach everyone, especially those who are going through difficult moments, those who suffer in body and spirit.

  "To Mary, Mother of the Church, I renew my entrustment: 'Totus tuus'. May she help us in every moment of life to fulfill God's holy will. May my paternal blessing reach everyone."
ANG/SUFFERING/GEMELLI:SANDRI                VIS 20050228 (350)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 26, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Archbishop Giacomo Guido Ottonello, apostolic nuncio to Panama, as apostolic nuncio to Ecuador.

 - As members of the Congregation for Bishops: Archbishops Franc Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Pier Giacomo De Nicolo, apostolic nuncio.

 - Viviane Verlinde-Boutelegier, president of the "Comite International Catholique des Infirmieres et Assistantes Medico-Sociales (International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical-Social Assistants)" of Belgium, as a member of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 26, 2005 (VIS) - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments announced today in a communique that its annual plenary assembly will start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1 in the Bologna Room of the Apostolic Palace. Fifty-one congregation members, including 32 cardinals and 19 archbishops and bishops, are scheduled to participate in the meeting which ends late morning of Friday, March  4. Cardinal Francis Arinze is the prefect of the congregation.

  Four topics are on the agenda: "Ars celebrandi," presented by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires; "Formation, Spirituality and the Liturgical Ministry," by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon; "Homilies" by Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, and "Meaning, Method and Extension of the 'recognitio'" by Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney.
CCD/PLENARY/ARINZE                        VIS 20050228 (140)


VATICAN CITY, FEB 26, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon at the Lateran University in Rome, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, and Juan Somavia, director of the International Labor Office, presented the  conclusions of the Report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. This commission was established by the ILO in 2002 and the Report  was published in 2004.

  A communique announcing the event at the Lateran, summarized the findings of the Report: "The current functioning of the world economy suffers from deeply rooted and profound imbalances that are unacceptable from an ethical point of view and politically indefensible. For the majority of men and women in the world globalization does not respond to their legitimate aspirations to have a dignified job and a better future for their children."

  The communique also summarized Cardinal Martino's talk, in which he underlined the need to re-think policies and institutions of world governance. He said that now is the moment to place the question of human work and its dignity in the front line of action for a just and fair globalization. He stated that work is the key to the social question which today is a global question. Work, when recognized and appreciated, is the path for individuals to get out of situations of  absolute poverty in a sustainable way and is also the key for a change in societies and institutions. The possibility of work transforms a poor person from being a "problem" that has to be taken care of to becoming a "resource."


VATICAN CITY, FEB 26, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following declaration to journalists at midday today:

  "Today, February 26, the head of  the Azerbaijani State, Ilham Aliev, paid a visit to Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano.

  "Elmar Mammadyarov, foreign minister of Azerbaijan, and Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, also participated in the meeting.

  "The illustrious guest asked the cardinal secretary of State to pass on his greetings to the Holy Father, as well as those of the Azerbaijani people who well remember the Holy Father's visit to Baku on May 22-23, 2002. President Aliev also presented Pope John Paul II with an artistic portrait done by Memmedov Sakit Qulama Oglu.

  "In the course of the discussion, consideration was given to relations between the Holy See and Azerbaijan, as well as to problems in the Caucasus, with a common commitment to favor the material and spiritual progress of that region, in particular the necessary religious freedom and dialogue between the various components of society."


VATICAN CITY, FEB 26, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope addressed to Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, archbishop of Prague, Czech Republic, and to bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement, who from February 19-25 participated in a congress at Castelgandolofo on the presence of the Risen Lord as a vital principle of the Church.

  In the Message, dated February 19, the Holy Father writes that "this providential initiative, falling appropriately in the context of the year dedicated to the Eucharist, will surely be a source of renewed apostolic vitality and missionary daring for everyone as they face the not inconsiderable number of social and religious challenges of our time. Indeed, during these days of study and prayer it is your shared intention to discern the most appropriate ways to bear witness, in modern society, to the presence of the Risen Christ, the center of the Church."

  "With ever-living ardor, contemplate Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. Following His example, be ready in all circumstances to make yourselves instruments of mercy and communion. The secret of pastoral success is the crucified and risen Lord, Whom we adore in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As you well know, in order to be eloquent signs of His love and instigators of His peace in all environments, everyone is first of all asked to cultivate an intimate and constant familiarity with Him. From intense participation in the Eucharist springs the spiritual energy needed to bring all projects of goodness to fruition."

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