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Thursday, March 10, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAR 10, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Catarman, the Philippines, presented by Bishop Angel T. Hobayan upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Emmanuel Celeste Trance.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 10, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano received, in the Pope's name, the Letters of Credence of the new ambassador from Senegal to the Holy See, Felix Oudiane.

  The cardinal gave the diplomat a copy of the Pope's welcome speech, in which the Holy Father recalls how Senegal "has a long tradition of coexistence among all the communities of which the nation is composed. I am pleased with the promising results of efforts made in your country to fortify civil peace, and to eliminate all those elements which can give rise to dissention and violent confrontation. It is essential that all inhabitants are able to live in security and harmony."

  John Paul II highlights that peace is "fundamental in order to realize people's just aspiration to live a dignified and solidary life. Furthermore, it is more necessary than ever to educate the new generations in the ideals of fraternity, justice and solidarity."

  "Senegal's commitment to seeking and consolidating peace in Africa is well-known and appreciated by the international community," the Pope writes, adding that the continent "has an urgent need for peace and stability. Violence will never be a satisfactory solution for resolving disagreements between human groups. Courage and perseverance are the most effective ways to achieve true reconciliation."

  After recognizing that Senegal "is particularly sensitive to the importance of different religions being able to experience diversity within the unity of a nation," the Pope writes: "This is one of the conditions for the full development of society. Despite the inevitable difficulties inherent in coexistence between different human communities, dialogue enables the richness of their diversity to be recognized."

  The Pope highlights the fact that dialogue needs to "find concrete expression in true coexistence among communities, in order to serve the common good of the one human family. There is still a long road to travel together, that of mutual knowledge, forgiveness and reconciliation, through regular collaboration that contributes to building a pacified and fraternal society."

  In closing, the Holy Father addresses the Catholic community of Senegal, calling it to "always remain united to its bishops, so that the love of Christ may shine ever more brightly, and to share with everyone the joy and happiness that it never ceases to receive from God. The Gospel calls all Christ's disciples to work tirelessly with all men and women of good will to build the unity of the human family, the source of which is in God."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 10, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following declaration to journalists, concerning the Pope's health:

  "The Holy Father, accepting the advice of his doctors, will extend his stay in Gemelli' Polyclinic by a few more days, in order to complete his convalescence which is progressing regularly.

  "I do not expect to issue another communique before Monday, March 14."

  In reply to questions from journalists, Navarro-Valls confirmed that "the Pope will spend Holy Week in the Vatican." He indicated that the Angelus this coming Sunday would "follow the same model as the two previous Sundays." Lastly, the press office director recalled that the Pope continues to receive his collaborators, "with whom he follows the activity of the Holy See and the life of the Church. Yesterday, for example, he received Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. Thus, he has resumed the meetings he customarily holds when working in the Vatican."
OP/POPE HEALTH/NAVARRO-VALLS                    VIS 20050310 (200)

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