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Monday, March 14, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, France, as ordinary for Catholics of Oriental rite resident in France and without an ordinary of their own. He succeeds Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop emeritus of Paris, whose resignation from the same office was accepted by the Holy Father.

  On Saturday, March 12, it was made public that he appointed Msgr. Joseph Kariyil, vicar general of the diocese of Cochin, India, as bishop of Punalur (area 5,052, population 2,482,100, Catholics 46,708, priests 50, religious 237), India. The bishop-elect was born in Arthiunkal, India, in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1973. He succeeds Bishop Mathias Kappil whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following declaration:

  "Tomorrow, March 15, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church, will participate as the Holy Father's representative at the inauguration of the new Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was the speech given on March 10 by Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu, nunciature counsellor at the Holy See Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations at Geneva, at the 32nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The four-day meeting began March 8.

  "The refugee situation in Africa," he said in his talk which focused on the displaced population crisis in Darfur, Sudan, "remains a deep scar on the human family everywhere. The precarious and tragic condition of these millions of persons forcibly uprooted from their villages and their lands calls for concrete and prompt decisions to alleviate their suffering and to protect their rights."
  Msgr. Nwachukwu noted the "positive signs given in the past year when voluntary and organized repatriation of refugees had started to normalize life for tens of thousands." However, there has been "insufficient funding" and a "worsening of violence and ill-treatment of the displaced population of Darfur where the humanitarian situation is critical. Systematic attacks on the civil populations, the destruction of infrastructures and entire villages and the elimination of livestock and crops lead to a widespread displacement of the civilian population."

  "If  a person is lucky," added the delegate, "he or she becomes a refugee by crossing the border and ends up in a refugee camp in Chad, where protection and some relative safety may be provided. ... The African Union military monitors are insufficient in number and lack the necessary logistical support."
  In conclusion, he said that, notwithstanding "the courageous presence and assistance of the UNHCR, of other U.N. agencies and many NGOs, ... a strong U.N. leadership and an overall coordination by one agency of external assistance and protection to IDP (internally displaced persons) camps and other places of their concentration appear urgent. ... As international community we should develop a reliable system which effectively protects those staying in their own country, but displaced from their homes."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2005 (VIS) - Just hours before returning to the Vatican this evening, Pope John Paul appeared at his hospital window for the noon Angelus to greet and bless the faithful gathered in the courtyard of Gemelli Polyclinic. Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, led the Marian prayer in St. Peter's Square and read the Pope's reflections while images of the Holy Father were projected on large screens.

  The media was the focus of the Holy Father's Angelus reflections. "In these days I have been in Gemelli hospital," said the message, "I felt in a special way the presence and attention of many who work in the mass media. Today I wish to extend to them a word of gratitude because I know that it is not without sacrifice that they undertake their appreciated service, thanks to which the faithful, in every part of the world, can feel I am closer and can accompany me with their affection and prayers."

  "In our era of global communications the role of the mass media is very important. Also important is the responsibility of all who work in this field, called to always give prompt information, respectful of the dignity of the human person and attentive to the common good."

  "During Lent, which invites us to be nourished more abundantly by the Word of God, I like to think that it is possible to nourish one's own spirit even through radio, television and Internet. I am grateful to all who work in these new forms of evangelization by using the mass media."

  The Pope concluded by saying he hoped to see many young people in St. Peter's Square next Sunday, Palm Sunday and the celebration of World Youth Day on a diocesan level, as a prelude to the international World Youth Day this summer in Cologne, Germany.

  Pope John Paul left Gemelli Hospital, where he had been admitted on February 24 for the second time that month, just before 6:30 p.m. Travelling in a silver van, and seated in the front next to the driver, he arrived in Vatican City shortly afterwards, greeted by small crowds that lined the nearby streets as well as St. Peter's Square. According to Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro Valls, the Pope will continue his therapy and convalescence in the Vatican.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 12, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father has named the presidents delegate, relator general and special secretary of the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which will take place in the Vatican from October 2 to 29, 2005 on the theme, "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church."

  The presidents delegate are: Cardinals Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico and Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India. The relator general is Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy and the special secretary is Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France.
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VATICAN CITY, MAR 12, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope addressed to Cardinal James F. Stafford, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, to his collaborators, to father confessors of Roman basilicas, and to all priests participating in the annual course on the internal forum, organized by the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

  "We live in a society that often seems to have lost a sense of God and of sin," writes the Holy Father in his Message, which is dated March 8 from Gemelli Polyclinic. "In this context, Christ's call to conversion becomes ever more urgent, a call that presupposes confession of one's own sins and the consequent request for forgiveness and salvation."

  John Paul II recalls that "in the tradition of the Church, sacramental reconciliation has always been considered in close connection with the sacrificial banquet of the Eucharist, a remembrance of our redemption. In this year specially dedicated to the Eucharistic mystery, I consider it more than ever worthwhile to again call your attention to the vital relationship that exists between these two Sacraments."

  "In the rite of Mass, many elements underline this need for purification and conversion: from the opening act of penance, to the prayers for forgiveness; from the sign of peace, to the prayers that priests and faithful recite prior to communion. Only people with a sincere awareness of not having committed mortal sin may receive the body of Christ."

  After making a call for the Eucharistic mystery to be celebrated "with pureness of heart and sincere love," the Holy Father concludes: "Clearly and simply preach the true doctrine concerning the need of the Sacrament of reconciliation for receiving communion, when one is aware of not being in God's grace. At the same time, encourage the faithful to receive the body and blood of Christ in order to be purified of venial sins and imperfections, so that Eucharistic celebrations are pleasing to God and associate us with the offer of the holy and immaculate Victim with a heart that is contrite and humbled, confident and reconciled. Be assiduous ministers for all the faithful, willing and competent in the Sacrament of reconciliation, true images of the holy and merciful Christ."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 12, 2005 (VIS) - Pope John Paul has written a Message to members of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, known as the Marian Fathers, as they celebrate their General Chapter. Made public today, the Message is dated March 10 from Gemelli Hospital.

  The Marians were founded in Poland in 1673 by Servant of God Stanislaus of Jesus Mary Papczynski who, says the Pope, "knew how to spread and courageously defend the truth of the Immaculate Conception even before it was proclaimed as a dogma of faith. Faithfully follow his example and propagate Marian devotion all around you."

  "In this year especially dedicated to the mystery of the Eucharist," writes the Holy Father, "make this wonderful Sacrament even more the center of your personal and community life, placing yourselves docilely at the school of the Blessed Virgin, 'Eucharistic woman'. ... If your heart burns with fervent love for the Eucharist and for Our Lady, the shrines you run in various parts of the world will be even more genuine 'cenacles' of prayer and welcome."

  Noting the many "exemplary religious" who have been Marians, "often in difficult and risky situations," even to the point of giving their lives, the Pope asks the congregation "to intensify your apostolic drive, committing yourselves with renewed enthusiasm to the promotion of priestly and religious vocations and satisfactorily preparing those aspiring to your institute to be generous workers in the Lord's vineyard. May your pastoral collaboration with lay faithful grow, dedicating special attention to the young and to the needy, to the marginalized and the elderly. Be apostles and witnesses of Divine Mercy for everyone."

  "'For Christ and the Church': May this continue to be the program of your religious family to whom I wish an abundant harvest of apostolic fruits."
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