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Wednesday, April 13, 2005


VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2005 (VIS) - Today, the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff made it known that in the Hall of Blessings at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 15 officials and assistants of the conclave will be called to take their oath.

  All those involved in the forthcoming conclave - both clergy and laity, as approved by the cardinal camerlengo and by the three cardinal assistants, and in keeping with the norms of para. 48 of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Domini gregis' -  will have to swear and sign the prescribed oath. In accordance with para. 46 of Universi Dominici gregis, the following people must be in the Sala Regia at 4.30 p.m. on that day:

 - The Secretary of the College of Cardinals.

 - The master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

 - The masters of pontifical ceremonies.

 - The religious who supervise the pontifical sacristy.

 - The ecclesiastic chosen by the cardinal dean to help him in his duties.

 - The religious charged with hearing confessions in the various languages.

 - Doctors and nurses.
 - The personnel for preparing meals and cleaning.

 - Technical service personnel (Universi Dominici gregis, paras. 5 and 51).

 - Personnel responsible for transporting the cardinal electors from the 'Domus Sanctae Marthae' to the Apostolic Palace.

 - Elevator attendants at the Apostolic Palace.

 - Priests admitted as assistants to some of the Cardinals.

  After having been instructed on the meaning of the oath, they will have to pronounce and personally sign the prescribed formula before Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, and in the presence of two masters of pontifical ceremonies (Universi Dominici gregis, paras. 48).
OCL/OATH CONCLAVE/...                            VIS 20050413 (290)


VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2005 (VIS) - Today, at the end of the Ninth General Congregation of Cardinals in the period of the vacant see, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following statement to journalists:

  "The ninth General Congregation of cardinals began at 9 this morning in the New Synod Hall in the presence of 140 cardinals.

  "The cardinals discussed several articles of Chapter IV of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici gregis'. (Chapter IV: Faculties of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia during the vacancy of the Apostolic See)

  "The assembly continued their exchange of ideas on the situation of the Church and the world.

  "The cardinals received condolences from the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

  "Following the speech by Ambassador Giovanni Galassi of the Republic of San Marino, dean of the diplomatic corps, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, thanked the chiefs of mission, asking them to express the gratitude of the Sacred College to the authorities and the peoples whom they represent.

  "Joining the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in greeting the diplomatic corps were Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, the vice dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the senior cardinal of the Order of Priests, Eugenio de Araujo Sales and the cardinal proto-deacon, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez.

  "At the end of this morning's ninth congregation, the cardinals were given the series of 'sede vacante' stamps issued by the Philatelic Office of Vatican City.

  "The recitation of the Regina Coeli concluded the meeting."


VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2005 (VIS) - In the atrium of the Paul VI Hall today, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, gave thanks in the name of the entire college to Giovanni Galassi, dean of the diplomatic corps to the Holy See, and to the other ambassadors for their condolences on the death of John Paul II. The Holy See currently maintains diplomatic relations with 174 States.

  Cardinal Ratzinger affirmed that John Paul II "guided the Church over 26 years, making it clear that, as Vatican Council II recalls, she is 'a sign and instrument both of a very closely-knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race.' He brought the Church to hope with renewed impetus; he introduced her to the third millennium, inviting Christians to carry Christ to the world and calling all human beings of good will to goodness, peace, solidarity and sharing. He opened the heart of human beings, especially the hearts of the young, to the message of the Good News.

  "We have seen the consequences over these days, when innumerable people came to render homage to His Holiness John Paul II. This Pope gave of himself to the limits of his strength in announcing the Gospel on all continents, especially during his numerous journeys, showing the face of a Pope rich in mercy, leading to Christ, man's Redeemer, inviting everyone to let the Holy Spirit dwell within them."

  The dean of the College of Cardinals indicated that the sadness of this time is combined with "profound thanksgiving to God, Who gave us a great pastor, and with an intense thank-you to John Paul II for his actions and his teaching."

  "You have been privileged witnesses of the activities of the Pope and the Church throughout the world, and of the development of diplomatic relations, which have more than doubled over this pontificate. How many times did Pope John Paul II exhort countries to find peaceful solutions and to pursue dialogue? How many times did he call on the leaders of nations to give ever more concrete attention to the people in their care, especially the weakest, the smallest and the poorest? How many times did he recall the greatness of human life?"

  Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out how all the Pope's exhortations "still resound for us today as a commitment in favor of the human being, of all human beings." They represent, he said, "a message and a call for us to greater service in favor of peace and solidarity among individuals and peoples, at the service of human beings of all continents, in order that a reconciled humanity may spring forth in a world where all are shareholders. This in particular is what the Pope tirelessly recalled to the civil authorities, and to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See."
.../CONDOLENCES DEATH POPE/RATZINGER                VIS 20050413 (490)


VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration:

  "This afternoon Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, received Salvatore Festa, head of the Italian Police Inspectorate for Vatican City State.

  "The substitute of the Secretariat of State again wished to explicitly thank Festa, and with him each of the functionaries and the agents of the Inspectorate, for their extraordinary commitment over the days following the death of the Holy Father John Paul II, days that saw the arrival in the Vatican of exceptional numbers of faithful and of civil and religious authorities.

  "Archbishop Sandri praised the Inspectorate's exalted sense of responsibility and its tireless dedication to ensure an orderly flow of pilgrims, as well as its fruitful collaboration with all the other forces involved in organizing this exceptional event."

  Statistics relative to the media presence, number of pilgrims in Rome and the welcome given them by the city of Rome and the Vatican for the period of April 3 to 8 were released by the Vatican yesterday afternoon.

  More than 6,000 journalists, including those of print and electronic media, were given credentials by the Holy See Press Office and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, both of which were given additional office space to accommodate the huge numbers of media people present for the funeral of John Paul II. Though it is impossible to gauge the number of radio and TV stations that transmitted the funeral service, says the communique, more than 80 TV stations were linked through Mondovision and 137 television networks from 81 countries covered the funeral Mass and surrounding events.

  The Vatican internet site reported that there were 1,300,000 visitors to its Streaming Live coverage of the funeral Mass, reaching points of 54,000 simultaneous connections, and occupying a 9 gigabyte per second band.

  For the funeral Mass: 157 cardinals concelebrated; 700 archbishops and bishops were present, as were 3,000 priests, of whom 300 distributed communion. There were 169 foreign delegations, representatives from 23 Orthodox Churches, delegations from Judaism and 17 delegations of non-Christian religions and organizations for inter-religious dialogue.

  Among the statistics released today were those from the Italian Civil Protection and the city of Rome: over 3 million pilgrims in Rome; 21,000 people per hour entered St. Peter's Basilica; average wait was 13 hours and the longest was 24 hours; on the day of the funeral, 500,000 people filled St. Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione; 600,000 were present in the areas where giant monitors were available; 400 handicapped were near the altar.

  Personnel involved in assisting pilgrims: 8,000 volunteers; 2,000 Boy Scouts; 11,900 security people; 1,000 firemen; 6 helicopters, 400 soldiers; 2,700 city police; 7,000 people from the State Railway system; 4 disaster managers, more than 20,000 municipal employees and city volunteers assisted the above-mentioned personnel.

  Other statistics: 1,000 special trains for 8,000 travellers; 6 special trains from Poland for 5,000 pilgrims; trains carried a total of 800,000 travellers; 29 giant TV screens throughout Rome; 3 million bottles of water distributed; 3,600 chemical toilets; 21 portable medical units and 100 ambulances added to medical facilities already available in Rome; 1,150 tents set up at Tor Vergata University for 8,000 people; 8 field kitchens, 400 water fountains; 5,000 beds set up at Rome's fairgrounds.

  Rome's Call Center, which usually receives 8,000 calls per day, received over 20,000 calls a day and its operators responded in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.

  Over 400,000 flyers - written in Italian and English - were distributed to pilgrims with useful information on transportation, the location of basilicas and giant screens, etc.

  The communique noted that on Sunday morning, April 3, the morning after John Paul's death, "the city awoke to 3,500 posters, and two giant banners, 22 by 10 meters each, on both sides of the Tiber river, which read 'Thank you - Rome cries for and salutes her Pope'."

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