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Tuesday, June 14, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 14, 2005 (VIS) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) organized an international conference June 8 and 9 in Cordoba, Spain on the theme: "Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance."

  Archbishop Antonio Canizares of Toledo, Spain, head of the Holy See delegation, addressed both the opening session of the conference, as well as in the fifth session which was dedicated to "combating discrimination and intolerance against Christians and members of other religions."

  "The Catholic Church," affirmed Archbishop Canizares in his speech which was made public today, "condemns discrimination and stresses the need to avoid intolerance, which almost always turns into a limitation on rights and liberties and can even go so far as to marginalize and oppress human beings and the communities to which they belong."

  "The Holy See delegation would thus like to underline once more that, in the geographical area covered by this organization, intolerance and discrimination against Christians and members of other religions represent worrying phenomena. And they must be combated with the same determination with which we combat anti-Semitism and discrimination against Muslims. ... It is also necessary to avoid creating a kind of hierarchy of anti-Semitism, discrimination against Muslims and discrimination against Christians."

  The Archbishop of Toledo concluded by expressing the hope that the conference "becomes a propitious occasion for the OSCE to commit itself to establishing effective mechanisms and instruments to combat and contrast prejudice and false representations of Christians and members of other religions in the communications media and in the field of education; and that it encourages the real contribution of Churches and religious communities to the public life of nations."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 14, 2005 (VIS) - Today in Salta, Argentina, Cardinal Paul Poupard inaugurated the Second Meeting of Heads of Catholic Cultural Centers in the Southern Cone, delivering a talk entitled: "The Catholic Identity of Cultural Centers and Young People in Search of the Beauty that Captivates." The meeting is from June 14 to 16.

  The gathering, organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture on the theme, "The Catholic Identity of Cultural Centers and Young People in Public Life," will be presided over by Cardinal Poupard, council president, and by Archbishop Mario Cargnello of Salta. This meeting follows the one celebrated in Valparaiso, Chile in September 2003, which opened the way for the creation of a network of Catholic cultural centers in the area of the Southern Cone (southern Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay).

  The program covers two principal themes: preferential concern for young people, threatened by the temptation to ever greater isolation from their commitment to public life; and the Catholic identity of the Church's cultural centers.

  For the occasion of the cardinal's visit to the city, the Catholic university of Salta will award him a doctorate "honoris causa," in an academic celebration due to be held on June 15.

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