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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, October 31, 2005


VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2005 (VIS) - We would like to remind our readers that there will be no VIS service on Tuesday, November 1 or Wednesday, November 2, respectively All Saints Day and All Souls Day, and holidays in the Vatican. Service will resume on Thursday, November 3.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, his vicar general for the diocese of Rome.

 - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church, accompanied by Fr. Raffaele Farina S.D.B. and Ambrogio Piazzoni, respectively prefect and vice prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library.

 - Archbishop Franc Rode C.M., emeritus of Ljubljana, Solovenia, and prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2005 (VIS) - Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for the month of November is: "That married people may imitate the example of conjugal holiness shown by so many couples in the ordinary conditions of life."

  His mission intention is: "That pastors of mission territories may recognize with constant care their duty to foster the permanent formation of their own priests."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2005 (VIS) - Today in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Benedict XVI received Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, accompanied by a group of pilgrims from his country of origin, Nigeria. The cardinal is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his consecration as a bishop, which was performed on August 29, 1965 in Onitsha, Nigeria, by the late Archbishop Charles Heerey C.S.Sp.

  "I am pleased to receive you, together with your friends from the Nigerian community in Rome, and other visitors from your country, who have come to join you in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of your episcopal ordination," said the Pope. "I willingly express to you my sincere congratulations and personal good wishes for the occasion."

  "Yesterday in the church of Santa Maria in Transpontina, you celebrated a solemn Mass in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the gift of 40 years of episcopal ministry. Today I am happy to join my prayers to your intentions, and I ask the Lord to be your guide and strength as you continue to serve the Church in love and zeal. Invoking upon Your Eminence, through the intercession of Mary the Mother of God, the divine gifts of joy and peace, I cordially impart to you and to all who share in this joyful celebration, my apostolic blessing."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope addressed to Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan. Written in Latin and dated October 26, the Message marks the 50th anniversary of the cardinal's ordination to the priesthood, which he commemorated yesterday with a Eucharistic concelebration in Rome's basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

  The Mexican cardinal was ordained a priest on October 30, 1955, consecrated a bishop on August 15, 1979, and created a cardinal by John Paul II in the concistory of October 21, 2003. He has been president of the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry since August 1996.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 30, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists:

  "Upon learning the painful news of the barbaric murder of three Christian girls in Indonesia, the Holy Father ordered Bishop Joseph Theodorus Suwatan M.S.C., of Manado to offer the families of the victims and the diocesan community his most heartfelt condolences, and gave assurances of his fervent prayers to the Lord for the return of peace among that people."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 30, 2005 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus, the Pope made an appeal for the international community to show generosity towards the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan, and greeted pilgrims who had come to Rome for the beatification of Josep Tapies Sirvant and six companions, and Maria de los Angeles Ginard Marti.

  "As we all know," the Pope said, "on October 8 a powerful earthquake struck the region of Kashmir, especially the Pakistani side, causing the death of more than 50,000 people and great material damage. Here again, many forms of solidarity have been shown, yet the need seems greater than the aid thus far offered. Therefore, I renew my appeal to the international community to increase efforts in support of those people who are suffering such hardship."

  Benedict XVI also greeted the bishops, priests, professed religious of the Sisters Guardians of the Eucharistic Cult, and faithful from Urgell, Andorra, Madrid and Mallorca who yesterday participated in the beatification ceremony for Josep Tapies Sirvant and six companions, and Maria de los Angeles Ginard Marti. The new Blesseds "suffered martyrdom because of their faith in Christ," said the Holy Father. "For everyone, they represent a true example of reconciliation and of love carried to the extreme, as well as an inspiration to give a coherent witness of one's own in faith in modern society, in a spirit of peace and of fraternal coexistence."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 30, 2005 (VIS) - Prior to praying the Angelus at midday today, Benedict XVI dedicated some remarks to the anniversary of Vatican Council II, the seventh session of which was celebrated on October 28, 1965. That session was followed by another three, before the council finally closed on December 8, 1965.

  Speaking from his study window to thousands of faithful filling St. Peter's Square below, the Pope recalled how "most of the conciliar documents were approved during the final phase of that historic ecclesial event, which had begun three years earlier." He remarked how all the texts "maintain their value and their contemporary significance which, in some ways, has even increased," and specifically mentioned the "Decrees 'Christus Dominus' on the pastoral office of bishops in the Church, 'Perfectae caritatis' on the renewal of religious life, and 'Optatam totius' on priestly training; and the Declarations 'Gravissimum educationis' on Christian education, and 'Nostra aetate' on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions."

  He went on: "The themes of priestly formation, consecrated life and episcopal ministry have been the subject of three Ordinary Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops, held respectively  in 1990, 1995 and 2001. ... The document on education is less well-known. The Church has always been committed to the education of young people." Even today, "in the age of global communications, the ecclesial community is aware of the importance of an educational system that recognizes the primacy of men and women as persons. ... The first and most important educators are parents, helped, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, by civil society. A special educational responsibility is felt by the Church, to which Christ entrusted the task of announcing 'the way of salvation'."

  Benedict XVI then went on to speak of 'Nostra aetate,' highlighting its "great contemporary significance" because it concerns the attitude of the ecclesial community towards non-Christian religions. On the basis of the principle that "one is the community of all peoples," and that the Church's mission is "promoting unity and love among men," Vatican Council II "rejects 'nothing that is true and holy' in other religions and to everyone announces Christ, 'way truth and life,' in Whom all human beings 'find the fullness of religious life'."

  "With the Declaration 'Nostra aetate,' the Council Fathers proposed certain fundamental truths: ... the special link binding Christians and Jews, ... esteem for Muslims and followers of other religions, ... and the spirit of universal brotherhood that prohibits any kind of discrimination or religious persecution."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: Bishops Precioso D. Cantillas S.D.B., of Maasin, Philippines; Lino Bortolo Belotti, auxiliary of Bergamo, Italy; and Jean-Luc Brunin of Ajaccio, France.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following declaration this afternoon:

  "This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI undertook a private pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of the 'Mother of Grace' at Mentorella (in the diocese of Tivoli, province of Rome).

  "There he celebrated Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, returning to the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican in the early afternoon."

  Pope John Paul II also visited the Mentorella Shrine on October 29. In his case it was October 29, 1978 and was the first visit outside Rome of his pontificate.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2005 (VIS) - This afternoon, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at a Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica during which, by order of the Pope, he read out the Apostolic Letter by which the Holy Father proclaims the following Servants of God as Blesseds: Josep Tapies Sirvant and six companions, priests, martyrs; and Maria de los Angeles Ginard Marti, professed religious of the Sisters Guardians of the Eucharistic Cult, virgin and martyr.

  At the end of the ceremony, Benedict XVI arrived in the basilica to venerate the relics of the martyrs and address some words in Spanish and Catalan to the pilgrims present.

  "During the religious persecution in Spain," the Holy Father said, "the exemplary group of priests of Urgell gave up their lives for their faithfulness to the priestly ministry, which they carried out with great commitment in the parish communities entrusted to their care. Bearing witness to their priestly condition and forgiving their persecutors, they gave their lives while invoking the King of the Universe."

  The Pope expressed the hope that the blessed priests "intercede for the diocese of Urgell and for other Spanish dioceses, for priestly and religious vocations, and for the growth of Christian virtues in all the faithful."

  Speaking of the Blessed Maria de los Angeles, who was born in the diocese of Mallorca, Benedict XVI recalled how she "suffered martyrdom in Madrid during the same period of persecution. Totally committed to the Lord in religious life, she dedicated long hours to the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, yet without neglecting her service to the community. Thus did she prepare herself to give her life as a supreme expression of love for Christ."

  "For us, these new Blesseds are a living example of priestly identity and religious consecration," he concluded. "Let us give thanks to God for the great gift of these heroic witnesses of the faith. Blessed Josep Tapies and Blessed Maria de los Angeles, pray for the ecclesial communities of Urgell, Madrid, Mallorca and all Spain! Amen."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Holy Father, written in Latin and dated October 12, appointing Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Commission for International Eucharist Congresses, as his special envoy to celebrations for the first International Eucharistic Congress for Universities, due to take place in Murcia, Spain, from November 9 to 13.

  The delegation accompanying Cardinal Tomko is made up of Frs. Jose Alberto Canovas Sanchez, episcopal vicar of the diocese of Cartagena, Spain, and pastor of the parish of Santiago de Jumilla in Cartagena; and Luis Emilio Pascual Molina, delegate for pastoral care in universities of the diocese of Cartagena.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration late yesterday afternoon:

  "The serious events in the Holy Land over the last few days are a cause of grave concern to the Holy See which, uniting itself with the entire international community, expresses its own firm condemnation of acts of violence - the terrorist attack on Hadera and the subsequent retaliation - from whichever side they come, and of certain particularly serious and unacceptable declarations denying the right of existence to the State of Israel.

  "On this occasion, the Holy See reaffirms  the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security, each in their own sovereign State.

  "At the same time, the Holy See feels the duty to renew its appeal to the leaders of all the peoples of the Middle East, to listen to the longing for peace and justice that rises from the population, to avoid actions and decisions leading to division and death, and to commit themselves with courage and determination to creating the minimum conditions necessary for dialogue to resume, which is the only way to guarantee a future of peace and prosperity to the children of that land."
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