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Thursday, April 12, 2007


VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office has released the program of the Pope's forthcoming apostolic trip to Brazil, due to take place from May 9 to 14, for the occasion of the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9, arriving at the international airport of Sao Paulo / Guarulhos at 4.30 p.m. The welcome ceremony will be followed by an address from the Holy Father after which, at 5.30 p.m., he is due to fly by helicopter to the Campo de Marte airport where he will greet the local authorities. From there he will journey by open-top car to the monastery of Sao Bento where he will bless the faithful and spend the night.

  On Thursday, May 10, he is due to celebrate Mass privately in the chapel of the monastery and, at around 10.30 a.m., to travel to the "Palacio dos Bandeirantes" in Sao Paulo to pay a courtesy visit to the president of the republic. Returning to the monastery of Sao Bento, the Holy Father will meet with representatives from other Christian confessions and other religions before lunching with members of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil. At 5.30 p.m., the Pope will travel to the "Paulo Machado de Carvalho" municipal stadium of Pacaembu where, at 6 p.m., he will deliver an address to the young people gathered there.

  The following day, May 11, on Sao Paulo's Campo de Marte field, the Holy Father will preside at a Mass during which he will canonize Blessed Frei Galvao. At 4 p.m. that afternoon, having bid farewell to his hosts at the monastery of Sao Bento, he will address Brazilian bishops in the cathedral of Sao Paulo.

  At 6 p.m., the Holy Father is due to depart by helicopter from Campo de Marte airport and fly to Aparecida, arriving at 7 p.m.. Having greeted the local authorities there, he will travel to the Bom Jesus seminary to spend the night.

  On Saturday, May 12, having celebrated Mass privately in the seminary chapel, the Pope will travel by car to the Fazenda da Esperanca in Guaratingueta, where he will visit the church and meet the community living there. Returning to the Bom Jesus seminary, the Pope will lunch with representatives of the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean. That afternoon he is due to go by car to the shrine of Aparecida where, having prayed the Rosary in the basilica, he will meet with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons.

  On Sunday, May 13, the Pope will be taken in an open-top vehicle from the Bom Jesus seminary to the shrine of Aparecida where he will celebrate Mass to inaugurate the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, and pray the Regina Coeli. That afternoon he is to pronounce an address during the opening session of the conference. At 6.50 p.m., having bid farewell to the staff and students of the Bom Jesus seminary, he will travel by helicopter from Apaercida to the international airport of Sao Paulo / Guarulhos where he will greet the authorities and deliver a talk before boarding his aircraft for Rome, where he is due to arrive at 12.45 p.m. on May 14.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 2007 (VIS) - On April 10, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, delivered a statement before the 40th session of the Economic and Social Council's Commission on Population and Development, which is considering the theme: "The changing age structures of populations and their implications for development."

  Speaking English, the archbishop highlighted how the current session coincided with the 40th anniversary of Paul VI's Encyclical "Populorum Progressio," which places emphasis "on the individual and on societies, both as the primary focus of development policies and as protagonists of their own development," and "even today provides a sure guide for demographic policies to promote a culture respectful of the rights of the least-protected members of our human family, especially before birth and in extreme old age.

  "The reports made to the commission this year," he added, "suggest that dependency ratios are set to soar in some places, where an increasing number of elderly people will lay a heavier burden on the active population. It is to be hoped that States will work to foster respect for human life in all its stages and to find solutions that are right and just, not merely pragmatic. Here in particular, promoting solidarity between generations will be very valuable."

  Focussing on the situation in Africa, which "is set to have the lowest dependency ratio in the world," Archbishop Migliore pointed out how "this projection should hand that continent an unprecedented advantage in economic terms, as a young and numerous workforce should be available to it until at least 2050, while the demographic dividend in most other regions will have run out. To assure that Africa does not miss this window of opportunity for economic development, it must be helped, inter alia, to invest in its human capital and infrastructure to underpin economic growth. Because many of this future work force are already born and are already of school age, my delegation believes that the most decisive investment to be made here is in education.

  "The UN Secretariat estimates that to achieve primary education for all by 2015 would cost nine billion dollars estimated in 1998 dollar value. By any estimate, this can hardly be considered a high price to pay for such a prize," said the archbishop. "Moreover, education, especially for girls and young women, can have a notable impact on population growth. As women become better educated, they gain greater respect; they become breadwinners; they acquire maturity in parental responsibility and a greater say in family affairs.

  "Investing in people in this way," he concluded, "especially in education, is surely to be preferred to legal imposition of limits, to artificial corrective measures and drastic policies, and to the unacceptable practice of eliminating fetuses, especially females, in order to limit population growth."


VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission is due to celebrate its annual plenary assembly in the Vatican's "Domus Sanctae Marthae" from April 16 to 20.

  The assembly will be presided by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the work sessions will be directed by Fr. Klemens Stock S.J., secretary general of the commission. The meetings will concentrate on the theme of the relationship between the Bible and morals.

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