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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


VATICAN CITY, SEP 25, 2007 (VIS) - On Friday October 5, with the title of "The Century of Martyrs and Religious Persecution in Spain (1934-1939)," an academic conference will be held in Rome to mark the beatification of 498 Spanish martyrs of the 20th century. The beatification ceremony itself is due to be held on October 28.

  According to a communique published yesterday afternoon the event, which has been organized by the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Pontifical Augustinian Institute, will be attended by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community and author of the book "El siglo de los martires" (the century of martyrs); Msgr. Vicente Carcel Orti, a scholar of the history of the Church in Spain, and Fr. Juan Antonio Martinez Camino S.J., secretary general of the CEE, who will present the book "Quienes son y de donde vienen, 498 martires del siglo XX," which contains the biographies of the 498 future Blesseds.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 25, 2007 (VIS) - This morning the opening ceremony was held for the new Philatelic and Numismatic Museum of Vatican City State, located within the Vatican Museums.

  The new museum brings together all the stamps and coins minted in Vatican City State from 1929 to the present day. It includes a section containing sketches, printing plates, plaster models, bronze casts and other materials illustrating the various phases in the production of stamps and coins. It also contains a philatelic retrospective on the history of the postal service of the Pontifical State (1852-1870). The pictures on display in the new museum are original sketches by various artists that have been used in the production of postal stamps and aerograms.

  In a separate development, it has been announced that the Holy See will once again participate in the "European Heritage Days," an initiative promoted by the Council of Europe in which more than 40 countries on the continent take part. The celebrations this year will take place on Sunday, September 30, on the theme: "Europe, a shared heritage. The continent's Christian roots."

  On that day, entrance to the Vatican Museums and to the catacombs in Rome will be free of charge. At the San Callisto Catacombs on the Old Appian Way a photographic exhibition will be inaugurated entitled "The Catacombs of Rome, a privileged destination for European pilgrims." The exhibition will remain open to the public until October 30, 2007.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 25, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of a speech delivered by Msgr. Pietro Parolin, under-secretary for Relations with States, before the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly which is meeting to deliberate on the theme of "the future is in our hands: addressing the leadership challenge of climate change."

  "Climate change is a serious concern and an inescapable responsibility," said Msgr. Parolin in his English-language talk. "My delegation wishes to stress the underlying moral imperative that everyone, without exception, has a grave responsibility to protect the environment," he added.

  "The best scientific assessments available have established a link between human activity and climate change," he continued. "However, the results of these scientific assessments, and the remaining uncertainties, should neither be exaggerated nor minimized in the name of politics, ideologies or self-interest. Rather they now need to be studied closely in order to give a sound basis for raising awareness and making effective policy decisions.

  "In recent times," he added, "it has been unsettling to note how some commentators have said that we should actually exploit our world to the full, with little or no heed to the consequences, using a world view supposedly based on faith." This, said Msgr. Parolin "is a fundamentally reckless approach." However "there are those who hold up the earth as the only good, and would characterize humanity as an irredeemable threat to the earth, whose population and activity need to be controlled by various drastic means." They, he stressed, "would place human beings and their needs at the service of an inhuman ecology."

  "Since no country alone can solve the problems related to our common environment, we need to overcome self-interest through collective action. On the part of the international community, this presupposes the adoption of a coordinated, effective and prompt international political strategy" to "identify ways ... to enhance sustainable development and foster a healthy environment," while bearing in mind "that poor nations and sectors of society are particularly vulnerable to the adverse consequences of climate change, due to lesser resources and capacity to mitigate their effects and adapt to altered surroundings."

  "The pace of achieving and codifying a new international consensus on climate change is not always matched by an equally expeditious and effective pace of implementation of such agreements. States are free to adopt international conventions and treaties, but unless our words are matched with effective action and accountability, we would do little to avert a bleak future and may find ourselves gathering again not too long from now to lament another collective failure."
DELSS/CLIMATE CHANGE/UN:PAROLIN            VIS 20070925 (440)

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