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Wednesday, July 2, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2003 (VIS) - In today's general audience in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father spoke about Psalm 145, "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord," in which "God's sovereignty over human history" is proclaimed.

"We are not abandoned to ourselves," said the Pope, "daily events are not dominated by chaos and chance, they do not represent a mere succession of acts without any sense or purpose. From this conviction, a true and genuine profession of faith in God is developed."

"God is the creator of the heaven and earth," said the Pope, "He is the faithful guardian of the pact that unites Him to His people. ... The Lord is not a distant sovereign of creatures but is involved in their history, like the one who supports justice, and remains alongside the needy, those who are victims, the oppressed and those who are unhappy."

"Man finds himself, therefore, before a radical choice between two contrasting possibilities: on the one hand there is the temptation to 'trust the powerful', adopting their criteria inspired by evil, selfishness and pride." The other possibility that exists, he said, is "the way of faith in God, eternal and faithful."

John Paul II emphasized that "it is necessary to live according to the divine will, to offer bread to the hungry, visit those in prison, take care of and comfort the sick, defend and welcome foreigners, dedicate oneself to the poor and miserable. It is, in essence, the same spirit of the Beatitudes; that is, to dedicate oneself to that proposal of love that saves us, starting with this life, and that will be the object of our examination at the final judgement which will seal history."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2003 (VIS) - At the end of the catechesis of today's general audience, the Holy Father referred to the grave situations in Liberia and Uganda and asked for everyone's commitment to help these African countries.

"I follow with deep sadness," he said, "the dramatic news coming from Liberia and the northern region of Uganda. I appeal to everyone to commit themselves so that these beloved African peoples may find peace and security once again, and so that they are not denied their future to which they have a right. In addition, I express my closeness to the local Churches, as their work and people have been seriously affected, and I encourage pastors and all the faithful to be strong and steadfast in hope. May Divine Mercy grant this through our insistent prayer!"

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Andre Dupuy, apostolic nuncio in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2003 (VIS) - Yesterday in Geneva, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the United Nations Economic and Social Council on "Promoting an Integrated Approach to Rural Development in Developing Countries for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development."

The archbishop said the meeting was "a momentous occasion for the international community to discuss and address the eradication of poverty and its correlation with sustainable development in rural areas." He highlighted the need for "the establishment of a strong development alliance" which would "recognize that those blessed with economic resources and the power to use them are called in solidarity to address the plight of those who are amongst the most vulnerable." He also stressed that "justice must prevail in the economic world."

The nuncio issued an appeal by the Holy See "for an integrated strategy that would implement a series of generous economic and trade concessions without asking reciprocity, at least in the short term."

Among the elements to be pursued, Archbishop Migliore added, are: "the limitation of overseas economic practices which grant temporary relief but do not invigorate the economies of rural areas so that their inhabitants become active economic and social actors"; new practices which support sustainable development and expansion of family farms' productivity"; and "debt relief to remove burdens that impede the recovery and growth of the economies of developing States."

"The world of today is holding on to a fragile peace," said the nuncio. "Too many people are without hope, are confronted with broken promises, and lose their trust in the effectiveness of regional and international summits. It is the search for a healing of the despair of the poor that must fuel the continuing work of the world community. We cannot allow our work to end here."



VATICAN CITY, JUL 2, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Guarapuava, Brazil, presented by Bishop Giovanni Zerbini, S.D.B., upon having reached the age limit. Coadjutor Bishop Antonio Wagner da Silva succeeds him.

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