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Thursday, October 23, 2003


VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope received the cardinals who were created in the consistory on October 21 and their family members.

After greeting everyone present in different languages, John Paul II said: "Upon renewing my fraternal greetings to you and my fervent desire for the mission that has been given to you in service of the Church, I entrust you and your ministry to the heavenly protection of the Blessed Virgin."

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Program of Activities of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples was the item under discussion yesterday before the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. Holy See observer to the U.N., Archbishop Celestino Migliore, was one of the speakers who addressed this topic.

"I wish to reaffirm," began the nuncio, "three convictions in which my delegation firmly believes: First, the right to development is inherent in every person, group or nation and the world's 370 million indigenous people have the same claim to development as all the rest; Second, development, for it to be truly human, should be integral, comprising all its multidimensional aspects: economic and social, political and cultural, moral and spiritual; it has to be both individual and collective, personal and shared; ... Third, the indigenous people themselves must be architects of their own development."
Archbishop Migliore said these convictions should be guided by "firm principles," notably "refraining from using criteria foreign or unacceptable to the identity of those concerned" and "involving the indigenous people in the various stages of the projects, from feasibility studies to implementation, from evaluation to readjustments."

Noting that the decade for indigenous peoples ends in 2004, the archbishop said "the Holy See remains committed to the cause" of "enabling the indigenous people to regain their distinct place."



VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul II today welcomed the bishops of England and Wales as they conclude their "ad limina" visit and focussed his talk to them on the urgent need for an evangelization of culture in view of the increasing secularization of society.

"England and Wales," he remarked, "despite being steeped in a rich Christian heritage, today face the pervasive advance of secularism. At the root of this situation is the attempt to promote a vision of humanity apart from God and removed from Christ. It is a mentality which exaggerates individualism, sunders the essential link between freedom and truth, and consequently destroys the mutual bonds which define social living. This loss of a sense of God is often experienced as 'the abandonment of man'. Social disintegration, threats to family life, and the ugly specters of racial intolerance and war, leave many men and women, and especially the young, feeling disoriented and at times even without hope. Consequently it is not just the Church which encounters the disturbing effects of secularism but civic life as well."

He affirmed that "the phenomena of secularism and widespread religious indifference, the decline in vocations to the priesthood and Religious life, and the grave difficulties experienced by parents in their attempts to catechize their own children, all attest to the vital need for Bishops to embrace their fundamental mission to be authentic and authoritative heralds of the Word."

The Holy Father reiterated his "profound conviction that the new millennium demands a 'new impetus in Christian living', saying that "no effort can be spared in finding effective pastoral initiatives to make Jesus Christ known."

He highlighted the need to "make the Church the home and school of communion" where there is "authentic pedagogy on prayer, persuasive catechesis on the meaning of liturgy and the importance of the Sunday Eucharist, and promotion of the frequent practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. ... The Church needs humble and holy priests, ... models of holiness for the people" they are called to serve.
The Pope commended the bishops for their "recent endeavors to promote a 'culture of vocation'" and for their "resolute efforts to bring further energy to youth ministry."

He then underscored the importance of the evangelization of culture, especially with regard to Church teachings on marriage, relations with the media and on Catholic schools. "Of particular concern is the need to uphold the uniqueness of marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman in which as husband and wife they share in God's loving work of creation. Equating marriage with other forms of cohabitation obscures the sacredness of marriage and violates its precious value in God's plan for humanity."

Regarding the mass media, John Paul II said that "the fundamental moral requirement of all communication is that it should respect and serve the truth." Invite the media, he urged, "to join you in breaking down barriers of mistrust and in striving to bring peoples together in understanding and respect."

The Pope then turned to "the fine contribution of your Catholic schools, both to enriching the faith of the Catholic community and to promoting excellence within civic life in general. ... Religious education, the heart of any Catholic school, is today a challenging and taxing apostolate" for which "we need teachers with a clear and precise understanding of the specific nature and role of Catholic education. ... Here I would make a special appeal to your Religious not to abandon the school apostolate and indeed to renew their commitment to serve also in schools situated in poorer areas."

In concluding remarks, the Holy Father told the prelates that "the message of hope which you proclaim will not fail to evoke fresh fervor and a renewed commitment to Christian life. United in our love of the Lord and inspired by the example of the newly beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta, let us go forward in hope!"

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences eleven prelates from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop John Patrick Crowley of Middlesbrough.
- Bishop Terence John Brain of Salford.

- Archbishop Michael George Bowen of Southwark, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Howard George Tripp and John Hine, and Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Charles Joseph Henderson.

- Bishop Kieran Thomas Conry of Arundel and Brighton.

- Bishop Hugh Christopher Budd of Plymouth.

- Bishop Roger Francis Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth.

- Archbishop Thomas Matthew Burns, S.M., military ordinary.

- Bishop Paul Patrick Chomnycky, O.S.B.M., apostolic exarch for the faithful of the Byzantine rite resident in Great Britain.

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that on Sunday, October 26, at 11 a.m. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., metropolitan archbishop of Quebec, Canada, will take possession of the Title of St. Mary in Traspontina, Via della Conciliazione.



VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Francisco Javier Lozano, apostolic nuncio in Croatia, spoke yesterday at the Conference of European ministers of Cultural Affairs which took place in Opatija, Croatia from October 20 to 22.

The head of the delegation of the Holy See said that "the tragic start of the new millennium shows us the evident danger of isolating ourselves, and invites the ministers of Cultural Affairs - this is the great merit of the project that we are discussing - to develop a culture of dialogue among civilizations in all spheres of culture."

"As you know," continued Archbishop Lozano, "Pope John Paul II, from the start of his pontificate, has not stopped travelling the world, inviting men to dialogue and peace, with respect for freedom of conscience and sharing the riches of the spirit."

After emphasizing the "need for dialogue among civil institutions and different religions," the nuncio concluded: "In particular, the Holy See greatly desires that a necessary collaboration with representatives of religions is maintained in order to present them in a just and balanced way in educational programs. One can imagine what the harmful effects would be on younger generations of a presentation that is tendentious or disparaging of religions."



VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jesus Sanz Montes, O.F.M., director of the Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission for Consecrated Life of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, as bishop of Huesca and Jaca, Spain, joining the two dioceses "in persona Episcopi" (total area 10,624, population 125,780, Catholics 124,442, priests 170, permanent deacons 2, religious 303). The bishop-elect was born in Madrid, Spain in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1986.

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