Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

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...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Friday, April 2, 2004


VATICAN CITY, APR 2, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Msgr. Ernesto Mandara, director of the Office for Building Churches and secretary general of the Work of Preservation of the Faith and provost of new churches in Rome, as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Rome for the central pastoral section (area: 881, population: 2,787,206, Catholics: 2,454,000,  priests: 5,410, permanent deacons: 84, religious: 27,605), Italy.  The bishop-elect was born in Positano, Italy in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1978.

 - Entrusted Bishop Luigi Moretti, vice-gerent of the diocese of Rome, with the eastern pastoral section of the diocese.

- Appointed Msgr. Ramon Castro Castro, nunciature counselor in the Secretariat of State, as auxiliary bishop of Yucatan (area: 39,340, population: 1,785,054, Catholics: 1,521,937, priests: 212, permanent deacons: 18, religious: 597), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Teocuitatlan de Corono, Mexico in 1956 and was ordained a priest 1982.

 - Appointed Fr. Jose Rafael Palma Capetillo, pastor and counselor of the archdiocesan curia of Yucatan, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Yucatan, Mexico.  The bishop-elect was born in Meride, Mexico in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1981.

 - Appointed Msgr. Stanislav Zvolensky, vicar general of the archdiocese of Bratislava-Trnava, Slovakia, as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese (area: 14,000, population: 1,905,148, Catholics: 1,350,326, priests: 707, permanent deacons 8,  religious: 1,587).  The bishop-elect was born in Slovakia in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1982.

 - Appointed Fr. Jan Orosch, pastor of Sturovo in the archdiocese of Bratislava-Trnava, Slovakia, as auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese.  The bishop-elect was born in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1976.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Bratislava-Trnava, Slovakia, presented by Bishop Dominik Toth upon having reached the age limit.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Bratislava-Trnava, Slovakia, presented by Bishop Stafan Vrablec upon having reached the age limit.
NA:NEA:RE/.../...        VIS 20040402 (340)


VATICAN CITY, APR 2, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Three prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on "ad limina" visit:

    -  Bishop Victor Benito Galeone of Saint Augustine.

    - Bishop Robert Nugent Lynch of Saint Petersburg.

    - Bishop John Joseph Nevins of Venice.

- Cardinal Walter Kasper, Bishop Brian Farrell, L.C., and Fr. Josef M. Maj, S.J.,  respectively president, secretary and official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
AL:AP/.../...            VIS 20040402 (80)


VATICAN CITY, Apr 2. 2004 (VIS) - Today in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, presented "Spiritus et Sponsa," Acts of the Commemorative Day of the 40th Anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy "Sacrosanctum concilium" that took place in Rome on December 4, 2003. Joining him were Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, congregation secretary, Fr. Juan Javier Flores Arcas, director of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St. Anselm (Rome), and Msgr. Giuseppe Liberto, choir master of the Pontifical Musical Chorus.

  Cardinal Arinze said that, given that "the liturgy is the highest expression of the mysterious reality of the Church," the very first fruit of Vatican Council II was the document on the sacred liturgy, "Sacrosanctum concilium," which was then followed by 15 other conciliar documents. He added that it was to be expected that the congregation he leads would commemorate the 40th anniversary of that first council document.

   "Spiritus et Sponsa" is divided into two parts. The first consists of two documents of John Paul II: the Apostolic Letter "Spiritus et Sponsa," from which the new book takes its title, and a Chirograph dated November 22, 2003 which commemorates the centenary of St. Pius  X's Motu Proprio "Tra le sollecetudini," on sacred music. The second part, said the cardinal, "moves in three directions," offering a retrospective look at the past 40 years, reflections on the liturgy in the pontificate of John Paul II and a section dedicated entirely to sacred music.

  This volume, stated Cardinal Arinze, "wishes to testify to the validity of the directives of Vatican Council II on the sacred liturgy" and "we also hope that this is a small step in promoting the liturgical and pastoral formation of the clergy, consecrated persons and all the lay faithful, in line with duties assigned them in 'Pastor bonus'."


VATICAN CITY, APR 2, 2004 (VIS) - Bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Atlanta and Miami in the United States, in Rome on their "ad limina" visit, were welcomed today by the Holy Father who said that in meetings with them and their brothers bishops in coming months he will "offer a series of reflections on the exercise of the episcopal office in the light of the threefold munus of sanctifying, teaching, and governing."
  "Our meetings," the Pope said, "are taking place at a difficult time in the history of the Church in the United States. Many of you have already spoken to me of the pain caused by the sexual abuse scandal of the past two years and the urgent need for rebuilding confidence and promoting healing between Bishops, priests and the laity in your country.  I am confident that the willingness which you have shown in acknowledging and addressing past mistakes and failures, while at the same time seeking to learn from them, will contribute greatly to this work of reconciliation and renewal."

  He added that "the history of the Church demonstrates that there can be no effective reform without interior renewal" for individuals, groups and institutions. For a bishop, "the challenge of interior renewal must involve an integral understanding of his service as 'pastor gregis'." To be effective, the Bishop's "apostolic authority must be seen first and foremost as a religious witness to the Risen Lord, to the truth of the Gospel and to the mystery of salvation present and at work in the Church. ... The renewal of the Church is thus closely linked to the renewal of the episcopal office. The Bishop ... must be the first to conform his life to Christ in holiness and constant conversion."

   "Dear Brothers," continued John Paul, "I wish to reaffirm my confidence in the Church in America, my appreciation of the deep faith of America's Catholics and my gratitude for their many contributions to American society and to the life of the Church throughout the world. Viewed with the eyes of faith, the present moment of difficulty is also a moment of hope, that hope which 'does not disappoint' (Rom 5:5), because it is rooted in the Holy Spirit, who constantly raises up new energies, callings and missions within the Body of Christ."

  "The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, celebrated in the wake of the epochal events of September 11, 2001, rightly noted that the Bishop is called to be a prophet, witness and servant of hope to the world ... because he makes that hope present through his pastoral ministry, centered as it is on the three 'munera' of sanctifying, teaching and governing. The exercise of this prophetic witness in contemporary American society has, as many of you have pointed out, been made increasingly difficult by the aftermath of the recent scandal and the outspoken hostility to the Gospel in certain sectors of public opinion, yet it cannot be evaded or delegated to others. Precisely because American society is confronted by a disturbing loss of the sense of the transcendent and the affirmation of a culture of the material and the ephemeral, it desperately needs such a witness of hope."
  "For this reason," the Holy Father concluded, "I pray that our meetings will not only strengthen the hierarchical communion which unites the Successor of Peter with his Brother Bishops in the United States, but will bear abundant fruit for the growth of your own local Churches in unity and in missionary zeal for the spread of the Gospel."
AC/AD LIMINA/USA                    VIS 20040402 (600)


VATICAN CITY, APR 2, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence from the new ambassador of Lebanon, Naji Abi Assi. In his speech, the Pope recalled that in light of the present international situation "the Holy See does not cease to plead for a return to the stability and international order, thanks to the recognition of the regulating role of international organizations, especially the United Nations, and to strengthening  their means to make decisions and take action in order to reduce tensions and guarantee peace."

  "It is to be hoped," he continued, "that your country will recover stable conditions which will favor economic and social development for everyone's benefit, especially those most in need. This will help to avoid situations of injustice, economic difficulty and feelings of frustration that can debilitate the social fabric, discourage certain sectors of society to stay in the country, causing emigration which weakens a nation and deprives it of its most precious resources, human beings."

  He went on to refer to the strategic position of Lebanon, and asked the international community to assume its responsibility and to invite the parties involved, in the first place Israelis and Palestinians, to "renew dialogue without delay and to find ways to put an end to the infernal cycle of reciprocal violence." Lasting peace in the Middle East will not exist, he continued, if there is a lack of "political fortitude, or without the firm determination to recognize the rights of each person, including those of your adversary, in order to take up the path of peace, respecting justice, or if there is no mutual forgiveness to clean the terrible wounds of mutual violence. ... May all political leaders listen to this appeal in order to work actively and without delays in their renewal to commitments to restore peace, which everyone is hoping for!"

  The Pope concluded by encouraging Catholics of different rites "to work together in the service of communion and to follow the path of unity with our brothers and sisters of other confessions. May they commit themselves in a specific way," he concluded, "to inter-religious dialogue with Muslims, especially in the field of the education of the youth ... and in the dialogue of life."


VATICAN CITY, APR 2, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in St. Peter's Square, the Pope participated in a gathering with 20,000 young people from Rome and the region of Lazio in preparation for the 19th World Youth Day which will be celebrated this Palm Sunday.  The event also commemorated the day twenty years ago that the Pope handed the Cross to young people at the end of the Holy Year of the Redemption. In those 20 years it has been traveling around the world.

  The gathering included performances by pop singers, dancers from the Theater of the Opera of Rome, break-dancers and actors who recited texts by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Young people from Spain, Argentina, France, Poland, the United States, Canada, the Philippines and Italy - countries which have hosted World Youth Day in previous years - participated in the event.

  "Dear young people: be united to the Cross," affirmed the Holy Father. "Your hearts bear so many wounds, often caused by the adult world! ... I invite you to believe that we have so much faith in you, that Christ has faith in you and that only in Him is there the salvation that we are searching for!"

  After emphasizing that today more than ever it is necessary "to figure out a way to reach young people in order to announce the Gospel to them," the Holy Father urged everyone present not to be afraid "to find new ways of total abandonment to the Lord and to mission. ... Think of how you can carry the Cross in the world!"

  John Paul II added that they should not be afraid of traveling on this path and, after recognizing that young people love the world "and rightly so, because the world was made for man," he added that at a certain point in life "we must make a radical choice," and, without "rejecting" the talents and gifts that God has given us, "we must know how to be on Christ's side in order to bear witness to His love before all."

  "Following Christ," he continued, "does not mean stifling the gifts that He gives us; it means choosing the path of radical giving to Him! ... Do not be afraid to trust in Him."

  The Holy Father referred to the change in today's youth compared to twenty years ago.  "The cultural and social context that we live in has changed so much!  But Christ has not changed. He is the Redeemer of man yesterday, today and always!" In the midst of applause, he added, "The Pope is with you! Believe in Jesus, contemplate the face of the crucified and risen Lord! That face that so many want to see but is so often hidden by our insufficient passion for the Gospel and by sin!"

  "Since then youth have changed, as I too have changed, but your heart, like mine, is thirsty for truth, joy and eternity, and therefore, always young. This afternoon," he concluded, "I put my faith once again in you, the hope of the Church and society! Do not be afraid!"
AC/.../YOUTH                VIS 20040402 (540)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service