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Tuesday, May 18, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Martin David Holley, of the clergy of the diocese of Pensacola-Tallahasee, U.S.A and pastor of Little Flower Parish, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Washington (area 5,447, population 2,571,395, Catholics 581,900, priests 1,060, permanent deacons 61, religious 1,608), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1954 in Pensacola, U.S.A. and was ordained a priest in 1987.

- Accepted the resignation as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Washington, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Leonard James Olivier, S.V.D., upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Four prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Region X) on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Eusebius Joseph Beltran of Oklahoma City.

    - Bishop James Peter Sartain of Little Rock, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Andrew Joseph McDonald.

    - Bishop Michael David Pfeifer, O.M.I.,  of San Angelo.

- Archbishop Marian Golebiewski of Wroclaw, Poland.

- Bishop Ignacy Dec of Swidnica, Poland.

  This afternoon, the Holy Father is scheduled to receive Aleksander Kwasniewski, president of Poland, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.
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MSGR. PIERO MONNI, HOLY SEE PERMANENT OBSERVER to the World Tourism Organization, will address the 42nd meeting of the WTO Regional Commission for Europe which will meet in the Republic of San Marino and in Rimini, Italy from May 19 to 21. The WTO is also sponsoring a seminar on the theme "The Future of Traditional Destinations. Is their Experience Useful to the Emerging Countries of Europe?" The meeting of the Commission will focus on problems linked to the application of the World Code of Ethics for Tourism, and participants will analyze data from 2003 relative to European tourism tendencies.

CARDINALS ANTHONY OLUBUNMI OKOGIE AND TELESPHORE PLACIDUS TOPPO will take possession of their titular churches in Rome this coming weekend. Cardinal Okogie, metropolitan archbishop of Lagos, Nigeria, will take possession of the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. Cardinal Toppo, metropolitan archbishop of Ranchi, India, will take possession of the title of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony on Sunday, May 23 at 11 a.m.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the official program of the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Bern, Switzerland for a national gathering of Catholic youth on June 5 and 6 was made public.

  John Paul II will leave Rome's Fiumicino Airport at 9:45 a.m. on June 5, arriving at Payerne Airport in Switzerland at 11:30 a.m. After meeting with Joseph Deiss, president of the Helvetic Confederation, he will proceed to Bern and the Viktoriaheim residence, the house of the Sisters of Charity of the Holy Cross, for lunch. At 6:15 p.m., he will meet with young Swiss Catholics in the Ice Palace in the same city and later will retire for the night at the Viktoriaheim residence.

  On Sunday, June 6 at 10:30 a.m., the Holy Father will celebrate Mass outdoors in Allmend, followed by the recitation of the Angelus. At 1:45 p.m., he will meet with bishops from the Swiss Episcopal Conference and with the cardinals and bishops in his entourage in the residence. At 5:15 p.m., he is scheduled to meet with members of the Association of former Swiss Guards. At 7 p.m., he will depart from Payerne Airport for Rome with arrival scheduled for 8:45 p.m.

  On the occasion of his third apostolic trip to Switzerland, following those in 1982 and 1984, we offer our readers statistics about the Catholic Church in Switzerland taken from the latest Statistical Yearbook of the Catholic Church with data relative to December 31, 2002.

  Switzerland has 7,290,000 inhabitants, of whom 3,183,000, or 44 percent of the total, are Catholic. Currently, there are 22 bishops, 3,109 priests, 6,117 religious and 248 seminarians in the country.

  The Catholic Church runs 50 primary schools, 46 middle and secondary schools and 13 universities attended by 12,000 students. There are 11 hospitals, 45 rest homes for the elderly, invalid and disabled, 57 orphanages, 35 family counseling centers and other pro-life centers, and 72 centers for education and social rehabilitation which are owned or administered by the Catholic Church.    
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - Participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples were received this morning by the Holy Father who focused his talk to them on their theme: "Inter-cultural, Inter-religious and Ecumenical Dialogue in the Context of Migrations Today."

  The Pope began by highlighting the "massive migratory phenomenon which is sometimes marked by tragedies that shock consciences. From this phenomenon has come ethnic, cultural and religious pluralism which in general characterize national societies today." He added that "if 'globalization' is the term that, more than any other, connotes modern historical evolution, then the word 'dialogue' must characterize the behavior, mental and pastoral, that we are all called to assume in view of a new world equilibrium. The consistent number of about 200 million migrants makes this even more urgent."

  "Every culture," he went on, "has an approach to the mystery of man even in his religious dimension and that explains, as Vatican Council II says, why some elements of truth are found even outside the revealed message, even among those believers who worship elevated human values, though they do not know their source. We must approach all cultures with an attitude that is respectful of who is aware of not only having something to say and to give, but also of listening and receiving. ... Thus, the need for inter-cultural dialogue."

  Turning to the question of inter-religious dialogue in a globalized world, the Holy Father noted that "integration among populations belonging to diverse cultures and religions is never without unknown factors and difficulties. This is true in particular for the immigration of Muslim believers, who pose specific problems. And it is necessary for pastors to assume, in this regard, precise responsibilities, promoting an ever more generous Gospel witness of Christians themselves." He added that Churches must also "help the faithful to overcome prejudices."

  On the question of ecumenical dialogue, John Paul II said that "the ever more numerous presence of Christian immigrants not in full communion with the Catholic Church offers particular Churches new possibilities for fraternity and ecumenical dialogue, urging them to realize, far from irenicisms and proselytism, a greater understanding between Churches and ecclesial communities."
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received the prime minister of Portugal, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, head of an official delegation that came to the Vatican for the signing of a new concordat between the Holy See and the Portuguese Republic.  Also present during the meeting were Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch of Lisbon, Archbishop Alfio Rapisarda, apostolic nuncio, and members of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.

  In a speech, the Pope said that the signing of the agreement "confirms the sentiment of reciprocal consideration that inspires relations between the Holy See and Portugal.  While I express my profound appreciation for the concern that the government and the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic demonstrate for the Church's mission which culminates with today's signing, I hope that the new concordat may promote a greater understanding between the State authorities and the pastors of the Church for the common good of the nation."

  The concordat, signed this morning by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State of the Holy See, and Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, the Portuguese prime minister, regulates matters of common of interest between the Church and the State. A communique on today's ceremony notes that "the changes which have occurred between the signing of the original concordat on May 7, 1940 and the present one render inapplicable part of its content, especially the Missionary Accord. The new concordat regulates the juridical position of the Catholic Church and its institutions. The State guarantees the Church the public and free exercise of its activities, especially with regard to worship, magisterium and ministry, as well as jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters. It also recognizes religious freedom, especially with regard to personal beliefs, the right to assemble, public expression, teaching and charitable activity."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2004 (VIS) - Today is Pope John Paul's 84th birthday.  VIS subscribers who wish to e-mail birthday wishes to him may do so by clicking on the link below, and then clicking on the icon of the Pope where it says "Wishes to the Holy Father."

  "Arise, Let us be going," the latest book by Pope John Paul, was released today to coincide with the Pope's birthday. It contains reflections on his life as a bishop and on the ministry of every bishop. John Paul II was ordained a bishop on September 28, 1958.

  The book is 178 pages long, has an introduction, six chapters, notes, a list of quotations from the Bible and the Magisterium and an index.

  Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls, in a statement made this morning to journalists, said: "For the Holy Father today is an ordinary work day, above all one of thanksgiving. One special detail: the Holy Father has invited his closest collaborators in the Curia to lunch.

  "Birthday wishes have arrived from around the world, and not just from Catholics, for John Paul II. They have come from heads of State and government, Church officials and people in the world of politics, business and the arts, but above all from single individuals who wish to express their affection and gratitude to the Pope."
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