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Wednesday, June 2, 2004


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

- Appointed Bishop Bruno Gamberini of Braganca Paulista, Brazil as metropolitan archbishop of Campinas (area 2,134, population 1,694,021, Catholics 1,235,435, priests 159, permanent deacons 4, religious 511), Brazil. Archbishop-elect Gamberini was born in 1950 in Milan, ordained a priest in 1974 and a bishop in 1995. He succeeds Archbishop Gilberto Pereira Lopes whose resignation the Pope accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation to the pastoral care of the diocese of Tarija, Bolivia presented by Bishop Adhemar Esquivel Kohenque upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 2, 2004 (VIS) -  Made public today was the speech given on May 31 by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, an official of the Secretariat of State, at the Economic Forum of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe during the plenary session of the 55 States participating in the OSCE. The meeting is being held in Prague, the Czech Republic, May 31 to June 4.

  In his address in English, Msgr. Balestrero noted that "the OSCE strategy document for the economic and environmental dimension acknowledges that liberalization and technological change have not benefited all the participating States equally, thus contributing, in some cases, to deepening economic disparities between and also within our countries. Notwithstanding the progress achieved, ... some participating States still need assistance for transition, reforms and integration into the world economy in a fair and effective manner."

  He said that "the different conditions that must be respected in order to carry on a process of sustainable development make one fear that many countries will not be able to do so on their own. Thus a fundamental requirement for building up an institutional capacity for economic development consists in creating adequate instruments for the redistribution of global resources. ...  It requires a concerted effort and economic and financial investments."

  "We know;" said Msgr. Balestrero, "that international institutions and mechanisms which might possibly favour such a transfer are still lacking. Yet we are also aware of the fact that developed countries at the national level adopt policies aimed at correcting market failures and reduced opportunities for depressed regions. In some countries it may well be that public decision-taking and the public sector itself are excessive. But the central point to be made is that on the global level the opposite is the case: institutional development has stopped at market-related structures. It is therefore important for OSCE's economic commitment to be aware of this limitation and therefore to promote adequate programmes of aid and redistribution."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 2, 2004 (VIS) - In multi-language greetings following the catechesis of this morning's general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul had special words for a group of his fellow Poles, and he also addressed Italians on the occasion of the national day of the Republic.

  Greeting the Polish pilgrims, he thanked in particular a group from Shupsk "for their benevolence and for having given me the title of 'honorary citizen'. I want to repay this good will with my prayers. I also want to greet a group, including their president, from the Podhale Association of Chicago on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. I thank you for your commitment for safeguarding the Christian roots of the culture and Polish traditions among immigrants in America.

  "Today" he continued, "is the 25th anniversary of the day on which for the first time as Pope I kissed my native soil. I always return in my thoughts to those days and I thank God for the breath of the Holy Spirit that crossed that land and caused such a profound change. May God bless our fatherland and all Poles. May God bless you!"

  Noting that today is the national day of the Republic in Italy the Pope saluted "all Italians and their leaders. I hope that Italy, thanks to the responsible contribution of the various social realities and of every citizen, and remaining anchored in the great values that are at the basis of its culture, art and religious tradition, may know a future of hope, open to harmony, internal cohesion and solidarity."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 2, 2004 (VIS) - Psalm 40, "The prayer of a sick man," was the theme of the Pope's catechesis today at the weekly general audience, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 13,000 faithful.

  John Paul II stated that Jesus quotes this Psalm on Holy Thursday in the Cenacle to show his deep sadness at the moment of betrayal by Judas: "He who breaks bread with me has raised his heel against me." These words, he said, express "the supplication of a man who is sick and abandoned by his friends."

  "A sick man starts his talk asking pardon of God, according to the traditional Old Testament concept that for every pain there was a corresponding fault. ... Even if this is a vision overcome by Christ, the final Revealer, suffering in itself can conceal a secret value and become a path to purification, to inner freedom, to enrichment of the soul. It invites us to overcome superficiality, vanity, egoism and sin, and to trust God and His saving will more intensely."

  The Holy Father remarked that "when evil-doers enter the scene, coming to a sick person not to comfort them but rather to attack them," the sick man who prays feels indifference and hardness, even on the part of his friends who are transformed into hostile and hateful figures."

  "The sense of bitterness is deep when the one who strikes us is 'a friend' whom we trusted, called literally in Hebrew 'a man of peace'. ... In our prayer echoes the voice of a crowd of persons who are forgotten and humiliated in their infirmity and weakness, also by those who should have supported them."

  In conclusion, the Pope said that "the prayer of Psalm 40 does not end, however, on this dark background. The one who prays is certain that God will appear on his horizon, revealing, once again, His love. He will give His support and take the sick person in His arms. ... The Psalm, marked by pain, ends on a note of light and hope."
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