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Tuesday, June 8, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 8,  2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Joseph Robert Cistone, vicar of the diocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of same diocese (area 5,652, population 3,861,648, Catholics 1,494,883, priests 1,083, permanent deacons 212, religious 569), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in Philadelphia and was ordained a priest in 1975.

- Msgr. Joseph Patrick McFadden, pastor of St. Joseph in Downingtown, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1947 in Philadelphia, U.S.A. and was ordained a priest in 1981.

- Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of Relations with States, as secretary of the Permanent Interdicasterial Commission for the Church in Eastern Europe.

- Members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences: Fr. Marcel Chappin S.J., professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Lamin Sanneh, professor at Yale University, U.S.A. and Johannes Helmrath, professor at Humboldt Universitat in Berlin, Germany.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 8,  2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio in Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles and apostolic delegate in Comoros, with functions as apostolic delegate in Reunion.

- Four prelates from the Episcopal Conference in Colombia on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Hector Salah Zulueta of Girardota.

    - Bishop Jose Roberto Lopez Londoño of Jerico.

    - Bishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Sonson-Rionegro.

    - Bishops Hernan Giraldo Jaramillo of Buga.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 8, 2004 (VIS) - This month the secret Vatican Archives will publish "Inter Arma Caritas. The Information Office in the Vatican for prisoners of war instituted by Pius XII (1939-1947)." The book consists of two volumes, Inventory and Documents, and is 1,472 pages long. In addition, there are eight DVDs which contain the images of the original files in the archive and the names of 2,100,000 prisoners about whom information has been requested.

  The first volume opens with a letter from Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano and a study by Fr. Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Secret Vatican Archives. There will also be an analytic inventory, proceeded by a historic introduction. The second volume gathers writings - more than 10 million letters - and documents in chronological order which are divided into chapters. The two-volume set of books - they are not being sold separately - costs 75 euros.
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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 8, 2004 (VIS) - The Vatican Observatory at the papal palace at Castelgandolfo is host this week to 90 professional and advanced amateur astronomers, half of whom observed today's transit of Venus between 7:20 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from the roof of the palace in this town south of Rome. The guests are part of a group organized by the American astronomy magazine, Sky and Telescope. Another part of the group viewed the transit from a site nearby and will visit the observatory on June 10, according to a communique from the Vatican Specola, or observatory.

  An astronomical "transit" is the passage of one object in the sky in front of another: in this case, Venus passed between Earth and the Sun. Anyone with a small telescope, properly equipped to reduce the Sun's glare, could have viewed the black dot, as Venus appeared, as it moved in front of the Sun. Because this event occurred before sunrise n the western hemisphere, astronomers from Canada and the U.S. came to Europe for the viewing.

  As proper equipment is necessary to observe the transit and the Sun safely, in preparation for today's event, the Specola received a gift of a telescope especially equipped for solar observation from the Coronado Technology Group, presented by the group's president, David Lund, on May 31 to Fr. George Coyne, S.J. director of the observatory.

  The rare transits of Venus happen in pairs, eights years apart, separated by 130 years. Since the invention of the telescope, only five such transits have ever been, the last in 1882. The next will occur in 2012.


VATICAN CITY, JUN 8, 2004 (VIS) - "The family in Europe: Foundations-Experiences-Perspectives" is the theme of a European symposium of professors from universities from all over the continent which will take place on June 24-27 at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. The conference is organized by the Office for the Pastoral Care of Universities of the Vicariate of Rome in conjunction with the Italian Ministries of Education and Labor and Social Politics.

  According to a communique made public today, the objective of this interdisciplinary academic conference "is to open up new perspectives for research on the problems and the role of the family in modern society, with the perception that Europe is built on the life of the community which shows the roots of the history and culture of peoples."

  The symposium will begin with an introductory talk on the topic "The person, marriage and family," followed by talks by professors, including Janne Haaland-Matlary of the University of Oslo in Norway. On Friday June 25, Archbishop Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, Italy, will give lead a session entitled, "The family: truth and history." Later, an audience with the Pope is scheduled. In the afternoon, the experiences and problems of the family in Europe will be discussed. The following professors are scheduled to address the assembly: Pierpaolo Donati of the University of Bologna; Rafael Navarro-Valls of the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain; Paul War of the University of Dublin, Ireland; Richard Puza of the University of Tubingen, Germany; Alicja Grzeskowiak of the Catholic Unversity of Lublin, Poland and Johannes Strangas of the Panteion University in Athens, Greece.

  Saturday June 26 will be dedicated to sessions on various topics: family and law; family, society and institutions; family and education; family and health care; family and commerce; family and the elderly; family and communication and family and artistic and literary expression.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 8, 2004 (VIS) - The following telegram was sent by Pope John Paul II to Nancy Reagan, the widow of the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, who died June 5 at the age of 93 at his home in California:

  "Having learned with sadness of the death of President Reagan, I offer you and your family my heartfelt condolences and the assurance of my prayers for his eternal rest. I recall with deep gratitude the late president's unwavering commitment to the service of the nation and to the cause of freedom as well as his abiding faith in the human and spiritual values which ensure a future of solidarity, justice and peace in our world. Together with your family and the American people I commend his noble soul to the merciful love of God our Heavenly Father and cordially invoke upon all who mourn his passing the divine blessings of consolation, strength and peace."
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