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Monday, June 28, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Alain Planet, of the clergy of the diocese of Valence, France and moderator of "Notre Dame du-Rhone" in Montelimar, as bishop of Carcassonne (area 6,313, population 309,952, Catholics 180,000, priests 126, permanent deacons  10, religious 274), France. The bishop-elect was born in Privas, France in 1948 and was ordained a priest in 1981. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Jacques Despierre, France upon having reached the age limit.

- Approved the election canonically carried out by the Synod of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church, gathered at Ain Traz, Lebanon on June 22-26, of Fr. Elias Rahal of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, SMSP, as archbishop of Baalbeck of the Greek-Melkite Catholics (Catholics 15,100, priests 11, permanent deacons 1, religious 50), Lebanon. The archbishop-elect was born in Ras Baalbeck, Lebanon in 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1970.

- Appointed Msgrs. Gerald T. Walsh, of the clergy of New York, U.S.A. and pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Manhattan, and Dennis J. Sullivan, also of the clergy of New York, and pastor of Sts. John and Paul Parish in Larchmont, as auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese of New York (area 12,212, population 5,529,214, Catholics 2,488,146, priests 1,811, permanent deacons 354, religious 4,711), U.S.A. Bishop-elect Walsh was born in New York in 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1967. Bishop-elect Sullivan was born in 1945 in New York and was ordained a priest in 1971.

- Appointed Msgr. Maurizio Malvestiti, official of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as bureau chief of the same congregation

  On Saturday June 26, it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Msgr. Bruno Forte of the clergy of the archdiocese of Naples, Italy as metropolitan archbishop of Chieti-Vasto (area 2,539, population 314,800, Catholics 310,350, priests 230, permanent deacons 14, religious 493). The archbishop-elect was born in 1949 in Naples and was ordained a priest in 1973.

- Appointed Msgr. Gergely Kovacs, official of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as the bureau chief of the same dicastery.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Their Royal Highnesses, Felipe and Letizia de Borbon, Prince and Princess of Asturias, and an entourage.

- Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.

- Archbishop Gaudencio B. Rosales of Manila, Philippines.

- Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France.

  On Saturday June 26, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, apostolic nuncio to the European Community.

- Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, apostolic nuncio in Albania.

- Edda Victoria Martinelli de Datari, ambassador of Panama, on her farewell visit.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a note on the visit of His Holiness Bartholomew, ecumenical patriarch, to John Paul II. This year the patriarch will lead the delegation from Constantinople to commemorate the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in January of 1964.

  The patriarch - who previously visited the Pope in 1995 - and his entourage arrive in Rome today and will be received by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State.  They will stay at the St. Martha Residence in the Vatican until their departure on July 2.

  On June 29 in the morning, the patriarch will meet with the Pope in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. During the meeting, they will exchange speeches and gifts and sign a common declaration. Then the patriarch will see Cardinal Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano and will visit the Vatican Basilica where he will pray at the Altar of the Cathedra and at Paul VI's tomb which is in the grotto.

  In the afternoon, he will participate in a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square, presided by the Holy Father on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.

  On June 30, the traditional bilateral talks between the Holy See and Fanar will take place.  These talks are scheduled on the occasion of the exchange of delegations for the patron feasts of the two sees, St. Andrew in November and Sts. Peter and Paul in June.  That same afternoon, the patriarch will receive an honor from the City of Rome and later will be welcomed by the Community of Sant'Egidio in his patronal church of St. Bartholomew.

  According to the note, His Excellency Gennadios, metropolitan archbishop of the Greek-Orthodox in Italy and exarch for Southern Europe of the Ecumenical Throne, asked His Holiness Bartholomew I to preside at the inauguration on July 1 of the liturgical use of the church of St. Theodore on the Palatine which Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, has entrusted to the Greek-Orthodox community in Rome for liturgical celebrations and pastoral care upon the express wishes of the Pope.

  The patriarch will meet again with John Paul II during a fraternal luncheon in the Apostolic Palace in which members of the entourage will participate as well.

  On July 2 at midday, His Holiness Bartholomew I will leave Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II welcomed Their Royal Highnesses, Felipe and Letizia de Borbon, Prince and Princess of Asturias, to the Vatican this morning, telling them he was happy to receive them so soon after their wedding and thanking them "for the deference of desiring to visit me at the start of your married life."

  "The birth of a new family," he told the couple and their entourage, "is always a great event. It is for the married couple, whose mutual love is enriched and strengthened with divine grace. It is also a great event for the respective families and for society, since living together faithfully and forever, entails  new experiences and promises of life."

  The Pope renewed the best wishes he sent them on their wedding day and said he "asks God to help you in your new life that you form a happy home which, for the important role it has in Spanish society, may be an exemplary  reference point for many families in this beloved nation."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 27, 2004 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today at noon, the Pope announced that on June 29, Solemnity of St. Peter and Paul, Apostles, he will receive in the Vatican His Holiness Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. "We want to commemorate together the historic encounter between our venerable predecessors Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras who exchanged an unforgettable embrace of fraternity and peace in Jerusalem forty years ago ... during the Second Vatican Council."

   "Precisely in November of the same year," he recalled, "the council Fathers approved the decree 'Unitatis redintegratio.' In this decree, it was solemnly affirmed that  promoting unity between all Christians was one of the principal objectives of the Council, and that to achieve this all the institutions and ecclesial communities must direct their efforts toward achieving this objective."

  John Paul II said that "during this period, in spite of the difficulties that remain even today, notable steps have been taken toward ecumenism and within the People of God an ecumenical sensibitivity has developed. The week of Prayer for Christian Unity has come to form a normal part of the liturgical-pastoral path of dioceses and parishes.  Many are the associations and ecclesial communities that dedicate constant attention to reciprocal knowledge and friendship among Christians of different confessions, such that they are united more and more in works of solidarity, justice and peace."

  "While we prepare ourselves to welcome the ecumenical patriarch," he concluded, "I invite everyone to pray for Christian unity, invoking the intercession of Our Lady. May the Holy Mother of God, to whom so many Eastern Christians are devoted, allow the embrace between Paul VI and Athenagoras I to favor a renewed commitment to communion between Orthodox and Catholics."

  After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father recalled that the World Day Against Torture was celebrated yesterday, and he urged "that the common commitment of institutions and citizens be able to completely eliminate this intolerable violation of human rights, radically contrary to the dignity of man."

  Addressing a group of young Israelis and Palestinians who, together with their families, are being hosted in Naples, the Pope said: "Together they want to say to the world that they want peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. They say it with particular force, since there have been victims of the present conflict in their families, Palestinian as well as Israeli. Everyone has the responsibility not to disappoint these young people and to help them to grow in their trust in God and in others."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 27, 2004 (VIS) - According to a communique issued by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, the Holy Father will go to the Valle d'Aosta region in the Italian Alps from July 5 to 17 for a vacation.  During this time, all private audiences will be suspended.

  Starting on July 21, the Wednesday general audiences will take place in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace in Castelgandolfo at 10:30 a.m.

  Every Sunday, starting on July 18, the Pope will pray the Angelus at noon in the courtyard at Castelgandolfo.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Pope John Paul to Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, who will be his special envoy to the centenary celebrations of the crowing of the Mater Dolorosa image at the Shrine of Telgte in the diocese of Muenster, Germany on July 3. The Letter is written in Latin and is dated June 9, 2004.

  Other members of the pontifical mission include Msgrs. Winfried Koenig and Egon Mielenbrink of the diocese of Muenster and Msgr. Stephan Stocker, secretary of the apostolic nunciature in Germany.


VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2004 (VIS) - Today in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope received 7,000 participants in a meeting promoted by the Italian Sporting Center, and noted that CSI, the Italian acronym for this group, was born 60 years ago "to propose to the youth of the time, so marked by the sad consequences of World War II, that practicing sports is not only a source of physical well-being but also an ideal of a courageous, positive, optimistic life, a means of integral renewal of the person and of society."

  He told his listeners that "each one of you is called to follow Christ and to be His witness in the field of sports." And, he added, "'practicing' sports, not just 'talking about sports', helps us rediscover the full truth about the human person."  He noted that over the past 60 years, CSI "has worked so that children, young people and adults can know, through various sports disciplines, the richness and beauty of the Gospel."

  John Paul II stated that CSI's efforts to promote sports "will help the new generations to choose and to cultivate the authentic values of life: love for truth and justice, a taste for beauty and goodness, the search for authentic freedom and peace."

  "In our times," he said, "the sports system often seems conditioned by the logic of profit, of spectacle, of doping, of extreme sports and episodes of violence. It is your duty to proclaim and give witness to the humanizing force of the Gospel with regards to the practice of sports which, if lived according to the Christian vision, becomes a 'generating principle' of deep human relations, and favors the building of a more serene world, one of greater solidarity."

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