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Tuesday, April 29, 2003


VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Pope's Message to Fr. Camilo Maccise, superior general of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, on the occasion of their 89th general ordinary chapter, was made public. The meeting is being celebrated from April 28 to May 18 in Avila, Spain.

In the Message, written in Spanish and dated April 21, John Paul II writes that the chapter's theme, 'On Our Way with St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross: Come Back to the Basics', underscores the order's firm will to remain faithful to the charism that, inspired by the Spirit in a determined historical and ecclesial context, has developed throughout the centuries and is destined to produce also today the fruits of sanctity in the Church' 'for the common good', responding to the challenges of the third millennium."

"I also repeat to you, as I have to other religious," he continues, "that you 'do not only have a glorious history to remember and to recount, but also a great history to create.' For this reason, it is necessary to make an effort to overcome every obstacle to the growth of the charism. The best service that one can provide to the gift received is the purification of the heart through worthy fruits of conversion."

The Holy Father emphasized that "in order to respond to the challenges of our times, the Church stresses the 'permanent task of examining in depth the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel'."

Following the example of their founders and foundresses, the Pope adds, you must "start with Christ and His Gospel" according to the specific charism. In addition, "we must preserve His experience, and at the same time, "go deeper in it and develop it with the same openness and docility to the action of the Holy Spirit, in this way the fidelity and original experience is safeguarded as well as the way of responding appropriately to the changing demands of each moment in history."

After pointing out that "humanity is thirsty for genuine witnesses of Christ," the Pope concludes by saying: "In order to be a witness, it is necessary to proceed toward sanctity, which has already flourished abundantly in your religious family. I think about all the saints formed by the Carmelites, and especially in the inestimable heritage that St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross have left to your order and to the whole Church. 'Aspire to sanctity: this is, in short, the program of all consecrated life.'"



VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2003 (VIS) - The Pope today welcomed members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and their president, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as they celebrate their annual plenary assembly on the theme "The Bible and Morals" and also commemorate the centenary of the institution of this pontifical commission.

Noting this anniversary, the Holy Father said that "the Pontifical Biblical Commission serves the cause of the Word of God according to the objectives that were established for it by my predecessors Leo XIII and Paul VI. It has gone forward with the times, sharing uneasiness and anxieties, concerning itself with indicating in the message of Revelation the answer that God offers to the serious problems that from era to era trouble mankind."

"One of these," he added, "is the object of your current research. You have summed it up in the title 'the Bible and Morals'. Everyone can see that there is a paradox: man today, disillusioned by so many unsatisfactory answers to the basic questions about life, seems to open himself to the voice that comes from the Transcendent Being and is expressed in the bible message. At the same time, however, he seems to be more and more intolerant of being asked to behave in harmony with the values that the Church has forever presented as founded on the Gospel. We thus see the most varied attempts to unlink biblical revelation from the most binding proposals of life."

In conclusion, the Pope pointed out that "an answer to this situation can be found in carefully listening to the Word of God, which has its fullest expression in the teaching of Christ."



VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Mario Luis Bautista Maulion of San Nicolas de los Arroyos as metropolitan archbishop of the archdiocese of Parana, Argentina (area 30,348, population 450,232, Catholics 103,553, priests 22, religious 37). The archbishop-elect was born in Carcanara, Argentina in 1934 and was ordained a priest in 1960. He succeeds Archbishop Estanislao Esteban Karlic whose resignation from the pastoral care of same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

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VATICAN CITY, APR 29, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in audience Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

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