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Thursday, May 15, 2003


VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop John P. Foley will participate in a conference this afternoon at the Second International Congress on the Church and the Media which takes place from May 15 to 17 at St. Anthony Catholic University of Murcia, Spain.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications will offer some reflections and suggestions inspired by documents published by his dicastery on ethics in the media.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (VIS) - Today at noon John Paul II received Archbishop Justo Mullor Garcia, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastic Academy, who was accompanied by student priests who are preparing to enter the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

"In order to carry out faithfully the tasks that will be entrusted to you in the future," the Pope said to the students, "it is essential that, starting in these years of formation, your objective be to achieve sanctity. ... Make a daily effort to aspire to Gospel perfection, nourishing an uninterrupted loving relationship with God in prayer, by listening to the Word and, especially, by participating with devotion in the Eucharistic sacrifice. This is where the secret of the efficacy of all ministry and service to the Church lies."

The Holy Father emphasized that community life in the Academy opens up to them "the universal dimension of the Church, offering the opportunity to better understand the complex human realities of our day. This will be of great help when you carry out your activity among populations with different customs, cultures, languages and religious traditions. Your service will be that much more effective the more you commit yourselves, with an authentically priestly soul, to promoting the growth of local Churches, connecting them with the See of Peter, and for the good of peoples."



VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican's Clementine Hall, Pope John Paul welcomed 12 new ambassadors to the Holy See and, in his address to them in French, highlighted some of the Church's concerns as she seeks "to be involved in international life, in relations between people and in humanitarian concerns, which are the expression of her primordial mission: expressing God's closeness to each and every person."

The ambassadors who presented their Letters of Credence are: Joseph Herron of Australia; Kelebert Nkomani from Zimbabwe; Siba Nasser of Syria; Leari Edgar Rousseau from Trinidad and Tobago; Negash Kebret of Ethiopia; Alberts Sarkanis of Latvia; Emitai Lausiki Boladuadua from the Fiji Islands; Terence Nsanze of Burundi; Alexander Chikvaidze from Georgia; Michel Rittie of Vanuatu; Mihail Laur from Moldova and Fauzia Abbas of Pakistan.

The Pope spoke to the diplomats collectively, although he consigned to each of them a speech tailored to their country's special concerns, and he accepted a written copy of each ambassador's talk to him.

"Our world is living through a difficult moment, marked by many conflicts, of which you are attentive observers," began the Holy Father. "This disturbs many people and I ask the leaders of nations to commit themselves ever more in favor of peace. In this perspective, it is important for diplomacy to rediscover its noble purpose. In fact, attention to persons and peoples, as well as concern for dialogue, fraternity and solidarity, are at the foundation of diplomatic activity and of the institutions charged with promoting, above all, peace, which is one of the most precious goods for individuals, peoples and for States themselves, whose lasting development can only rest on security and harmony."

Highlighting the 40th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII's "Pacem in terris," the Pope noted that his predecessor was also a diplomat, in service to the Holy See. Blessed John invited leaders to build society "on 'four pillars': truth, justice, love and liberty. Peace cannot be realized by disdaining persons and peoples; it is built when everyone becomes partners and protagonists of the building of a national society."

The Pope noted that the international community now has organisms and legislation aimed at avoiding wars, the death of innocents and devastation. He added that "the United Nations are called to be more than ever the central place for decisions concerning the rebuilding of countries, and humanitarian organizations are invited to become involved in a renewed fashion." People can thus take charge of their destinies, he said and "go from fear to hope, from disorder to the commitment to build their own future."

"Lastly," said Pope John Paul, "I call on all persons who profess a religion, that the spiritual and religious may be a source of unity and peace, and that they never cause men to pit themselves one against the other."

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Fabio Bernardo D'Onorio, abbot of the territorial abbey of Montecassino, Italy, as a consultant of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, foreign minister of the Republic of Poland, and an entourage.

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