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Tuesday, September 14, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 14, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Paolo Mario Virgilio Atzei, O.F.M. Conv., of Tempio-Ampurias, Italy as metropolitan archbishop of Sassari (area 1,978, population 224,603, Catholics 223,100, priests 162, permanent deacons 3, religious 309), Italy.  The archbishop-elect was born in Mantova, Italy in 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1966.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 14, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Avraham Poraz, interior minister of Israel and an entourage.

- Five prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron of Agana, Guam.

    - Archbishop Michel-Marie-Bernard Calvet of Noumea, New Caledonia.

    - Bishop Amando Samo of Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

    - Bishop Tomas Aguon Camacho of Chalan Kanoa, Southern Mariana Islands.

    - Fr. James C. Gould, S.J., apostolic prefect of the Marshall Islands.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 14, 2004 (VIS) -  Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, made the following declaration today at noon:

  "Israeli Interior Minister Avraham Poraz, accompanied by Israeli Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur, by an advisor, Paltiel Varon, and by the director of the Department for Relations with Christians, Cesar Marjeh, were received this morning at 9:45 a.m. by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State. Joining the cardinal were Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of Relations with States, and Msgrs. Franco Coppola and Joseph Murphy, officials of the Secretariat of State.

  "The cardinal secretary of State -  having recalled that the positions of the Holy See on peace, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, in general, on the situation in the Middle East were well-known to the Israeli government, and that he personally had the possibility to illustrate these positions over the course of visits to the Vatican by the Head of the State of Israel and the Minister of Foreign Affairs - suggested that today's meeting focus on the questions of the minister's jurisdiction.

  "In the course of the meeting, they talked about the Fundamental Agreement of 1993 and the Legal Personality Agreement of 1997.  In particular, they spoke about the issue of entrance visas to Israel for religious personnel of the Catholic Church, a question about which the minister gave assurances of having given the necessary instructions for a satisfactory solution. They also discussed the progress of negotiations underway in Jerusalem for the realization of an agreement that defines the fiscal questions of ecclesiastical institutions in Israel.

  "The minister then went to Castelgandolfo where he was received in audience by the Holy Father."


VATICAN CITY, SEP 14, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter dated September 11 from Pope John Paul to Mother Matilde Fravolini, superior general of the Sisters of Divine Love, on the occasion of the third centenary of this religious family  which will occur on September 13, 2005. On that day in 1705 Cardinal Marco Antonio Barbarigo, bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto, founded the Congregation of Divine Love.

  The Pope highlighted the cardinal's life and his works of evangelization, catechesis, ecclesiastical reform and the celebrations of diocesan synods. He remarked that  Cardinal Barbarigo "three centuries ago was committed to the social promotion of women. In his wake, your institute is called today to help women in difficulty to rediscover their dignity according to God's project and their vocation to love. Recognizing the just role of women in society contributes to safeguarding the values of the family, of life and of peace."

    The Holy Father noted that their special charism calls them "to be witnesses of God's mercy in all situations. In particular I exhort you to cultivate the spirit of welcome in your houses, opening yourselves to the needs of others in order to spread the sweet scent of charity. ... You will draw from the divine Source the warmth of charity that you are called to transmit through the various activities of liturgical animation, catechesis, formation in youth oratories, professional schools and laboratories, assistance in homes for single women with children and in centers of welcome for weak and marginalized persons."
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