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Tuesday, February 1, 2005


VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration: "As expected, the flu-like symptoms affecting the Holy Father persist. As a consequence, his appointments for the coming days have been postponed. In particular, the general audience scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday February 2, will not take place."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for February is: "That the sick, and especially the poorest of them, may receive the care and medical treatment worthy of human beings."

  His mission intention is: "That all missionaries, both men and women, may grow in their recognition that it is only through a fervent love for Christ that the Gospel can be transmitted in an effective and convincing way."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York during an informal meeting of the plenary to discuss an exchange of views on the recommendations contained in the report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

  "The recommendations," he said, "clearly involve the streamlining and adaptation of the structure and working methods of this Organization. ... My delegation takes the floor, moved by the expectations that the Holy See in these last years has placed in the primary role of international law in promoting the peaceful coexistence and the well being of the world's peoples, and in the role of the United Nations as their guarantor and driving force."

  The archbishop remarked on the possible structural changes within the United Nations involving the Security Council and General Assembly, "the enhancement of the Secretariat as the principal interlocutor and the reform of ECOSOC through a slightly new lens, that of the linkage of development and security. My delegation finds the treatment of this last theme particularly interesting, because it applies not only to the relationship between conflict and poverty, but also to the causes of terrorism, the promotion of social rights and the struggle against poverty and unemployment as preventative measures." 

  Archbishop Migliore said that the Holy See "welcomes the much needed efforts to find adequate criteria for Security Council membership and the updating of the U.N. electoral system."

  In closing, the nuncio spoke of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter on the right to self defense: "In this connection, my delegation would like to restate that legitimate defense must place particular focus on people and their safety.  Every state has a responsibility to protect its own people but, when it is unable or unwilling to do so, that responsibility should be taken up by the wider international community. Many times, during recent conflicts, the Holy See has had occasion to repeat this conviction, when 'humanitarian intervention' was talked of as a kind of legitimate defense, and such an intervention was presented as an obligation on the international community in order to guarantee the survival of individuals and communities in the face of the action or inaction of a state or group of states."


VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the Holy Father to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and to participants in that dicastery's plenary assembly, which is currently examining certain questions concerning seminaries, ecclesiastical faculties and Catholic universities.

  John Paul II writes that "in the light of current social and cultural changes, it may sometimes prove useful for educators to avail themselves of the work of competent specialists in order to help seminarians understand the requirements of the priesthood more fully, recognizing celibacy as a gift of love to the Lord and to one's brothers. At the moment that young men are admitted to the seminary, their suitableness for living a celibate life must be carefully verified, so that, prior to ordination, they achieve a moral certainty concerning their emotive and sexual maturity."

  The Pope points out that, since science and technology are developing at great speed, ecclesiastical faculties and Catholic universities are called to "continual renewal," and, after highlighting the usefulness of interdisciplinary dialogue, he affirms how "the encounter with theology and with 'a philosophy of genuinely metaphysical range' is particularly fruitful."

  The Holy Father expresses the heartfelt desire for "the teaching of religion to be universally recognized and to have an adequate role in the educational syllabus of scholastic institutions."

  The Pope's message concludes with a mention of the "effective vocational work carried out by the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations," established by Pope Pius XII. On this matter, the Pope writes, "I feel the spiritual initiative undertaken by this organization during the year dedicated to the Eucharist is particularly appropriate: that of creating, by prayer vigils in all continents, a prayer chain linking Christian communities all over the world."
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VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2005 (VIS) - Made public yesterday evening was John Paul II's message to the third Ordinary General Chapter of the Legion of Christ, which is being held in Rome.

  The Pope sent a special greeting to the organization's founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, and to Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, recently elected as director general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and of the "Regnum Christi" movement.

  "You find yourselves facing a historic moment in the life of the institute," the Holy Father writes in his message. "A moment in which a new phase is beginning. For 64 years, it was your good fortune to advance under the guidance of your founder, and you grew and developed until reaching maturity. Now you must continue, guided by your new director general, although not without the support, paternal affection and experience of Father Maciel, who has declined a new period of governance. This obliges you faithfully to safeguard, practice and transmit the gifts you received from the Lord through him."

  John Paul tells the Legionaries of Christ that they are faced "with the task of developing the work which finds its inspiration in the founder. Such work seeks to distinguish itself by selfless service to the Church and by educating youth in solid human and Christian principles which, based on personal freedom and responsibility, contribute to their spiritual, social, and cultural maturity, in fidelity to the Magisterium and in full communion with the Pope."

  In closing, the Pope encourages the Legionaries "to continue radiating your spirituality and apostolic dynamism with its rich variety of works and its constant openness to new forms of expression, in keeping with the most urgent needs of the Church in all times and places. Your contribution to the evangelizing mission of the Church will be truly fruitful if you are faithful to the charism of the institute and remain firmly united to the Rock of Peter."
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