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Thursday, December 11, 2003


VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, there was the presentation of the book, 'Faith and Culture. An Anthology of Texts of the Pontifical Magisterium from Leo XIII to John Paul II,' published by the Pontifical Council for Culture. Cardinal Paul Poupard, Frs. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., Fabio Duque Jaramillo, O.F.M., and Javier Magdaleno Cueva, respectively president, secretary, undersecretary, and official of the council, spoke during the press conference.

Cardinal Poupard said that this volume of more than 1,500 pages covers a great variety of topics of the pontifical magisterium over the course of more than one hundred years: 'From art to technology, ideologies to the family, from sports to politics, universities to cultural identity, from globalization to inculturation.'

This book is meant to serve as a source of reference for episcopal conferences, cultural commissions as well as researchers at universities and institutes in theology, the religious sciences, and professors in the faculties of philosophy, theology, social sciences, education and at seminaries.

In his presentation, Fr. Ardura said that 'the popes, in a span of one hundred years, have been witnesses and protagonists in significant evolution in the field of culture and its relationship with the Christian faith, departing from the concept of 'civilization' in order to achieve a more complete understanding of the human person with the concept of 'culture'.'

Fr. Duque Jaramillo indicated that 'the present anthology is the result of ten years of work' and 'reveals the dynamic understanding that the Church has of the cultural dimension of evangelization. ' This anthology is a true and authentic invitation to verify the development of a passionate dialogue between the message and the person of Jesus Christ and the hopes and desires of modern generations.'

Fr. Javier Magdaleno referred to the volume's many indexes. The first index, he said, 'presents an overall view of the pastoral care for culture.' It is divided into three major sections: faith and cultures: guidelines, challenges and reference points, and concrete proposals. The thematic index includes 'the texts of the magisterium with reference to an identified concept or word in alphabetic order.' The third index 'lists 1,266 different pontifical texts, classified under the name of the pope that wrote them.'
Keys: ;BOOK FAITH; CULTURE;...;POUPARD ;VIS;20031211;Word: 390;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, released the following statement this afternoon:

'Today, December 11, 2003, the Holy Father John Paul II received in audience Silvan Shalom, minister of Foreign Affairs for the State of Israel. Afterward Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the Section for Relations with States, met with Mr. Shalom.

'In the course of their conversations, the parties expressed their point of view on the path to follow in order to obtain peace in the Holy Land.

'In particular, the need to find a solution to the current situation was insisted upon, as well as the need for concrete acts of reconciliation on
both sides.

'During the encounter, bilateral issues that concern the life of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land were examined in light of the commitments undertaken with the Fundamental Agreement of 1993.'



VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - On Tuesday, December 16, at 11:30 a.m. in the Holy See Press Office, the Pope's message will be presented for the 37th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on January 1, 2004 on the theme: 'International Law, A Path to Peace.' Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, Msgr. Frank J. Dewane and Giorgio Filibeck, respectively president, secretary, undersecretary and official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will speak during the press conference.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - A 30-meter high, 110-year old spruce tree from the northern Italian region of Valle D'Aosta will be placed in St. Peter's Square tomorrow, adjacent to the immense nativity scene currently being constructed by Vatican workmen.. The tree, along with twenty other smaller ones that will be placed in and around Vatican City, are the gifts of this Italian region to the Holy Father for Christmas 2003. John Paul II has spent seven summer vacations in Valle D'Aosta.

Three hundred people from Valle D'Aosta, including the president of the region, will symbolically present the tree to the Holy Father at the general audience on Wednesday, December 17. One of the other trees, decorated by regional artisans, will grace the Paul VI Hall: At the foot of the tree will be a handmade nativity scene in wood which last Christmas was in the upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

That same afternoon, at 4:30 in St. Peter's square, Cardinal Edmund Szoka, president of the Governorate of Vatican City, will preside at the official tree lighting ceremony. He will be joined by officials of Valle D'Aosta and members of local folklore groups and choirs will entertain.
Keys: ;VATICAN CHRISTMAS TREES;...;@ ;VIS;20031211;Word: 210;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday before the 58th session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 48: the 55th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He expressed the Holy See's pleasure at participating in this observance, stating that 'this extraordinary development in the protection of
fundamental human rights was based on the greatest traditions of the jus gentium 'the Law of Nations' which is founded upon the objective moral order as discerned by right reason.' He underscored that human rights 'are not a creation of the State but flow from the character and nature of humanity itself. ' In identifying certain fundamental rights which are common to every member of the human family, the Declaration has decisively contributed to the development of international law. Moreover, it has resolutely challenged those human laws which have denied men and women the dignity to which they are entitled because of who they are. Sadly, the fundamental rights, proclaimed, codified and celebrated in the Universal Declaration are still the object of severe and constant violations.'

Archbishop Migliore noted that 'challenges to the proper implementation of human rights' include 'a tendency of some to choose self-serving rights. In some circumstances, what is inalienable to some human beings is simultaneously denied others. A case in point would be the denial of the most fundamental right'that is the right to life itself from which all other rights naturally and logically flow.' There are also threats 'from exaggerated individualism that often leads the stronger to lord it over the weak.'

'The world in which we live today,' he remarked, 'exists under the shadows of war, terrorism, and other threats to human survival and to the innate dignity of the human person. At the source of many of these shadows lies a denial of some of the universal rights. Ironically, it is human beings who cast these shadows. Yet, we have also been given wisdom to use the light of right reason to dispel them.'

In concluding remarks, the archbishop said 'we still need to ask the question: what has happened to everyone's right 'to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized? (art. 28)'. The dignity, freedom and happiness acknowledged by the Declaration will not be fully realized without solidarity amongst all peoples. Inspired by the example of all those framers of this Declaration who have taken the risk of freedom, can we not recommit ourselves also to taking the risk of solidarity - and thus the risk of peace?'

DELSS;HUMAN RIGHTS;...;UN; MIGLIORE ;VIS;20031211;Word: 450;


VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Oscar Azarcon Solis, pastor of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Parish in Thibodaux, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles (area 22,685, population 10,985,200, Catholics 4,197,635, priests 1,261, permanent deacons 203, religious 2,621), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1953 in San Jose City, Philippines and was ordained a priest in 1979.
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VATICAN CITY, DEC 11, 2003 - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Gnassingbe Eyadema, president of the Republic of Togo, and an entourage.

- Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio in Turkey and Turkmenistan.

- Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, apostolic nuncio in India and Nepal.

- Silvan Shalom, minister of Foreign Affairs for Israel, and an entourage.

- Two prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Sudan on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Vincent Mojwok Nyiker of Malakal.

- Bishop Cesare Mazzolari of Rumbeck.
AP; AL;@;...;@ ;VIS;20031211;Word: 90;
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