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Friday, July 9, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Santiago Garcia Aracil of Jaen, Spain, as metropolitan archbishop of Merida-Badajoz (area 17,405, population 578,638, Catholics 575,661, priests 327, religious 937), Spain. The archbishop-elect was born in Valencia, Spain in 1940 and was ordained a priest in 1963. He succeeds Archbishop Antonio Montero Moreno whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Gustavo Rodolfo Mendoza Hernandez, chancellor of the Curia and pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in the archdiocese of Guatemala City, Guatemala and Fr. Gonzalo De Villa y Vasquez, S.J., consultant and rector of Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala City, as auxiliary bishops of the same archdiocese (area 2,591, population 3,214,280, Catholics 2,249,056, priests 515, permanent deacons 3, religious 2,416). Bishop-elect Mendoza was born in 1934 in Guatemala City and was ordained a priest in 1958. Bishop-elect De Villa was born in 1954 in Madrid, Spain and was ordained a priest in 1983.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2004 (VIS) - This morning in the apostolic nunciature in Bratislava, Slovakia, Archbishop Henry Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio in the Slovak Republic and Martin Fronc, minister of education, exchanged instruments of ratification for the Accord between the Holy See and Slovakia on education and Catholic instruction, signed in Bratislava on May 13.

  Among the participants in the ceremony were Archbishop Jan Sokol of Bratislava-Trnava and Bishop Frantisek Tondra of Spis, president of the Slovakian Bishops' Conference, representing the Holy See, and, for Slovakia, Daniela Remenova, official of the section of private and Catholic schools in the Ministry of Education and Marek Smid of the Department of International Law in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the Holy Father's Letter to Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on the occasion of the international seminar the council has sponsored, being held today in the Vatican, on "Poverty and Globalization: Financing for Development, including the Millennium Development Goals."  The Letter is dated July 5.

  Assuring the participants of his "prayers and encouragement for this most important work," the Pope noted that "the conditions of extreme poverty afflicting many millions of people are a cause of grave concern to the international community. The Church, committed to a 'preferential option for the poor', naturally shares in that concern and strongly supports the Millennium goal of halving the number of people living in poverty by the year 2015. Through the many Catholic aid and development agencies she makes her own contribution to relief efforts, thereby continuing the work of Christ Himself, who came to bring good news to the poor, to feed the hungry, to serve and not to be served."

  "Much work has already been done," he wrote, "to reduce the burden of debt afflicting poor countries, but more is needed if developing nations are to escape from the crippling effects of under-investment and if developed countries are to fulfil their duty of solidarity with their less fortunate brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.  In the short to medium term, a commitment to increase foreign aid seems the only way forward, and the Church therefore welcomes the search for innovative solutions, such as the International Finance Facility."

  The Pope added that "at the same time, financial support from wealthy nations places an obligation on the receiver to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the use made of such assistance. I am confident that the governments of rich and poor countries alike will take seriously their responsibilities towards each other and towards their people."

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