DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     January 12, 1999     vol. 10, no. 7

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          LIMA (CWNews.com) - Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani, who became world-famous as a mediator during the 1996 hostage crisis sparked when Marxist rebels seized the Japanese embassy, was appointed on Saturday as the new Archbishop of Lima, following the resignation of Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora.

          In July 1988, the new Archbishop of Lima was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Ayacucho, at that time the stronghold of the bloody Maoist "Shining Path" rebels. At Ayacucho, Archbishop Cipriani displayed both a strong stand against violence which earned him several life threats and a pastoral and social stance in favor of displaced peasants and the poor. In late 1996, after MRTA rebels stormed into the Japanese embassy, the group's leader Nestor Cerpa requested the mediation of a representative from the Catholic Church and Archbishop Cipriani was accepted by both sides.

          As mediator, the Archbishop unleashed a consuming effort to achieve an agreement that would avoid a violent end. However 126 days later, despite his efforts, President Alberto Fujimori launched a military assault on the embassy that ended with the death of one hostage and all MRTA members and the safe release of the remaining hostages.

          Noticias Eclesias reported that in what can be considered as his first declaration after his appointment to the position of Archbishop of Lima, Monsignor Juan Luis Cipriani, yesterday, highlighted some of the main areas to which he will be dedicating special attention in the prime archdiocese. Pointing out the necessity to "continue the great effort of reconciliation that has begun in the country," Monsignor Cipriani affirmed the importance of increasing the number of vocations to the priesthood. "Lima is such a big and numerous city that it needs of abundant and select vocations," pointed out the elected Archbishop. "I believe that is one of the tasks to which I will dedicate more efforts," he added.

          He also manifested great concern for the families, "that are the basic cell of society and that today are wounded and disoriented. The family requires a very big effort of the Church in order to confirm them in their trust and hope, and in that great task of bringing children, of educating children and of forming men for our Peruvian society," he pointed out. The youth is also among the main challenges, he said, manifesting a special concern and hope in his pastoral works with the youth of Lima.

          Monsignor Juan Luis Cipriani will follow Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora in the position, who was named Archbishop of Lima by the Holy Father in 1990. On Saturday the news of the new appointment was made public in Rome, after the Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Cardinal Vargas after having reached the age limit, according to what is specified by the Code of Canon Law. The Prelate of Lima wished for success in the tasks of the new Archbishop. Manifesting his desire of a personal meeting, Cardinal Vargas affirmed that "one of the things that I am going to say to him is that he can count on me for whatever he wishes, that I can continue working, I can be just another auxiliary." He also, recommended Archbishop Cipriani "to be always aware of what God may inspire in you in order to do what is good."

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

January 12, 1999       volume 10, no. 7


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