This office, headed by Bishop Francesco Marchisano, was established by Pope John Paul II on June 28, 1988 as the Pontifical Commission for Preserving the Church's Patrimony of Art and History and is attached to the Congregation for the Clergy. It was made autonommous and given its present title on March 25, 1993.
This office is also headed by Bishop Francesco Marchisano and was instituted by Pope Pius IX on January 6, 1852.
This office, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and attached to his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was instituted by Pope Leo XIII on October 30, 1902 and completely restructured by Pope Paul VI on June 27, 1971.
This office, headed by Cardinal Bernardin Gantin and attached to his Congregation for Bishops was instituted by Pius XII on April 19, 1958 and restructured by John Paul II in 1988.
This office, headed by Benedictine Biblical Scholar Father Jean Mallet, O.S.B. was established by Pope John Paul II in 1984 to replace the Abbey of St. Jerome instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1933.
This office, headed by Cardinal Angelo Felici, was established by Pope John Paul II on July 2, 1988 to facilitate the return to full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians and religious who belonged to the fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and which was addressed in the Holy Father's document EcclesiaDei.
This office, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, acts as an advisory adjunct of no more than 30 theologians to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Definitive statutes for this commission were promulgated on August 6, 1982 by Pope John Paul II.
This office is headed by Cardinal Edward Isdris Cassidy and attached to his Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It was instituted by Pope Paul VI on October 22, 1974 to promote and foster relations of a religious nature between Jews and Christians.
This office is headed by Cardinal Francis Arinze and attached to his Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. It was also instituted by Pope Paul VI on October 22, 1974 to promote, regulate and interpret relations between Catholics and Muslims.
This office, headed by Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, was established by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. On February 11, 1986 Pope John Paul II made it a pontifical committee with new statutes.
The people were enthusiastic and happy with what they saw: they broke into long applause at the official moment when the works were handed to the Pope and the Basilica was totally illuminated, its resplendent façade bathed in candescent light.
Among the numerous personalities attending the celebration was Italy's President, Carlo Ciampi; and prime minister Massimo D'Alema, with their wives. The Pontiff spoke with them briefly, before watching the final display of fireworks.
It was a Baroque spectacle, much like what Bernini organized in his time: gold, silver, and every imaginable color streamed from the sky, drawing beautiful shapes in the cobalt blue skies, to the accompaniment of Charpentier's "Te Deum."
The Pope expressed his admiration and wonder "for the greatest stone restoration this century," as the press described it. "In experiencing admiration for the prodigious result of these works, the desire rises spontaneously from the heart to bless the Lord, who has given man the capacity to work the material and ennoble it, imprinting on it the seal of the spirit," the Holy Father said.
"The restoration works remind us that each one of us is called to constant conversion and a courageous revision of life, to be able to meet Christ in a profound way, and to benefit totally from the fruits of the Holy Year," the Holy Father concluded. ZE99100106
The law, which must now be approved by the Senate, has brought to the fore once again, the numerous juridical contradictions in the United States in the recognition of the rights of persons from the moment of conception.
The Clinton administration has threatened to veto the decision, but the majority of congressmen in favor of the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" has been overwhelming: 254 votes against 172.
"Whoever harms or kills a fetus must pay his debt to society," Lindsey Graham said. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, presented the proposal in the House.
Movements committed to life applauded the initiative. "In recognizing that the unborn child is a person, this law marks an important moment in the battle for life," a spokesman for the Family Research Council said.
Abortion groups are opposed to the law, in spite of the fact that those who suffer most from this kind of aggression are not only the unborn but also their mothers. ZE99100112
The Sisters are afraid that the people they have sheltered might be targeted by Indonesian nationalists who are opposed to the "invasion" of foreign forces, led by Australia. The refugees knocked on the door of the Don Bosco residence because it is well-known in East Timor, as is the work of many Salesian priests and Sisters. One mother arrived with only three of her six children; the others were lost -- and feared dead -- in the turbulent post-referendum uprisings.
Since August 30, 18 seminarians are missing in Malang, another town in East Java. A group of 23 seminarians went to Timor to vote in the referendum, but only five returned, bringing with them horrifying stories of massacres and all kinds of violence perpetrated by the militias.
The five seminarians who returned are in a state of shock, having seen relatives and companions tortured and killed. One saw his sister being raped; another saw his parents being killed, the Seminary chaplain told "Fides." ZE99100131
Meanwhile in Rome, the Salesian General Direction confirmed that Bishop Carlos Belo, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said in Germany that he will not hold public office in his country, which is now recognized as independent.
Bishop Belo, who requested a special "Marshall Plan" of aid for Timor, is traveling to Darwin, Australia, and will return to Dili as soon as possible.
According to the Indonesian news agency ANTARA, the European Union proposed the Vatican as mediator between the conflicting parties in East Timor, in order to accelerate the peace process on the Island.
ANTARA reported that Lars Backstrom, director of humanitarian aid for refugees, believes the Vatican would be an "excellent" mediator to begin the process of reconciliation, since a neutral institution is necessary to reconcile the pro-Indonesia militias with the pro-independence groups. ZE99100102
The Salesians in Timor are all well, and are able to return to their houses. It would seem that only "Los Palos" orphanage has been destroyed. Some buildings in the center of Dili, are nothing but heaps of rubble.
This is the first direct information that the General Direction has received from Fr. Wong, superior of the Jakarta province, who has just returned from Timor. The buildings of the Dili house are currently occupied by French military of the Peace Force, who use them as a hospital and for the distribution of urgently needed goods.
"The latest tragic events that happened last Saturday and Sunday, have confirmed the ferocity and cruelty against religious and the Catholic Church, VID explained -- the Information Service of Religious Communities. We hope that the sacrifice of the two Canossian Sisters, the two deacons, the seminarians, the reporter and other lay volunteers will truly be the tail end of an insanity now under control, and of a tragedy that has gone beyond all measure of atrocity and suffering." ZE99100115
Cardinal Schotte began with an overview of a history of synods, which began under Pope Paul VI, and then proceeded to give background on the European synod, which will conclude October 23. Among other themes, the Cardinal emphasized that the present Synod for Europe "will be more dedicated to the ecclesiastic than the historic situation in the different European countries," discussing "how the Church has put into practice the teachings and main guidelines of the Vatican II Council in these countries."
He also stated that "the main challenge we must face is not a political nor a social problem, but the weakening of faith." "Europe," he explained, "suffers a problem of knowledge and transmission of faith."
He also recalled that the five continental synods preparing the Third Millennium have been oriented to the New Evangelization. "The New Evangelization will be at the heart of the debate in this Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops," stated Cardinal Schotte.