VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
TWELFTH YEAR - N.161
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2002
- POPE ASKS FOR END TO ATTACKS ON PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
- HOLY SEE URGES COMPREHENSIVE BAN ON HUMAN EMBRYONIC CLONING
- WORLD TOURISM DAY: FREE ENTRANCE TO VATICAN MUSEUMS
- THEME OF WORLD DAY OF COMMUNICATIONS 2003
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
POPE ASKS FOR END TO ATTACKS ON PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2002 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director,
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, made the following statement late this morning on the
situation in the Middle East:
"Worried about the serious attack on the headquarters of the
Palestinian National Authority, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano has
sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asking, in the name of
the Holy Father, for a suspension of such actions which compromise the
already slender hopes for peace in that region, and expressing hope for an
immediate resumption of dialogue between the parties in reciprocal
respect and mutual understanding.
"At the same time, the cardinal secretary of state assured
President Arafat, at this sad hour for the Palestinian people and the National
Authority, of the closeness of His Holiness John Paul II, and his own
closeness, while repeating that the Holy See will continue its
commitment for the defense of the right of all peoples to live in peace with
secure borders and in a climate of mutual respect."
OP/MIDDLE EAST/SODANO:SHARON:ARAFAT VIS 20020924 (180)
HOLY SEE URGES COMPREHENSIVE BAN ON HUMAN EMBRYONIC CLONING
VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2002 (VIS) - Archbishop Renato Martino,
permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York before
the Ad Hoc Committee On An International Convention Against The Reproductive
Cloning of Human Beings. He reiterated the Holy See's "well
known" position on this question, saying it "supports and urges a world-wide
comprehensive ban on human embryonic cloning for both reproductive and scientific
"Based on the biological and anthropological status of the
human embryo and on the fundamental moral and civil rule," he affirmed,
"it is illicit to kill an innocent even to bring about a good for society."
The apostolic nuncio noted that "the Holy See looks upon the
distinction between 'reproductive' and so-called 'therapeutic' (or 'experimental')
cloning to be unacceptable. This distinction masks the reality of the
creation of a human being for the purpose of destroying him or her to
produce embryonic stem cell lines or to conduct other experimentation."
On the other hand, he asserted, "the Holy See supports
research on stem cells of post-natal origin since this approach ... is a sound,
promising and ethical way to achieve tissue transplantation and cell therapy
that could benefit humanity."
"Attempts at human cloning with a view to obtaining organs for
transplants, ... insofar as they involve the manipulation and
destruction of human embryos, are not morally acceptable." He underscored
that the prospect of "cloning a human embryo, while intentionally
planning its demise ... is repugnant to most people, including those who properly
advocate for advancement in science and medicine."
Archbishop Martino pointed out that with some modern techniques
"there is a risk of a new form of racism, for the development of these
techniques could lead to the creation of a 'sub-category of human beings',
destined basically for the convenience of certain others." Furthermore,
if certain characteristics are selected and propagated through cloning,
"this would be akin to the practice of eugenics leading to the institution of a
He concluding by noting that "the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights reiterates the sanctity of all human life" and that
"international law guarantees the right to life to all, not just some, human
DELSS/CLONING/UN:MARTINO VIS 20020924 (370)
WORLD TOURISM DAY: FREE ENTRANCE TO VATICAN MUSEUMS
VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2002 (VIS) - Friday September 27 marks the 23rd
World Tourism Day, sponsored by the World Tourism Organization. Its theme
is: "Ecological Tourism, key to sustainable development."
As is tradition on this day, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine
Chapel and the Vatican Historical Museum, located at St. John Lateran, will be
open to the public free of charge.
In addition, on September 28 and 29, the Holy See will participate
in "European Heritage Days," an initiative sponsored by the
Council of Europe which comprises over 40 countries. This year's theme is: "The
discovery of the origins and traditions of our Christian heritage in Europe."
On this occasion, on Saturday September 28 entrance to the
archeological area of the sacred necropolis of St. Peter's Basilica will be free,
and on Sunday September 29 the Vatican Museums and the catacombs of Rome
will be open to visitors at no charge. The catacomb of Via Latina, which is
normally closed to the public, will also be open to visitors.
.../WORLD TOURISM DAY/... 20020924 (180)
THEME OF WORLD DAY OF COMMUNICATIONS 2003
VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2002 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Social
Communications announced today that the theme chosen by John Paul II
for the World Day of Communications 2003 is "The Communications
Media at the Service of Authentic Peace in the light of 'Pacem in Terris'."
Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the dicastery, affirmed
that the "theme chosen by the Holy Father reflects the importance of the
media in promoting authentic peace, based on truth, justice and love, as
Blessed John XXIII indicated in his famous encyclical letter of 1963, 'Pacem
The World Day of Communications is the only celebration of
universal reach expressly desired by Vatican Council II in the document
"Inter Mirifica" of 1963. It is celebrated in most countries on the
Sunday before Pentecost at the suggestion of bishops from all over the world. In
2003, it falls on June 1st.
The Holy Father's message is traditionally published on January
24, the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists, to allow the
episcopal conferences and diocesan organizations to prepare material
for national and local celebrations of this event.
CON-CS/WORLD DAY OF COMMUNICATIONS/... VIS 20020924 (200)
VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2002 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in
- Eight prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil
(Northeast 2) on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, O. Carm., of Olinda and
Recife, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Fernando Antonio Saburido, O.S.B.
- Archbishop Jose Carlos Melo, C.M., of Maceio, accompanied by
Archbishop Edvaldo Goncalves Amaral, emeritus.
- Bishop Jose Freire de Oliveira Neto of Mossoro.
- Bishop Jorge Tobias de Freitas of Nazare.
- Bishop Paulo Cardoso da Silva, O. Carm., of Petrolina.
- Bishop Fernando Iorio Rodrigues of Palmeiras dos Indios.
- Colonel Pius Segmuller, captain commander of the Pontifical Swiss
Guards, accompanied by his family, on his farewell visit.
- Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, Italy.
AL:AP/.../... VIS 20020924 (110)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2002 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr.
Rutilo Munoz Zamora, vicar for ministries of the diocese of Veracruz,
Mexico, as bishop of the diocese of Coatzacoalcos (area 10,500, population
1,039,562, Catholics 849,469, priests 50, permanent deacons 4, religious 90),
Mexico. Fr. Munoz was born in 1951 in Tulictic, Mexico, and was ordained a
priest in 1977. He succeeds Bishop Carlos Talavera Ramirez whose resignation
the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.
NER:RE/.../MUNOZ:TALAVERA VIS 20020924 (80)
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