Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Before praying the Angelus Sunday morning before thousands of pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square, John Paul II recalled that on the first Sunday of the New Year “the liturgy proposes once again to our meditation the wonderful page of the Prologue of the Gospel of John.”
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- The first of two reports on the state of sexual abuse in the U.S. Church will be released in Washington Tuesday. The second will be released Feb. 27. The focus of the first report will be on how well the 195 U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses have implemented the mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests, which was adopted in June 2002.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- On January 8 at 5 p.m. –Rome time- at the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, will celebrate a Mass for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Michael Courtney, Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi, slain on December 29, 2003.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, sent a telegram in the Holy Father's name to Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, Apostolic Nuncio in France, upon news of the Egyptian plane that crashed into the Red Sea shortly after taking off from Sharm el-Sheik Airport.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- During a Mass celebrated in the Archdiocesan Cathedral, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City, said social change in the country will come when people make an effort to be renewed in hope and bring about concrete changes in their personal and community lives.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Two delegations of the Catholic Church met with a representative of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) to negotiate a humanitarian agreement that would allow for the release of various individuals kidnapped by the guerrilla movement.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Church bells throughout Galicia in northwestern Spain rang out in honor of opening of the Jubilee Year in honor St. James the Apostle, which this year will bring an expected 7 million pilgrims to the saint’s shrine in Compostela.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Christian dissidents in Cuba are hoping the New Year will bring peaceful change and that urgent reforms the country needs will be implemented. Oswaldo Payá, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) and recipient of the Sajarov Prize of the European Parliament, said “the time for peaceful change” has come for Cuba. “The patience of the Cuban people has its limits when they see that there is no open door, not even an open window, towards the future,” he said.
Jan 5, 2004 - 12:00 am .- According to classified Irish government documents, four Catholic countries made repeated proposals to place Jerusalem under Roman Catholic control in the late 1940s, after the State of Israel was created, to ensure access to the Holy City.