We continue our overview of Pope John Paul's pontificate, with highlights of the important events of the years 1994 - 1998: 1994 January 1 Motu Proprio "Socialium scientiarum" establishing Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. January 6 Letter to the Italian bishops on the responsibilities of Catholics facing the challenge of the present historic situation. January 11 "Directives Concerning the Preparation of Seminary Educators" is released by Congregation for Catholic Education. January 26 Diplomatic relations with Federated States of Micronesia. February 2 Letter of John Paul II to Families, on the occasion of the International Year of the Family. February 11 Motu Proprio "Vitae Mysterium" establishes Pontifical Academy for Life. February 16 Diplomatic relations with Republic of Suriname. March 3 Official visit of President Richard von Weizsacker of the Federal Republic of Germany. March 3 Diplomatic relations with Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. March 5 Diplomatic relations with Republic of South Africa. March 7 Official visit of President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic. March 17 Israeli Prime Minister Rabin visits Pope. March 19 Letter of John Paul II to heads of State around the world and to the secretary general of the United Nations regarding the International Conference on Population and Development to be held in September 1994 in Cairo, Egypt. March 25 Diplomatic relations established with Cambodia. April 7 Vatican concert for the commemoration of the Shoah, in the presence of John Paul II and Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff. April 8 John Paul II celebrates Mass in the Sistine Chapel for the unveiling of the restored frescoes of Michelangelo. April 10 Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "The Church in Africa and Her Evangelizing Mission Towards the Year 2000: 'You Shall Be My Witnesses'" (April 10-May 8). April 28 Holy Father falls, breaks femur. Goes to Gemelli Hospital the morning of April 29. May 8 Concluding Mass for synod of Africa. May 10 Holy Father institutes cloistered monastery within Vatican. May 22 Apostolic Letter to bishops: "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone). June 2 Pope receives President Bill Clinton of the United States. June 10 Diplomatic relations with Western Samoa. June 13 Fifth plenary meeting of the College of Cardinals, with John Paul II participating, in preparation for the Jubilee of the Third Millennium (June 13-14). June 15 Diplomatic relations at the level of apostolic nunciature and embassy between the Holy See and the State of Israel. July 20 Diplomatic relations with Vanuatu. July 24 Diplomatic relations with Kingdom of Tonga. September5 Holy See delegation attends the International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo from September 5-13. September 8 John Paul offers Mass at Castelgandolfo for Bosnia-Herzegovina, after cancelling his planned visit to Sarajevo. September 10 62nd pastoral visit outside Italy: Zagreb, Croatia (September 10-11). September 17 Start of two day trip to Lecce, Italy. September 29 Pope receives first Israeli ambassador to Holy See. October 2 Ninth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops: "The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World" (October 2-29). October 8 International Meeting of Families with the Holy Father honouring the International Year of the Family. October 20 Publication of Pope John Paul's book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope": 21 languages, 35 countries. October 25 Beginning of working contacts of "permanent and official character" between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with a PLO office of representation to the Holy See and the nuncio of Tunisia responsible for contacts with the PLO. November 4 John Paul II visits Catania and Siracusa, Sicily. Ends November 6: 117th trip within Italy. November 10 Apostolic Letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente" to Bishops, Clergy and Lay Faithful on the Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000. November 19 First ambassador from Jordan received. November 26 Sixth Consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 30 new cardinals, from 24 countries. December 9 Publication of "Women, Teachers of Peace": Pope's Message for 1995 World Day of Peace. December 15 Letter to Children in the Year of the Family. December 18 Pope John Paul named Man of the Year by TIME Magazine. December 21 Diplomatic ties established with Macedonia. 1995 January 11 63rd pastoral visit outside Italy: Manila, the Philippines, to celebrate the 10th World Youth Day; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Sydney, Australia; and Colombo, Sri Lanka. January 11-21. January 14 Message to Chinese Catholics, broadcast over Radio Veritas in Manila. February 4 Audience for Malta's President Mifsud Bonnici. February 17 Visit by Paraguayan President Carlos Wasmosy. March 16 Audience for Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. March 17 Audience for Foreign Affairs Minister Vladislav Jovanovic of Yugoslavia. March 19 Trip to Molise region: 119th within Italy. March 24 President Sixto Duran-Ballen of Ecuador on visit. March 25 11th Encyclical "Evangelium Vitae" ("The Gospel of Life"). Made public on March 30. March 28 Audience for Romanian President Ion Illiescu. April 29 Two-day pastoral visit to Trent, Italy: 450th anniversary of start of Council of Trent and beatification of John Nepomucene. 120th trip within Italy. May 2 Apostolic Letter "Orientale Lumen" for the centenary of "Orientalium Dignitas" of Pope Leo XIII. May 8 Message on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the End of the Second World War in Europe. May 19 Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al Shara'a on visit. May 20 Three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 64th outside of Italy. May 25 "Ut Unum Sint" ("That All May be One"), 12th papal encyclical. Published May 30. May 26 Message to Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women, scheduled for September in Beijing, China. Visit by President Kiro Gligorov of ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. June 3 Two-day trip to Belgium is 65th pastoral visit outside Italy: beatification of Fr Damien de Veuster. June 11 Mass in St Peter's Basilica for anniversary of end of World War II. June 27 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I welcomed to Vatican. June 29 Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, Apostles. Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Father give homilies in St. Peter's Basilica, and sign Common Declaration. Letter to Women (made public on July 10). June 30 66th pastoral visit outside Italy: Slovak Republic. July 12 121st trip within Italy: Les Combes for vacation. July 17 Theme announced for Jubilee Year 2000: "Jesus Christ - Yesterday, Today, Always." August 29 Audience for Mary Ann Glendon, head of delegation, and other members of Holy See delegation to UN Conference on Women, Beijing, September 4-15. September 2 Audience for Yasser Arafat. September 9 Two-day visit to Loreto on the occasion of the pilgrimage of European youth. 122nd Italian trip. September 14 67th foreign pastoral visit: Africa, for conclusion of Synod for Africa, September 14-20. In Yaounde, Cameroon, the signing of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Africa," the first time a document is signed outside the Vatican. October 4 68th pastoral visit outside Italy: U.S.A. (New York, Newark, Brooklyn, Baltimore). On Rome-New York flight, Pope crosses the 1 million kilometre mark. October 5 Address to United Nations General Assembly, commemorating 50th anniversary of founding of U.N. November 16 Apostolic Letter for the Fourth Centenary of the Union of Brest. November 17 Audience for President Carlos Alberto Reina of Honduras. November 23 One-day visit to Palermo, Sicily. 123rd trip within Italy. November 26 Opening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops. December 8 Entrusts Rome with Citizens' Mission for the Jubilee Year. December 15 Receives Leah Rabin, widow of Yitzhak Rabin. 1996 January 20: State visit of French President Jacques Chirac. February 1: First official visit by a Mexican head of state: President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon. February 5: Departure for Latin America, 69th foreign visit: Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela. Until February 12. February 22: Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff. March 28: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Vita Consecrata." March30: Trip to Siena: 124th within Italy. April 14: One-day visit to Tunis: 70th foreign trip. April 19: Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan received in audience. May 4: Two-day trip to Como: 125th in Italy. May 17: 71st trip abroad: Slovenia, through May 19. May 25: Audience for President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay. June 21: Departure for Germany, 72nd foreign trip. Until June 23. July 4: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi received in audience. July 6: "Moleben" in St. Peter's Basilica for 4th centenary of Union of Brest. July 7: Presides at liturgy in St. Peter's in Byzantine-Ukrainian rite for celebrations of 4th centenary of Union of Brest. July 10: Departure for Dolomite mountain vacation in Lorenzago di Cadore. Until July 23. 126th trip within Italy. September 6: Start of second papal trip to Hungary: 73rd foreign apostolic visit. September 6-7. September 19: Departure for France on 74th foreign trip. To September 22. October 8: Pope undergoes appendectomy at Gemelli Polyclinic. Returns to Vatican on October 15. November 1: John Paul II marks 50 years of priestly ordination. November 7: Four days of jubilee celebrations commence. November 13: Address to World Food Summit at FAO headquarters, Rome. November 15: Presentation of book: "Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination." November 18: Audience for Mikhail Gorbachev. November 19: Audience with President Fidel Castro of Cuba. Pope accepts invitation to visit in January, 1998. December 3: Message to the Church Which is in China. December 4: Visit by His Grace George Leonard Carey, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion. December 5: Publication of Apostolic Epistle "Operosam Diem," to the faithful of the Milan archdiocese on the 16th centenary of the death of St. Ambrose. December 6: Common Declaration signed by Pope, Anglican primate. December 10: Visit of His Holiness Karekin I Sarkassian, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. December 13: Pope, Catholicos sign Common Declaration. 1997 January 14 Pope receives Lien Chan, vice president and prime minister of the Republic of China. January 25 Meeting in Vatican with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians. Signing of Common Declaration. February 3 Visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. February 14 President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, first official visit to the Vatican by a Brazilian head of State. March 10 Ireland's President Mary Robinson received by Holy Father. March 10 Holy See, Libya establish diplomatic ties. March 12 Letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on situation in Zaire. March 20 Visit by Jose Maria Aznar, president of Spanish government. April 12 Two-day trip to Sarajevo: 75th foreign pastoral visit. April 15 John Paul II welcomes U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. April 25 Start of three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 76th foreign trip. May 10 Departure for two-day trip to Lebanon: 77th foreign pastoral trip. May 16 Audience with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. May 18 Pope John Paul celebrates 77th birthday. May 31 Departure for Poland; until June 10. Pope's 78th foreign pastoral visit. June 9 Diplomatic Relations with Cooperative Republic of Guyana. June 16 President Alberto Fujimori of Peru welcomed to Vatican. Pope writes letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, in which he expresses concern for interrupted dialogue in Middle East peace process. June 24 Letter to Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung, bishop of Hong Kong, on the occasion of the scheduled July 1 return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. July 8 Holy See, Angola establish diplomatic relations. July 17 Holy See approved as Observer to World Trade Organization. July 18 Letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in which Pope expresses concern about a bill submitted to the Russian parliament "concerning freedom of conscience and religious associations." July 22 Holy See signs United Nations conventional weapons ban. August. 21 Departure for Paris for 12th World Youth Day. This four-day trip is the Holy Father's 79th foreign visit. September 6 Telegram for the death of Mother Teresa yesterday in Calcutta, India. September 8 Apostolic Constitution "Laetamur magnopere," with which the Holy Father approves and promulgates the official Latin version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. September 27 Pope travels to Bologna, Italy, to participate in 23rd National Eucharistic Congress. Until September 28. October 2 Departure for four-day visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Second World Meeting with Families. 80th foreign trip. October 11 Meeting with President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina. October 16 19th anniversary of John Paul II's election to the papacy. October 19 Pope proclaims St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as Therese of the Child Jesus, Doctor of the Church. She is the 33rd Doctor of the Church, the third woman (with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila), and the youngest Doctor. October 22 Anniversary of start of Pope John Paul's pontificate as he enters his 20th year. November 16 Pope in Augusturates Synod for America, presides at Eucharistic concelebration in St. Peter's Basilica. November 26 Audience with Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. December 4 Holy See signs Convention banning land mines, offers $100,000 to victims. December 20 Letter to Cuban people on the occasions of Christmas and the Pope's forthcoming trip to their country. 1998 January 15 Communique announces Holy See-Palestinian Mixed Commission. January 16 Holy See and Patriarchate of Moscow issue joint communique after annual meeting. January 17 Holy See remits excommunication of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, O.M.I. January 18 Pope names 20 new cardinals, announces another two "in pectore." January 21 John Paul II leaves for Cuba, on his 81st pastoral visit outside of Italy. Until January 26. January 22 Fidel Castro and Pope meet in Havana. February 1 Holy Father visits Roman family in their home. February 2 Pope John Paul presents Apostolic Constitution "Ecclesia in Urbe" to Cardinal Ruini, vicar of Rome. Celebration of the Second Day for Consecrated Life. February 7 Pope presides at funeral Mass for Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. First ambassador of Angola presents credentials. February 10 John Paul II receives President Boris Yeltsin of Russia. February 15 Holy See nuncio to U.N., Archbishop Renato Martino, conveys papal message to Secretary General Kofi Annan, encouraging him to undertake trip to Iraq to attempt to solve crisis which developed there in recent weeks. February 16 First ambassador from Libya received. February 17 Holy See ratifies land mine convention. February 21 Consistory to create 20 new cardinals; the seventh of John Paul II's pontificate. March 7 Audience granted to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. March 10 The Congregations for Catholic Education and for the Clergy present a book containing the documents: "Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons," and "The Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons." March 14 Pope signs Letter returning liturgical faculties to Syro-Malabar Church. March 16 Presentation of Holy See document, "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah." March 21 Holy Father leaves for Nigeria, 82nd foreign pastoral trip. March 26 Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran leaves on visit to Jordan and Yemen. March 27 Pope receives Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina Gonzales. April 2 Audiences for Fares Bouez and Amre Moussa, respectively foreign ministers of Lebanon and Egypt. April 16 Presentation of the volume "Serving the Human Family: The Holy See at the Major United Nations Conferences," produced by the Holy See Permanent Observer Mission to the U.N. in New York. April 19 Opening of Synod for Asia. May 6 Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano presides at funeral Mass for Swiss Guard Commander Alois Estermann and his wife, killed on May 4. May 14 Concluding Mass for Asian Synod in St. Peter's Basilica. May 15 Pope receives King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians. May 18 Pope John Paul's 78th birthday. Audience for President Adamkus of Lithuania. May 19 Audiences for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tarek Aziz. May 23 Holy Father departs for Turin, his 132nd trip within Italy. Until May 24. June 8 Cuban bishops start weeklong visit to Roman Curia. June 9 Former Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli dies. June 12 Audience granted to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority. June 16 Pope receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Renato Martino, addresses the U.N.-sponsored conference in Rome for the establishment of an international criminal court. June 19 Start of Pope's third trip to Austria: 83rd foreign apostolic visit. To June 21. June 25 Presentation of Joint Declaration on Justification prepared by Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Lutheran World Federation. June 30 Publication of John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio "Ad Tuendam Fidem." July 7 Presentation of Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini," On Keeping the Lord's Day Holy. July 23 Publication of "Apostolos Suos," Pope John Paul's "Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences." Dated May 21. August. 22 Notification from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J. September 18 Departure for two-day trip to Chiavari and Brescia: 134th trip within Italy. September 24 Holy See and Kazakhstan sign agreement on bilateral relations. September 29 Pope receives King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain. October 2: John Paul II departs for three-day trip to Croatia, his 84th pastoral visit outside of Italy. October 3: Beatification in Croatia of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac. October 11: Canonization in Rome of Blessed Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). October 15: Presentation of Pope's 13th Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio." October 16: 20th anniversary of John Paul's election as pontiff. October 19: Audience with the president of Honduras, Carlos Roberto Flores Facusee. October 20: Official visit to Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. October 22: 20th anniversary of the start of Pope John Paul's pontificate, the 11th longest in the history of the Church. October 30: Publication of some reflections from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the primacy of Peter. November 22: Opening of Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops. November 24: Pope receives President Laurent-Desire Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. November 29: First Sunday of Advent. Proclamation of Bull of Indiction for the Holy Year 2000, during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Bull also sets forth the conditions for gaining the Jubilee indulgence. December 1: Cuban authorities reinstate Christmas as annual holiday. December 12: Pope presides over Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to close the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops.
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