From Bruce Johnston, Rome correspondent
THE POPE WILL conunemorate more than 12,000 martyrs of the 20th Century including Italian magistrates and priests who were killed by the Mafia, and victims of terrorism at the Colosseum this Sunday.
The list of those to be commemorated as part of the Jubilee will be given to the Pope in the autumn.
In the meantime, the martyrs will be anonymously remembered on Sunday in the ancient Roman arena, which has become the symbol of the first Christian martyrdoms. The choice of the venue is said to have been the Pope's own, and the ceremony will mark another high point in the Jubilee celebrations.
Among the martyrs are 5,343 priests and seminarians, 4,872 nuns, 2,351 lay people and 126 bishops. But sources said that there had not been room for Bishop Oscar Romero, the defender of the Salvadoran peasants and indigenous peoples, who was killed by pro-government soldiers 20 years ago as he said Mass.
The inclusion however of anti-Mafia magistrates and victims of terrorist crime among the witnesses of faith, is expected to encourage the promotion of their beatification by local churches.
It is understood that the list to be given to the Pope will include the Palermo parish priest Fr Pino Pugliesi, and anti-Mafia magistrates Paolo Borsellino and Rosario Livantino, who were all killed by the Mafia in the last decade.
Also on the list are Fr Giuseppe Diana, a priest from Caserta who was killed by the Camorra, or Naples Mafia, and Fr Graziano Muntoni, who was killed by Sardinian gangsters.
Probably most famous Italian name included is that of Aldo Moro, the Italian Christian Democrat statesman and former premier who was killed by Red Brigades terrorists, as was Vittorio Bachelet. a magistrate, whose name is also said to appear.
Fr Puglisi died in a hail of Mafia bullets on Sept 15 1993, punished, it is believed, for his pastoral work with the young in his popular quarter of Palermo.
Paolo Borsellino, the righthand man to Judge Giovanni Falcone, another Mafia victim but whose inclusion in the list was not known, and Rosario Livantino were both very religious magistrates.
After Livantino's death in 1990, the Pope told his
Terror keeps false peace
THERE is no "true culture of peace" in the world today, but only a "balance of terror" based on "more and more sophisticated arms", said the Holy See in a statement delivered to a UN conference in New York attended by the representatives of the 187 countries that have accepted the non-proliferation treaty.
• The world's leaders must build a comprehensive peaceful approach to the resolution of international problems, rather than relying on weapons as the ultimate source of security, said Archbishop JeanLouis Tauran, who led the Vatican delegation to New York. Only a universal, progressive, and controlled disarmament will produce the necessary climate of confidence and cooperation, Archbishop Tauran added.
Hope amidst life's trials
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, The liturgy of the Easter Octave joyfully proclaims that "Jesus is truly risen". In these words, the promise of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor is fulfilled. At that time, Jesus revealed his glory to the Apostles Peter, James and John.
They heard the voice of God the Father saying: "This is my beloved Son" (Mk 9:7), and saw Moses and Elijah, whose presence indicates that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets.
The brilliant light, the white clothing and the cloud all point to the divinity of Christ. The Father's command to listen to the Son means that the Son is filled with the Holy Spirit and that his words are "spirit and life" (Jn 6:63).
Thus, in contemplating Mount Tabor we are invited to listen to the word of Scripture and put it into practice in our lives. The Transfiguration foreshadows the glorious coming of Christ, and is a sign of hope in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this life.
In this Easter season, may Christ fill us with the joy and peace that flow from faith in his Resurrection.