TUESDAY
February 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 22
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

HANDICAPPED CHILDREN WILL ENJOY JOHN XXIII'S CAR
Will Tour Rome Driven by Sports and Entertainment Personalities

    VATICAN CITY, JAN 30 (ZENIT).- Handicapped children coming to Rome as pilgrims for the Jubilee will be able to visit major places in the Eternal City in Pope John XXIII's car.

    The dark navy blue Fiat 2100 with the papal insignias is a very special car. It was a gift made by the Italian car firm in 1959. Now, after "hibernating" for many years in the Vatican garage and being affectionately looked after by pontifical firemen, Pope John's prestigious car is going out into the streets again, from the Vatican to Roman Basilicas, transporting children with physical handicaps.

    The initiative was organized by the Italian publisher, Count Arnaldo Blancardi di Sospello, in collaboration with Livia Turco, Minister for Social Affairs, and Vatican authorities.

    The name of the project is very moving in itself: "Pope John XXIII's Caress to Children." It is explicitly inspired in one of the best known and loved phrases of the "Good Pope," who on October 11, 1962 -- the afternoon of the opening of Vatican Council II -- invited pilgrims whom he met to return home and express spontaneous affection to their children by saying: "this is the Pope's caress."

    Inside the car, the children will find a surprise. Depending on the day, the driver might be a personality from the world of sport or entertainment, although there will also be politicians, businessmen, and public figures. These famous persons are being asked to offer enthusiastically "a tangible message of real Christian charity."

    Any handicapped child who wishes to ride in the car should contact the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs, or local organizers of the initiative in their parish.

    The initiative is being funded by sponsors. Any funds left over after expenses will be given exclusively to scientific research against muscular dystrophy. ZE00013009

          

February 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 22
NEWS & VIEWS

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