THURSDAY
March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
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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.

QUIET PAPAL VISIT TO SITE OF CHRIST'S BAPTISM

    JERUSALEM (CWNews.com) -- Before reaching Bethlehem on March 22 to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Nativity, Pope John Paul II made a short, quiet trip to the place near Jericho that is traditionally believed to be the site of Christ's baptism.

    The Pope's visit-- which was deliberately downplayed, because of the intense emotions surrounding the ancient town of Jericho-- allowed just enough time for the Holy Father to comment on the significance of Baptism. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio in the Holy Land and one of the few people to accompany the Pontiff on his visit, described a "very simple, but powerfully moving" ceremony, which was an important part of the Pope's personal pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

    In his prayers and remarks at the Jordan River site, the Pope also spoke of Jericho, referring to the ancient city as "a flourishing oasis in the desert." He prayed that "that city, so rich in memories, will also be rich in promise for the future."

    One day earlier, the Pontiff had visited another site, on the Jordanian side of the river, which is also claimed to be the spot where Jesus was baptized. The Pope declined to become involved in the argument over which site has a stronger claim.

          

March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
NEWS & VIEWS

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