March 29, 2000
volume 11, no. 63
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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.


    VATICAN ( -- Although the Vatican has been relatively quiet this week, after the intense activity surrounding a papal trip to the Holy Land, Italian journalists have been busy appraising the impact of the Pope's pilgrimage.

    Pope John Paul II himself has plunged back into his regular work schedule at the Vatican. Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters on March 28 that the Pontiff has shown no signs of fatigue, despite the heavy schedule of the trip. On Monday, March 26-- his first day back in the Vatican-- the Pontiff met with the Secretariat of State, and held a private audience with 8,000 Italian pilgrims. He then began work preparing for his regular Wednesday public audience, at which-- following his usual practice-- he will give a public accounting of his trip to the Holy Land. Navarro-Valls also said that the Pope is "very satisfied" with the results of his voyage.

    Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the head of the Vatican committee coordinating the Jubilee, said that the Pope's pilgrimage was "the summit of 20 years of this pontificate." Cardinal Etchegaray, who accompanied the Pope throughout the trip, said that he was struck by the "energy and spiritual power of the Pope" during the trip. As for the long-term impact of the Pope's visit, the French-born cardinal suggested that John Paul had "touched the religious heart of the Jews," and helped to overcome "an often false image" of Catholicism among the Jewish people.

    Rabbi David Rosen, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, confirmed that suggestion when he told reporters: "The Pope's visit opened a door, and there are many Jews who have discovered a rich garden inside, of which they had been unaware." The rabbi told the Italian daily Avvenire that while the Pope voiced his sorrow over the mistreatment of Jews by Christians, his dramatic visit also helped "to inform the Jews, to educate them, to make them remember the many forward steps that the Catholic Church has taken on behalf of Jews and against anti-Semitism, particularly over the past 35 years" since Vatican II.


March 29, 2000
volume 11, no. 63

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