May 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 85
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    VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- On May 1-- the feast of St. Joseph the Worker-- the Vatican observed the Jubilee of workers, with representatives from at least 45 different countries on hand.

    The observance took place at Tor Vergata, to the south of Rome, where the World Youth Day celebration will be held in August. That site is considered a more favorable location for major Jubilee gatherings, because it affords more room than St. Peter's Square. Pope John Paul arrived there in the morning by helicopter from the Vatican, along with the new Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, Rome's Mayor Francesco Rutelli, and the president of the Bank of Italy, Antonio Fazio.

    In his homily, the Pope emphasized that this celebration should include all facets of the world of human work, embracing entrepreneurs and financiers as well as laborers and craftsmen. He said that the Jubilee affords a new occasion for "the rediscovery of the understanding of the intrinsic value of work."

    The Pope also said that the occasion furnishes an opportunity for reflection on "the economic and social imbalances that exist in the world of work," and to remedy certain injustices against human dignity. He said that the working world should be characterized by a recognition of human dignity, solidarity among workers and with those who are unemployed, and efforts to reduce the debt of impoverished countries. "All this can be accomplished," the Pope argued, "and since it is possible to do it, it becomes our duty."

    After celebrating Mass under a sunny sky, the Pope remained to hear speakers and musicians. He left in the afternoon, prior to a rock concert that had been organized to provide support for reduction of international debt.


May 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 85

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