Church Welcomes Everyone, Pope Stresses
VATICAN, Mar. 21, 01 (CWNews.com) -- At his regular weekly public
audience on Wednesday, Pope John Paul II emphasized that the Church is
open to all.
"In the Church, no one can be a stranger; everyone should feel at home," the
Holy Father told the 14,000 people who gathered in St. Peter's Square on a
warm day, the first full day of spring. He made an allusion to the UN's
observance of the international day dedicated to the elimination of racial
discrimination-- also March 21-- and said that the Church has always upheld
the goal of equality among men.
"Despite all our efforts, millions of human beings still do not enjoy
recognition of their rights as citizens within the human family," the Pope
continued regretfully. He said that the Church must always advance the
cause of those who suffer from unjust discrimination.
The Pope's catechetical talk also included a meditation on the Magnificat, the
prayer of the Virgin Mary in response to the angel's announcement that she
would be the Mother of God. That prayer, he observed, is now a treasure of
all Christian churches, an ecumenical hymn which "comes down through the
Christian centuries" and brings together "the souls of Christ's disciples."
March 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 81
News from ROME