THURSDAY
March 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 81

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
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