March 6, 2001
volume 12, no. 65

Lenten Retreat Begins at Vatican

    VATICAN, Mar. 5, 01 (CWNews.com) -- The annual Lenten Retreat at the Vatican began on Sunday evening, March 4, in the Redemptoris Mater chapel.

    Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who is preaching the retreated, admitted beforehand that he was approaching the task with "a bit of apprehension." Speaking to the Italian daily Avvenire just before the retreat began, the American cardinal said: "I will do my best, with the help of the Holy Spirit."

    Cardinal George said that the theme of his retreat would be the "new evangelization." He told Avvenire that he would compare the role of the Church today to that of the early Church, since "we are living in the same conditions." Then as now, he explained, "Christians are a minority."

    The faithful of the early Church nevertheless "spoke as if they were a majority," the cardinal continued, because 'they were already conscience of the Church's universal mission." This, he said, is a sense that today's Christians must recapture.

    The retreat will continue through March 10. The Pope's schedule has been cleared for the week, and most of the offices of the Vatican will remain closed so that officials of the Curia can participate in the retreat.

March 6, 2001
volume 12, no. 65
News from ROME
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