DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     February 23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 37

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE RENEWS PLEA FOR DEBT REDUCTION; URGES ALL PREPARE FOR EASTER AND FOR JUBILEE

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In his message for the 85th annual World Day for Migrants, Pope John Paul II has renewed his pleas for a reduction in the debt of the world's poorest countries.

          The Pope laments that "disequilibrium" between rich and poor countries could become irreversible, "with tragic consequences for all of humanity." Such a lack of equilibrium, he says, is incompatible with the fundamental theme of his message regarding migrants: the need for Christians to "welcome the stranger."

          The Pope's message, published on February 20, alludes to the Church herself as a sort of migrant-- a pilgrim on earth. Thus, he says, "the Church by her nature is in solidarity with the world of migrants." Like the world's migrants, Christians-- sons of Abraham-- are strangers on their way to the Promised Land, he says. He expresses the hope that "this perspective will help Christians to abandon all nationalist logic and ideological schemes."

          On the first Sunday of Lent, the Pope encouraged the faithful to use the season as preparation for Easter and for the Jubilee.

          Speaking at his regular Angelus audience-- after making his 281st visit to a parish in the Rome diocese-- the Holy Father stressed the value of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth. "It is important to step back from the indifference and the distractions of the world, and listen to the voice of God, which can be heard through the Church and, in the first place, in the conscience of every man."

          On Sunday evening, February 21, the Pope and most of the leaders of the Roman Curia began their annual Lenten Retreat. The retreat will continue through February 27. During that time, most offices at the Vatican will be working on a sharply reduced schedule, if not completely closed.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

February 23, 1999       volume 10, no. 37
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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