DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     February 3, 1999     vol. 10, no. 23

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE STILL SIDELINED WITH FEVER AS CHRISTIAN LEADERS OF THE HOLY LAND URGE PAPAL VISIT

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Still suffering from a mild fever, Pope John Paul II canceled his appointments for Tuesday, February 2. The Holy Father was unable to celebrate Mass for the feast of the Presentation, as scheduled, in St. Peter's Basilica.

          The Vatican did not indicate whether or not the Pope would be able to make his usual Wednesday audience on February 3.

          Meanwhile at the conclusion of the week of prayer for Christian unity, the Church leaders of Jerusalem urged Pope John Paul II to visit the Holy Land during the Jubilee Year 2000.

          Speaking on behalf of an ecumenical leadership group, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Loutfi Laham asked: "Holy Father, do not be afraid; come as a pilgrim among us in the Holy Land in the year 2000, to pray with us and to promote peace among Christians, Muslims, and Jews." The archbishop's statement was quoted in the Italian daily newspaper Avvenire of February 2.

          Avvenire explained that the statement by Archbishop Laham reflected the product of discussions among the spiritual leaders of Jerusalem, who had met during the week of prayer for Christian unity. Archimandrite Atallah Hanna, the representative of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, reportedly played an important role in formulating the message.

          Archbishop Laham also proposed that the various Christian patriarchs of the Holy Land should produce a statement emphasizing the "many points" of unity among the churches, as well as a setting out a program to bring them closer to full communion. Such a document, which would be signed by the heads of all the Christian churches of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, could be displayed at the pilgrim shrines of the Holy Land during the Jubilee Year, translated into several different languages and accompanied by words of greeting from the churches to the pilgrims.


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February 3, 1999       volume 10, no. 23
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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