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