DAILY CATHOLIC MONDAY January 4, 1999 vol. 10, no. 1
NEWS & VIEWS
THE CHURCH CELEBRATES THE XXXII WORLD DAY OF PEACE ON JANUARY 1ST AFTER THE POPE THANKS GOD FOR THE BLESSINGS OF THE CHURCH IN 1998.
VATICAN CITY, 1 (NE) Friday 1st of January of 1999, the Church celebrated the XXXII World Day of Peace. For this event Pope John Paul II gave a message exhorting to forge peace in the world, through the valuation of the transcendent dignity of man. Already in the first lines the papal message points out that "when the promotion of the person's dignity is the conducting principle that inspires us, when the pursuit of the commonweal is the predominant commitment, then it is when solid and lasting foundations are put for the construction of peace."
In his message, the Pope added that "the dignity of the human person is a transcendent value, always recognized as such by those who sincerely search for the truth." He also stated that, on the contrary, when this dignity is not recognized and human rights are ignored or depreciated, "then the seeds of instability, rebellion and violence are planted." He reminded that the first of the human rights is the basic right to life and that "human life is sacred and inviolable from conception to its natural end." This implies a "positive option, an option for life." He stated clearly that the "direct and voluntary elimination of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral."
The day before the Pope led the celebration of vespers and the traditional Te Deum chant with the occasion of the civil year's end. During the celebration, the Pope thanked God for all the blessings he has given the Church in these last 12 months and prayed for the most poor and needy, so that they can "look this new year with hope." He also reminded that the year of 1999, dedicated to the Celestial Father, is the third and last year of preparation for the Great Jubilee of the year 2000.
He saluted the ecclesiastic authorities of the diocese of Rome
as well as the city's civil authorities that were present in the
ceremony and thanked God for all what He has done for the
diocese. In his words he highlighted the labor of the "City
Mission," specially in its evangelizing work with the Roman
families. He also reminded that in a year the Church will
celebrate a Holy Year, and manifested his wish for a "living
Church, rich in religious fervor, a generous Church that is
sensitive to the necessities of our brethren, specially the most
poor and needy." Referring to the habitants of the Eternal City,
he made vows so that the "city reaches the Jubilee deeply
renewed in all the dimensions of social and spiritual life."
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NEWS & VIEWS