DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     November 9, 1999     vol. 10, no. 212

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE ISSUES EXHORTATION ON ASIA

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- On November 6, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic exhortation entitled Ecclesia in Asia, concluding the work of the Asian Synod.

        Officially signed in India at the start of the papal visit there, Ecclesia in Asia emphasizes the special role of the Asian continent in God's plan for salvation. Taking up one of the main themes of discussion among the bishops who participated in the Asian Synod, the Pope acknowledges that Christianity has attracted only a very small minority of the people on the world's largest continent. Nevertheless, the Holy Father argues, "Asia is thirsting for the living water that only Jesus can give."

        Contemplating the continent where Jesus was born and lived his earthly life, and where today the Church is often subject to persecution, the Pope predicted a surge of evangelical success-- "a great harvest for the faith"-- in the early years of the new millennium. The Asian people take a keen interest in spiritual questions, he pointed out, and Christianity can provide the answer.

        The Pope's confidence about the future of the Asian Church is based on two factors. Christ and the Church are part of Asia's hertage. God's saving plan was "initiated in Asia, God chose an Asian tradition; it was in Asia that the Church first began to spread," the Pope recalls. Although "it is a mystery why the Savior of the world, born in Asia, has until now remained largely unknown to the people of the continent," the Pontiff reasoned that "the Jubilee is an occasion for proclaiming that "the Savior of the world was born in Asia."

        [For further analysis of Ecclesia in Asia, see the Special CWN Feature carried in our VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS today. For the full text of the apostolic exhortation can be found on the Vatican web site: www.vatican.va]


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November 9, 1999       volume 10, no. 212
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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