DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     May 26, 1998     vol. 9, no. 101

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Pope calls for Public officials to heed morality and for scientists to respect the sensibility of the faithful.

          VERCELLI, Italy - On the eve of becoming the longest-serving pontiff this century, Pope John Paul II alternated good-natured banter Saturday with calls for more morality among public officials.

          John Paul came to Vercelli in northwest Italy to beatify a World War II military chaplain, the Rev. Secondo Pollo, who was killed by enemy fire while trying to comfort a wounded soldier. Beatification is the last formal step before sainthood in the Church.

          The Pope, who recently turned 78 and whose health problems sometimes force him to struggle through long ceremonies, looked relatively strong at the end of the 2 1/2 hour ceremony under a hot sun. On Sunday, by Vatican calculations, John Paul surpassed the 19 years, seven months and seven days served by Pius XII, who died in 1958.

          At Turin, Pope John Paul II knelt in silent prayer Sunday before the Shroud of Turin, and encouraged scientists to keep testing the linen many believe wrapped the body of the crucified Christ. "Since we're not dealing with a matter of faith, the Church can't pronounce itself on such questions," the Pope said. "It entrusts to scientists the tasks of continuing to investigate, to reach adequate answers to the questions connected to this shroud."

          But the Holy Father urged scientists to respect both "scientific methodology and the sensibility of the faithful." Whatever its origin, the 78-year-old Pontiff said the shroud is for him "the icon of the suffering of the innocent of all times."

Article above provided through Associated Press and Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 26, 1998       volume 9, no. 101


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