DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     October 29, 1998     vol. 9, no. 212

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE ASKS PRAYER FOR ROMANIA, CONGO, GUINEA-BISSAU

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- As he closed his weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square today, Pope John Paul II asked the faithful to join him in prayer for three particular intentions: for the cause of ecumenism in Romania, for an end to the suffering of the people of Guinea-Bissau, and for progress toward "honorable and peaceful solutions" to the warfare in Congo.

          The Pope's audience centered on the Holy Spirit, "who gives life" and "victory over death." He said that the Holy Spirit, active in believers throughout their lives, continues to work in them after death, "as he conducts us on our final voyage to the Father."

          But as he closed his catechetical talk, the Holy Father turned to the three concerns for which he would ask special prayers. He told the audience that a mixed commission of Church leaders from the Romanian Orthodox and Romanian Catholic churches would begin meeting today, and prayed that their discussions would bear fruit. The key point of contention between the two religious bodies involves the disposition of parish properties which were confiscated from the Eastern-rite Catholic churches in Romania by the old Communist government, and now remain in the hands of the Orthodox Church. A mutually acceptable resolution of this question is regarded as a precondition for a papal trip to Romania. The Pope has made it clear that he would like to make such a trip-- which would be his first visit to a predominantly Orthodox country.

          Regarding Guinea-Bissau, the Pope spoke of the "immense displacement of population" which has occurred during four months of civil warfare. He observed that Catholic missionaries have been caught up in the fighting, which has produced a flood of refugees.

          In Congo, the Holy Father continued, another civil war has produced "tragic and destructive effects" throughout the country. Noting also that neighboring countries had become involved in the Congo fighting, he urged the crowd in St. Peter's Square, "Let us together raise a fervent supplication to the Queen of Peace," asking her help to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.


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October 29, 1998       volume 9, no. 212
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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