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Tuesday, May 11, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Pope received participants in the general assembly of the Pontifical Missionary Works and told them that through their work they collaborate in the "transmission of the 'Good News' to the ends of the earth."

  After emphasizing that they "must have special consideration" for peoples of the "Third World" where "suffering and needs are greater," the Holy Father said: "You are like Simon of Cyrene, helping the Savior to bring the Cross to every person who suffers and is dying. You are true missionaries in a world marked by globalization, one in which suffering for truth and justice transcends every national border."

  "When you are anguished over the suffering of other peoples and work to alleviate their great need for help, you too are working to help your own peoples to escape the narrow ways of selfishness and of being suffocated by abundance, emptiness and attitudes, sometimes unworthy of human beings."

  John Paul II expressed his pleasure that the Pontifical Missionary Works are updating their statutes. "This," he affirmed, "shows the will to continue to fulfill your mission of 'mercy and peace'."

  "The objective of the general assembly of your Superior Council," he added, "is to search for the ways of the Lord for a renewed mission in a world in continual change.  Concern moves you to bring love and mercy to all peoples. ... I urge you," he concluded, "to collaborate, as you are already doing, with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in a continuous search for 'new ways' for the Gospel.  Missionary zeal and cooperation are the reason for your existence and the only purpose for  your tireless 'concern for all churches' for the world's salvation."

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