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Thursday, February 17, 2011

ASSESSMENT OF THE PAULINE YEAR

VATICAN CITY, 17 FEB 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present an assessment of the Pauline Year (which took place from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009). The occasion was also be used to present the book "L'Anno Paolino" by Graziano Motta.

  The conference will be presented by Cardinal Francesco Monterisi and Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, respectively archpriest and archpriest emeritus of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls; Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, and Gianfranco Morelli, vice director and editor-in-chief for Rome of the Italian newspaper "Avvenire".

  Cardinal Lanza di Montezemolo affirmed that the Pauline Year "was a year of grace which went beyond all expectations", focusing on the many initiatives that took place, including the restoration of part of the basilica, new services for pilgrims, an area set aside for the Sacrament of Penance, etc. Moreover, he noted, for the first time pilgrims and visitors were able for to see the sarcophagus of the Apostle Paul.

  Cardinal Monterisi highlighted the "spiritual influence" of the Pauline Year, not only within the Catholic Church but also in other Christian confessions. At the closing of the Year, the Holy Father expressed the hope that "the fruits of this time will continue to develop, especially in the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls", the cardinal said.

  Gianfranco Morelli highlighted how observers "agreed on the fact that the Pauline Year provided, perhaps as never before, a concentration of extraordinary ecumenical moments, ... especially the many experiences lived with and in the Orthodox world". In this context he also mentioned "the three visits to Rome made during the Year by His Holiness Bartholomew I Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople".
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