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Monday, June 30, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUN 29, 2003 (VIS) - At noon today, Pope John Paul appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square and, in remarks made before praying the Angelus, noted that "we are celebrating the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul whom we venerate as the 'pillars' of the Church."

"The diocese of Rome is especially festive today as its very roots are in the witness given by the two great Apostles. Peter, chosen by Christ as the 'rock' on which He built His Church, was crucified not far from here on the Vatican hill, and his tomb is the symbolic center of the Catholic faith. Paul, decapitated at the gates of Rome, was a model of evangelization and his Letters, a notable part of the New Testament, never cease to attract to Christ men and women of today."

"As I do every year," said the Holy Father, "at 6 this evening in St. Peter's Square, I will preside at a Eucharistic celebration and bestow on numerous metropolitan archbishops the sacred pallium, a sign of communion with the Holy See."

"According to a long tradition which is reason for great joy," he concluded, "a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness Bartholomaios I, will be present this evening. The exchange of delegations by Rome and Constantinople for the feasts of their respective patrons, goes well beyond an act of ecclesial courtesy. It mirrors the deep and well-rooted intention of reestablishing full communion between the East and West. I thank Patriarch Bartholomaios who entrusted to his delegation the duty of representing him."

ANG;STS PETER PAUL;...;...;VIS;20030630;Word: 270;

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