R E S S R E L E A S E
OF THE 1999 LENTEN MESSAGE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
months ago at a meeting of our Dicastery Pope John Paul II said, "Sometimes
the unjust suffering by many can also instil doubts about the goodness and
providence of God..." but precisely for this he spurs us on to discover
that "God, who in his fatherhood loves man with a matchless and infinite
love, and to increase our generosity to those who are in difficulty."
the light of this teaching, the President of the Pontifical Council "Cor
Unum" His Excellency Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, announced the Lenten
Message of the Holy Father for this year, this final period of preparation for
the Jubilee, a year dedicated to the Father and to Charity.
In the message the Pontiff asks each one of us to make a "living
gift"; Charity is the giving of one's self and not payment with a credit
card. Today, throughout the world
many individuals continue to risk their lives to spread the love of God.
In 1998, for example, 39 missionaries were killed in the world, only
because of their witness to the love of Christ.
President of Caritas Italy, His Excellency Bishop Benito Cocchi, brought the
testimony of thousands of Catholic volunteers who each day do not speak of the
needy but concretely help them. "We
must fill 1999 with daily gestures of love, which include sharing, welcoming,
time freely given without payment to anyone".
particular significance is the initiative of this Pontifical Council entitled
"100 Projects of the Holy Father" where the true miracle of "multiplication"
is born out. We began by asking
assistance for 100 "poor" Dioceses and were able to find in the "rich"
world the willingness to realise 223 micro projects, of which 161 are financed
by Dioceses and 62 by International Catholic Organisations.
In this way, it was possible to destine some thirty million Italian lire
to projects, which will be completed by the end of 1999.
of assitance is the initiative "Panis Caritatis", a bread to be shared
with those who do not have any. Five
million loaves have been sold which have made possible a donation of 500,000,000
Italilan lire (258,202 Euro given the plan to make the project international)
destined for the Dioceses of the Great Lakes Region in Africa and of Sudan for
programmes of food for refugees. In particular in Kinshasa, a city of five million inhabitants,
they constructed ovens for bread to feed the population, which during the armed
attacks becomes isolated in the confines of the city without food supplies.
most important news: at the centre
of the celebration of the Year of Charity is the day - 16 of May 1999.
The Holy Father, for the first time, will meet in St. Peter's Square all
those who work in the area of help and assistance.
The Church wants to give a witness to today's world that "Charity
will never end. All are invited to
City, 19 January 1999