Pope John Paul II and the Church

By Peter Hebblethwaite | Go to book overview

It would mean a loss of credibility in ecumenism. At the moment, CCEE is the only forum in which Catholics and Orthodox meet in friendly fashion. It would reduce collegiality in Europe to a formality if not a sham.

Worst of all, if one draws attention to these disadvantages, one is accused of disloyalty or being "anti-Roman." Probably, there is not much point in noting that the statutes of CCEE, last approved in 1981, cannot be changed unless there is a two-thirds majority. □


56
World Youth Day tied to 'culture of pilgrimage'

( July 2, 1993) "My visit to Denver," Pope John Paul II told the bishops of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, May 28, "will be truly a pilgrimage which I, along with so many young men and women, am preparing for through reflection, prayer and penance." He invited the bishops to join him in this exercise.

Addressing the bishops of New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming, June 8, John Paul further explained: "This is a pilgrimage of faith and friendship to encounter Christ in the city -- in his eucharistic self-offering, in the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, in the prayers of his people."

John Paul is probably the first person to have spoken of a visit to Denver as a pilgrimage. He thinks of all of his globetrotting trips in this way. He sees them as "pilgrimages to the heart of the church."

The idea of "going on pilgrimage" comes naturally to him and owes a great deal to his European background. Moreover, in communist Poland the church was denied any public visibility. Catholics were confined to the church building and the sacristy. The only exception to this rule was the annual pilgrimage to Czestochowa to venerate the "Black Madonna" -- an icon that mysteriously arrived there some time in the 14th century.

Slashed by a Swedish Lutheran sword in 1665 and saved by the warrior monks, the Madonna of Czestochowa became a symbol

-245-

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