After Jubilee, "Nothing Is as Before," John Paul II Says

Pope Thanks All Who Made Holy Year Possible

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 11, 2001 ( When John Paul II this morning received the men and women who made the Jubilee possible, he recalled the highlights of the Holy Year, which brought the greatest number of pilgrims in history to Rome.

Among those present at the audience were the members of the Vatican Central Committee for the Jubilee, as well as collaborators from Vatican City State and the diocese of Rome. There were also Italian civil and military authorities, who guaranteed the reception of close to 30 million pilgrims over 379 days of the Holy Year.

The Pontiff was greeted by the president of the Jubilee Central Committee, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, on behalf of those present, and thanked for having led all those present over the 6 years of preparation for this event.

«How many times you must have thought of Cardinal Wyszynski´s prophecy?» Cardinal Etchegaray asked the Pontiff, referring to the words that the Polish Primate addressed to Karol Wojtyla no sooner he was elected Bishop of Rome, assuring him that he would lead the Church into the Third Millennium.

«How many times have we rejoiced in heart to see you open the Holy Door of the Year 2000 … and close it as a memory of the past but also a prophecy for the future!» the Cardinal cried.

Thanking his collaborators for their work, the Holy Father said: now that the Jubilee is over, «nothing is as before.»

«In the historic transition that humanity is living, the Holy Year has had the providential function to make the echo of the ´Good News´ resound again»: «At the beginning of the 21st century, the Jubilee has indicated a firm point from which one can begin again: Christ, the only salvation and hope of humanity.»

Now that the Holy Door has closed, the Pope said that in taking up again the «ordinary» way, it is necessary to be conscious of the fact that access to divine mercy is more open than ever.

The Holy Father expressed his heartfelt gratitude for Italy´s collaboration during the Jubilee. Specifically, he mentioned the help given by the regional government of Latium (to which Rome belongs), the municipality of the Eternal City, as well as the Interior and Public Works Ministries, which constructed important infrastructure that is now inherited by the citizens in the wake of the Holy Year.

With reference to coverage of the events, the Holy Father thanked the semi-official newspaper L´Osservatore Romano, and the Vatican Television Center, Vatican Radio, and RAI (Italian Radio and Television).

RAI guaranteed the transmission and retransmission of all the important Jubilee events. The Pontiff was especially grateful to RAI for working with the «constant support of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications,» the Vatican organization presided over by U.S. Archbishop John P. Foley.

Peter´s Successor said that his list of acknowledgements should be much longer, and mentioned, specifically, the contribution of the 70,000 volunteers. Most important, however, was his recognition of the generous spiritual contribution of the prayer and suffering of millions of people: the elderly, sick, and contemplative men and women religious.

The Holy Father encouraged all to continue with this mission, «so that the seeds sown during the Jubilee will continue to produce abundant fruits in the years to come.»

«The fruits of sanctity that we bring to ordinary life will show if we have really lived the Jubilee,» John Paul II concluded.

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