Swiss Bishops Want the Pope to Visit in 2004

BERN, Switzerland, MARCH 10, 2003 ( Swiss bishops invited John Paul II to visit the country to participate in a meeting with young Catholics, in May or June 2004.

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While awaiting a response from the Vatican, expected this June, the organizers are looking for a place to hold the meeting. Fribourg or Bern seem to be the favored sites, the Catholic agency APIC reported.

The bishops’ invitation to the Holy Father was made public at the end of an ordinary assembly of their episcopal conference, held in Lucerne last week. The invitation was sent to Rome on the last day of this meeting.

The invitation makes reference to John Paul II’s special rapport with young people, as shown during the World Youth Day in Toronto.

Marc Aellen, spokesman of the Swiss bishops’ conference, said that the young people’s meeting will take place even if the Pope is unable to attend.

The youth meeting is in preparation for the next World Youth Day, in Cologne, Germany, in 2005.

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