Cardinals Invited to Celebrate John Paul II's 25th Anniversary

VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2003 ( All the cardinals of the Church have been invited to celebrate with John Paul II the 25th anniversary of his pontificate on Oct. 16.

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«It is a historic date, a date we are happy to celebrate,» Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said today when making the announcement.

He was addressing an international congress on John Paul II’s pontificate, being held at the Lateran University with the theme «The Church at the Service of Man.»

Cardinal Sodano was pleased with the choice of the topic, saying that «the defense of man’s liberty, of human rights, and of woman is one of the great missions of the Pope.»

The invitation to the cardinals to attend the celebrations of the anniversary of Karol Wojtyla’s election as Pope was sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Church now has 168 cardinals, including 112 under age 80 who could vote in a conclave.

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