Pope Calls on Young People to Contribute to Europe's Future

Will Preside at a Mass for University Students

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appealed to European young people to offer their contribution to the future of the continent.

The Pope made this appeal today at the end of the Angelus, and he invited youths to attend the annual Mass for university students at which he presides.

«In preparation for Holy Christmas, the Holy Mass for students of Rome’s universities will take place at 5 p.m. next Thursday, December 11, in St. Peter’s Basilica,» he said, before bidding farewell to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

«Dear university students, I expect you in great numbers together with your friends of other European countries present in Rome, to reflect on the contribution that must be made to the construction of Europe’s future,» he added.

Heads of state and government of the European Union will attend a summit, on Friday and Saturday, to come to an agreement on the European Constitution.

Religious as well as civil and political leaders want the preamble of the Constitutional Treaty to mention of the continent’s Christian heritage.

The Mass will give young people the chance to celebrate the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s pontificate, as he has had no special meeting with them over the past two months.

During the Mass the Holy Father will give the Irish students the icon of Mary, «Seat of Wisdom,» to be taken on pilgrimage to their country’s universities and schools.

The Mass will mark the official end of a congress on student international mobility, called by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences. See www.universitas2000.org.

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