Pope Reaffirms Value of Dialogue With the World

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 6, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II chose the feast of Epiphany to reaffirm dialogue between the Church and the world.

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“If the world feels it is foreign to Christianity, Christianity does not feel foreign to the world,” the Pope said today before praying the Angelus with 20,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Paul VI pronounced the same words on Jan. 6, 1964, from the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Speaking from his library window, John Paul II said: “The mission of Christianity in the midst of humanity is a mission of friendship, understanding, encouragement, promotion, uplifting. That is, a mission of salvation.”

Reflecting on the feast of Epiphany, he said: “The star which led the Wise Men to Christ, recalls the rich symbolism of light, very present at Christmas. God is light, and the Word made man is light of the world, light that shows peoples the way.”

The Holy Father added: “With the maternal help of the Virgin, may every person come to Christ, light of truth, so that the world may advance on the path of justice and peace.”

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