Freedom Advances Through Dialogue, Says Pope

VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2004 ( John Paul II believes that dialogue is a means to widen the realm of freedom in society.

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The Pope affirmed this in a message sent Tuesday to the musical group Gen Rosso, which gave a concert in the Vatican to celebrate the Holy Father’s 84th birthday as well as the 40th anniversary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, council president, read the papal message at the start of the concert, held in Paul VI Hall.

«I hope that each one of the participants in the concert will become a committed promoter of the dialogue to enlarge ever more the realms of freedom, civilization and understanding in contemporary society,» the papal message said.

The meeting took place «a few days after the entry in the European Union of 10 new countries of our continent, which have the richness of a significant spiritual, civil and religious patrimony in their millennial traditions,» the Pope added.

«May the new Europe be able to preserve and grow deeper in the values that have made it great, acknowledging its principal source in the vital sap of the Gospel,» he concluded.

Gen Rosso came into being within the Focolare Movement in 1966.

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