VATICAN CITY, MARCH 15, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Stations of the Cross that John Paul II will preside over this Good Friday were written by 14 journalists, an unprecedented event.
ZENIT learned from Vatican and journalistic sources that, on behalf of the Holy Father, Bishop Piero Marini, master of papal liturgical celebrations, entrusted the task to media correspondents accredited at the Vatican.
Each journalist was asked to write a meditation and prayer for a Station. A final liturgical exclamation will give unity to the contemplation of the Stations.
The texts will be recited during the Way of the Cross, or Via Crucis, at the Roman Colosseum. Thousands of pilgrims attend the ceremony, which is widely televised.
The press and television reporters are of various nationalities: Italy, Russia, Portugal, Mexico, Poland, Austria and Spain are among the countries represented.
In the past, the meditations were entrusted to leading theologians (such as Hans Urs von Balthasar), men of culture (such as poet Mario Luzi), pastors (Cardinals Miguel Obando Bravo of Managua; Miloslav Vlk of Prague; and Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo) or ecumenical figures (Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, and lay Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement).
On Thursday, Bishop Marini confirmed that John Paul II will preside over the Via Crucis on Good Friday starting at 9:15 p.m. local time, and ending with a papal address and blessing.