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Via TV, Pope Will Participate in World Meeting of Families

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 21, 2003 ( John Paul II will participate this Saturday in the 4th World Meeting of Families — live, via television.

The Pope will deliver an address and bless the families gathered in Manila, Philippines, the Vatican Press Office confirmed today.

As many as 2 million people are expected to attend the meeting. The Pontifical Council for the Family is promoting the event, which begins Wednesday. The Manila Archdiocese is in charge of the logistics.

A theological-pastoral congress, a warm-up for the families meeting, opened Monday. The congress’s theme is “The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium.” A congress for children and young people is also being held simultaneously.

On Saturday, Masses will be celebrated in various languages. There will be a large gathering in the afternoon to hear life testimonies and to participate in a family celebration. The Holy Father will address the gathering on television.

The closing Mass on Sunday will be presided over by Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pope’s special envoy to the event.

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