POPE ANNOUNCES RE-OPENING OF PONTIFICAL MARONITE COLLEGE
VATICAN CITY, FEB 10, 2000 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this
received 500 Maronite faithful from Lebanon, other Middle
countries and the diaspora, who are in Rome to celebrate
Year 2000. "I have the pleasure," he said, "of announcing
being closed for many years, ... the Pontifical Maronite
Rome yesterday officially re-opened its doors." The college
to the 16th century and Pope Gregory XIII.
"I hope," the Pope added, "that the young Maronites who
henceforth live in this historical college will contribute
efficaciously ... to Maronite ecclesial life, in fidelity
spirit of the universal Church."
John Paul II highlighted the Maronites' "unfailing and
fidelity to the Roman Apostolic See" and "the strong ties
between the See of Rome and that of Antioch." He observed
visit to Rome was also to celebrate the liturgical memory
9, according to their calendar, of St Maro (Maron), "the
of your Church."
"You full communion with the Church of Rome," underscored
the Pope, is
indeed a tangible show of the awareness that you have
of unity: 'Unity
is the primordial mark of the Church and is required by
nature'. This ecclesial unity ... will help you in turn
yourselves ever more to evangelization of the world."
The Holy Father recalled with affection his 1997 trip
to Lebanon to
present the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "A New
Lebanon." This document was, he said, "'my cry of resurrection
peace', through which I 'presented again the biblical
land of cedars
to the conscience of the world."
He urged "the beloved land of Lebanon" to "be a place
can live in peace and fraternity with followers of other
where they will be capable of promoting such coexistence.
... I also
want to tell you today ... 'the Pope is always close to
you'. I am by
your side as a father and brother in this period when
sometimes leads to the revival of spirits of hatred which
like to see disappear forever."