A crowd of about fifteen thousand heard Pope John Paul the Second give his regular weekly address in St Peter's Square on Wednesday (13 June).
A crowd of about fifteen thousand heard Pope John Paul the Second give his regular weekly address in St Peter's Square on Wednesday (13 June). The Pope expressed his solidarity with the more than sixty Roman Catholic missionaries expelled the central African country of Burundi this month.
SYNOPSIS: It was the Pope's first audience since he returned on Sunday (10 June) from his visit to Poland. He had spent two days resting at the Papal summer palace at Castel Gandolfo before coming back to the Vatican for his audience.
This audience was tranquil occasion compared to the rigours, the emotion and the immense crowds he had addressed in his native land. On his return, the Pope had looked drawn and weary. But the brief rest appeared to have replenished his vigour.
The Pope's step was brisk and he pumped the questing hands of the faithful as energetically as ever.
He did touch briefly on his Polish visit, but aimed more of his remarks at the plight of the missionaries expelled from Burundi. Speaking of a context much wider than the single country of Burundi, he said the Church had a universal mission, ....and could not stop regarding itself as being in a sense, at home in every country on earth. His Church was, he said, loyal and respectful everywhere towards civil authorities and institutions.