Ahead of tonight's Opening Ceremony in Sydney, Pope John Paul II has sent a message of blessing to Australia to all concerned with the Olympic Games.
    He said: "On the occasion of the Opening of the Twenty-seventh International Olympic Games in Sydney, I would ask you to convey my warm greetings and good wishes to the organisers, participants and spectators of the first Olympiad of the third millennium.
    "This great event celebrates the power of sport to reach beyond the barriers between people and to create bonds of understanding and friendship in the arena of athletic competition. The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius rings out not only as a summons to the physical and mental excellence which the Games demand, but also to the greater spiritual strength which shows itself in human solidarity and the will to build a world of peace, justice and love for all.
    "I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the men and women who are representing their countries, confident that they will honour the finest ideals of the Olympic tradition. Upon all connected with the Games, I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God."
Cath Weekly
15 Sep 00

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