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Vatican     POPE SAYS CHILDREN MORE THAN AN ACCESSORY IN MARRIAGE
Children are not an 'accessory' but rather 'a precious gift' in the plan of marriage, John Paul II told 200,000 pilgrims in torrential rain at Sunday's closing of the Jubilee of Families.
    Sunday's ceremony in St Peter's Square drew the biggest Jubilee year crowd to Rome, with the exception of World Youth Day.
    John Paul II, who described the family as "a laboratory of humanisation and authentic solidarity," celebrated the marriage of eight couples from different parts of the world including Australia. At the end of the ceremony the crowd cried: "Long live the newlyweds!"
    "Purely functional relations are not enough for the human being," the Pope said. "He needs interpersonal relations, rich in interiority, gratitude, self-giving in oblation. Among these, the one realised in the family is fundamental."
    "That is why the Church has the task of witnessing this original design in history, manifesting its truth and showing that it is possible," the Holy Father added. "In so doing, the Church does not hide the difficulties and dramas that concrete historical experience records in the life of families.
    Zenit (available soon)
   
17 Oct 00



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