Recovering Pope lingers after Wednesday audience
An improving Pope John Paul II held an unusually long public audience on Wednesday, lingering in the Paul VI auditorium to greet and bless several young children.
During the 90 minute audience, the Holy Father read only a few paragraphs of his prepared text, as has become his regular practice. However, when the aides then read summaries of the remarks in several other languages, the Pope himself read the last sentence of each summary, to show his appreciation for the 9000 people who were attending the audience.
At the conclusion of his remarks, the Pope stayed in the auditorium to greet several families, embracing little children and tracing the sign of the Cross on their foreheads. One bold little boy, when he was presented to the Pope by his parents, impulsively kissed the Pontiff's face. The Pope, caught by surprise, was clearly delighted, and gave the boy an extra hug.
Meanwhile Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will meet Pope John Paul II next Thursday during a visit to Italy, according to his spokesman Tenzin Taklha.
The Tibetan leader said on a recent visit to Prague that he hoped to meet soon with the Pope, explaining: "Both of us have experience with atheist and totalitarian regimes."
The Dalai Lama last met the Pope in October 1999, when 20 religious leaders issued a joint call against the use of religion in fuelling violence.
Earlier this week, Pope John Paul II made an energetic appeal to priests not to give in to the temptation of power or money.
"Unfortunately, even those who have been ordained to service can at times fall victim to unhealthy cultural or societal trends which undermine their credibility and seriously hamper their mission," he said.
"As men of faith, priests must not let the temptation of power or material gain distract them from their vocations, nor can they permit ethnic or caste difference to detract from their fundamental charge to spread the Gospel."
At public audience, Pope shows further recovery (Catholic World News 19/11/03)
Dalai Lama to meet Pope (The Australian 19/11/03)
Pope Warns Priests of the Lure of Power and Money (Zenit 18/11/03)
General Audience Of John Paul II (Wednesday, 19 November 2003)
Pope, Dalai Lama Denounce Extremism (World Tibet Network News 28/10/99)
20 Nov 2003