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Pope speaks out against "contamination of memory"


Pope John Paul II has said that world peace requires the purification of the memory of individuals and peoples through forgiveness.

He was speaking in a message to participants in a conference organised by the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

He said: "It is an indispensable premise for an international order of peace that those who do research on the roots of conflicts discover that the negative consequences of events in the past continue to be present."

"Frequently, these contaminated memories have become integral elements of the national identity, and in some cases, even of the religious identity," he said.

"This is why we must renounce any manipulation of the truth," he added. "The historian's love for his own people, community, even religious community, must not compete with the rigor for scientifically prepared truth. It is from here that the process of purifying the memory begins."

Meanwhile the pope marked All Saints' Day on Saturday by turning his thoughts to those who have reached heaven and to those who died and have been forgotten.

The Holy Father addressed several hundred pilgrims in St Peter's Square, appearing in good form and speaking with a strong voice.

The ailing 83-year-old appears to have recovered some strength following last month's gruelling events marking the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.

"We celebrate today the solemnity of All Saints. This invites use to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land, and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination," he said.

Later, he cited the tradition of paying homage to the deceased at this time of year.

"I too go spiritually in pilgrimage to the cemeteries of the various parts of the world, where the remains of those who preceded us in the sign of faith rest," he said.

"In particular, I raise my prayer of intercession for those nobody thinks of anymore, like the many victims of violence."

SOURCE
Pope marks All Saints' Day (Associated Press/CNN)

LINKS
Pope Urges Unity Between Northern Muslims, Christians (Daily Trust/allafrica.com)
Pope says Christian majority's religious symbols deserve respect (Catholic News Service)
Papal address to European Union political leaders (Catholic World News)
Speculation intensifies about pope's successor (Detroit News/USA Today)
Pope weighs in on crucifix controversy (Independent Online, South Africa)
Pope Appeals to Philippine Catholics to Combat Corruption (Zenit)
Peace Calls for Purification of Memory, John Paul II Says (Zenit)
Pope Thanks Diplomatic Well-Wishers (Zenit)
Pope Receives Logo for World Youth Day 2005 (Zenit)


3 Nov 2003