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Pope in Valentine's Day call for chaste courtship

In a St Valentine's Day message to the young people of France, Pope John Paul II said the Church continues to stress that love should develop gradually through a period of chaste courtship.

"Marriage between a man and a woman, and the creation of a family, is built on strong ties between two persons and a definitive commitment, and not merely on the emotional aspect, which cannot by itself constitute a basis for marriage," the Pope said in his message delivered to a delegation of French bishops.

The Pope said the media has created "a culture of the immediate and the fleeting that is not always conducive to the search for meaning, inner maturity or moral judgment".

He said young people's moral sense had seriously declined, leading to the view that "there is no longer objectively either good or evil".

The Pope said that at the same time young people had plenty to be worried about, including violence in some of the tense city quarters and hot suburbs in France, suicidal tendencies, the growing use of drugs and, not least, unemployment.

He also told the bishops to place highly qualified priests - "with a spiritual life immune to any temptation" - at the service of young people.

Pope calls for courtship and chastity on Valentine's Day (ABC/AFP 14/2/04)

Pope Recalls a Key Message of Cardinal Rossi (Zenit 13/2/04)

16 Feb 2004