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Recalcitrant peace dove refuses to leave papal apartment


Pope John Paul II released a dove a symbol of peace out of his apartment window yesterday, chuckling with children who watched in delight as it flew back into his room overlooking St Peter's Square.

The Holy Father was addressing thousands of young people from an Italian Catholic organization who marked January as a month to promote peace. He was flanked at his studio window by a pair of 8-year-olds a boy and girl who urged the world to remember children who live in countries wracked by war.

The Pope said that young people, "who so desire peace, become courageous and tenacious builders" of peace. Each of the children at his side sent a dove flying, but the white birds, perhaps alarmed by Rome's unusual cold spell, almost immediately darted back into his studio.

Laughing, the Pope seemed determined to set the symbol free. He grabbed one of the doves as an aide returned the birds to the window sill, and he shooed it out the window and playfully patted the boy on the head. After a quick flight over the square, the bird quickly fluttered inside again as the pope grinned.

"We must defeat injustice with justice, lies with the truth, vengeance with forgiveness, hatred with love," he said. "This is not something that can be improvised; it is something that must be learnt from infancy onwards."

He spoke of "education based on thoughtful teachings", especially "good role models in the family, school and every other walk of life".

"Parish churches, oratories, associations, Church movements and groups must become privileged places where peace and love are taught, a place where young people can grow up together."

SOURCE
Dove won't leave after Pope's peace prayer (Associated Press/USA Today 28/1/05)
Children and young people can be peacemakers too, says the Pope (AsiaNews.it 30/1/05)

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31 Jan 2005