Bishops Mark Fall of Berlin Wall

Europe’s Catholic bishops commemorated the end of the continent’s division between East and West with warnings of a new crisis of values. The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences called the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 “a great stepping stone in the European adventure” but expressed concern that later developments in the European Union went “against the authentic good.” Citing poor turnout in the latest European parliamentary elections, the council said, “The hopes placed on building Europe have not, so far, been fulfilled.” In a message at the close of the council’s assembly, held from Oct. 1 to 4 in Paris, the bishops said Catholics should remember “the many battles fought for solidarity and respect for human dignity” in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the “fundamental role” of Pope John Paul II in supporting a Europe based on faith, the common good and peace.

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The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

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