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VATICAN CITY, APR 8, 2002 (VIS) - The Pope received in audience this
morning members of the Papal Foundation, whose headquarters are in the
United States, who have come to Rome on their annual pilgrimage.

John Paul II said that the "dire consequences of the tragic events of
September 11 are still with us; the spiral of violence and armed hostility
in the Holy Land - the land of our Lord's birth, death and Resurrection; a
land held sacred by the three great monotheistic religions - has increased
to unimaginable and intolerable levels; throughout the whole world men,
women and children continue to suffer the ravages of war, poverty,
injustice and exploitation of all kinds."

"Indeed," he continued, "we are currently experiencing a very difficult
international situation. But the Lord's victory and his promise to remain
with us 'until the end of the world' are beacons of light beckoning us to
meet the challenges before us with courage and hope. The Papal Foundation
itself, through the generosity of many, enables needed works to be carried
out in the name of Christ and His Church."

The Holy Father concluded by assuring the members of the foundation that
their "love and dedication to the Church and to the Successor of Peter are
greatly appreciated."
AC/PAPAL FOUNDATION/... VIS 20020408 (220)

Courtesy of: Vatican Information Service/Catholic Information Network