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Swiss youth hail visiting pontiff

BERN, Switzerland (CNS): On a two-day visit to Switzerland, an aging Pope John Paul II reminisced with young people about his own youth and asked them to make room for Christ in their busy lives.

At an evening rally and an open-air Mass in Bern on June 5-6, the Pope emphasised that Christianity is more than an ideology or an institution.

Its primary focus is the personal encounter with Jesus, he told a cheering crowd.

Despite misgivings among many Swiss Catholics about some of the Church’s less popular teachings, the country gave the pontiff a warm welcome.

The Pope returned to Switzerland for the first time in 20 years because he was invited by young Catholics holding their first national jamboree.

The Pope’s message was simple: In the midst of a society that promotes consumerism, indifference and superficiality, young people should make sure they listen to the “voice of the Lord” that is constantly calling them to higher values.

It was the Pope’s 103rd foreign trip and his first trip in nine months.

Catholic Church Insurance

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