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Pope's Message for Year of the Tiger

Chinese Tiger

Chinese Tiger

Pope Benedict XVI has extended his good wishes to the Chinese, the Vietnamese, and all other people in Asia and around the world who are celebrating the Lunar New Year.

He conveyed his greetings from his study window in the Vatican at midday on Sunday, 14 February, when he spoke to thousands of pilgrims from many lands gathered in St Peter’s Square.

“Today the Lunar New Year is celebrated in various countries of Asia -- I am thinking in particular of China and Vietnam, and in many communities scattered throughout the world,” the Pope told them.

“These are festive days, which these people live as privileged occasions to strengthen family and generational bonds,” he added.

He concluded by expressing the wish that “all of them may maintain and increase the rich inheritance of spiritual and moral values, that are firmly rooted in the culture of these peoples.”

His words brought warn applause from the thousands in the square, and especially from several small groups of Chinese and Vietnamese present among them who waved to him.

In sending this greeting, Pope Benedict was following in a tradition started by John Paul II as he reached out to improve relations, particularly with China and Vietnam.

Source: UCAN