Pope praises 'lofty' role of women as he beatifies Croatian nun
POPE John Paul II praised the "lofty vocation" of women as wives and mothers yesterday as he beatified a Croatian nun at a Mass attended by an estimated 70,000 people.
The Pope called on women to continue using their maternal instinct for the good of their families, the Church and society.
The service in the Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik was a high point of John Paul’s five-day pilgrimage to Croatia, his 100th foreign tour as Pope.
Security has been tight at all of the stops, and late yesterday, the state-run news agency HINA and a Croatian Catholic news agency reported they had received e-mails threatening to kill the Pope "in the name of Allah".
The e-mails, signed the "Islamic Front of el-Mujahadeen", appeared to have originated in neighbouring Bosnia, an interior ministry spokeswoman said.
She said Croatian and international police agencies were investigating, but the Pontiff faced no danger because of the heavy security around him.
John Paul beatified Marija Petkovic, who died in Rome in 1966 after founding a religious community that cared for impoverished children in Croatia and Latin America.
The Pope praised her "indomitable courage" and addressed women all over the world. "I thank you, dear women, because by your sensitivity, generosity and strength, you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic," John Paul said in Croat.
The Pope, 83, clearly uncomfortable in temperatures of 30C, sat under a white canopy. He slumped in his chair at times during the three-hour Mass, but his voice remained strong.
"The frenetic pace of modern life can lead to an obscuring or even a loss of what is truly human," he said. "Perhaps more than in other periods of history, our time is in need of that genius which belongs to women, and which can ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance."
The Pope has spoken out often on the importance of women to the Church, but has been criticised by some for refusing to allow women to become priests.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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