Pope addresses crowd through TV, asks to live a Lent of solidarity

.- Pope John Paul greeted pilgrims gathered at the Vatican this morning over a television link from the library of his apartment. As previously announced by the Holy See, the Pope addressed a few words to participants in today's general audience. Because of abnormally bad weather in Rome, the Pope, who was scheduled to greet the crowd from his study window, spoke to them instead via the television link from his private apartments, which was transmitted directly to Paul VI Hall.

"I greet you with affection and I thank you for your attendance", the Holy Father told the group.

"We are following a Lenten journey," he went on, "assisted and stimulated by the liturgy which calls us to a special commitment to prayer, fasting and penitence, and to greater solidarity towards our fellow man, especially towards the poor and needy.”

He called upon the faithful to, “open our hearts to the inner suggestions of grace”, and said, “May selfishness give way to love, that we may have the chance to experience the joy of forgiveness and of intimate reconciliation with God and with our brothers and sisters."

In closing, the Holy Father greeted audience participants in several languages, expressing the hope that their stay in Rome may help them deepen their "love of the Universal Church."

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