John Paul II Invited to Visit France in 2004

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PARIS, JULY 28, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The French Episcopal Conference invited John Paul II to visit the country on the occasion of France's Social Week, to be held in 2004. The Vatican has yet to confirm the news.



The meeting, which will celebrate the centenary of France's Social Weeks, should take place September 2004, in Lille.

On that occasion, the Holy Father might beatify Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, as well as Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), priest, hermit, and missionary in the Sahara desert.

According to the Swiss Catholic agency APIC, the Pope might also take advantage of the occasion to visit the European Parliament of Strasbourg, whose president invited him officially in January of 2003.

The Social Weeks, which were started in 1904 by two laymen, are being held this year in Paris from November 14-16, and will focus on the topic "Money." The event offers the opportunity for reflection and discussion, not only for Catholics but also for people of other religions and non-believers, on the Social Doctrine of the Church.