Papal Basilica to Open Ecumenical Chapel

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ROME, DEC. 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- An ecumenical chapel at St. Paul's Outside the Walls is one of the first initiatives of the upcoming Pauline year.

Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the papal basilica, announced plans for the chapel in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano.

The chapel will offer "the possibility for non-Catholic Christian communities to come and pray at the basilica and to celebrate liturgy," he said. It will be placed in a Greek-design baptistery, which was remodeled in the early 20th century.

"The altar, restored, will be one we found and removed during the recent excavations near the tomb of Paul, which have made the tomb visible to pilgrims," the cardinal explained.

On Monday, Cardinal Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo presented Benedict XVI with a program of the Pauline Year, to be celebrated from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009.