Pope Won´t Walk Full Length of Way of the Cross

Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev Invited

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VATICAN CITY, APR. 10, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will not walk the full length of the Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum this Good Friday, the Vatican said.



The principal ceremonies of Holy Week will begin on Holy Thursday, with the Holy Father´s celebration of the Chrism Mass at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter´s Basilica.

The Pope will preside over all the rites of the paschal triduum. On Holy Thursday in the afternoon, he will celebrate the Mass of the Lord´s Supper, and the washing of the feet of 12 priests, in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

At 5 p.m. on Good Friday, John Paul II will preside over the celebration of the Lord´s Passion in St. Peter´s, and at 9:15 p.m. he will lead the traditional Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum.

A kneeling John Paul II will then follow the procession from the terrace of the Palatine Hill. He will carry the cross at the 14th Station, at the end of which he will address the faithful.

The Easter Vigil Mass will be presided over by the Holy Father in St. Peter´s Basilica on Saturday, beginning at 8 p.m. On Easter Sunday, the Pope will celebrate Mass in St. Peter´s Square, and will impart the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing, after giving his Easter message to the world and greeting nations in over 60 languages.

John Paul II has invited His Beatitude Vladimir, metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, to join him in the celebrations. The invitation was given to the metropolitan last Saturday in Kiev by Cardinal Roberto Tucci.