|LONDON Dec. 9 (CWNews.com) - The new Millennium is an opportunity for a new start, said the Catholic
Bishops of England and Wales on Wednesday.
In a statement, the bishops urged society at large, and Catholics in particular, to make a new start with
God, with each other and with the poor.
"This year we celebrate Christmas alongside many Millennium festivities," said the bishops. "The dawn of
a new era has its excitements and preoccupations. Yet it is important for us as Christians to keep our
minds firmly on the distinctive significance of this occasion."
They said, "The Millennium is being celebrated because it is, in fact, the Great Jubilee of the birth of Our
Lord Jesus Christ. Were it not for that great event, we would not be celebrating this moment at all. There
are many ways in which we can call and invite others to come to know Christ in the Gospel and in the
community of the Church. Foremost among these is our work together for a society of justice, love, truth
and peace -- the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God."
The bishops ended their statement with a prayer for "respect for the earth, peace for its people, love in
our lives, delight in the good, forgiveness for past wrongs, and the grace to make a new start for
ourselves and for our world."