Speeches 1999 - Maribor, 19 September 1999
Dear Israelis and Palestinian Young People,
A few weeks ago, the voice of hope and satisfaction was heard around the world when your leaders signed an historic accord. Now people everywhere look to this agreement in trust and expectation, hoping that it will grow ever stronger and lead to an effective and lasting peace.
You young people, and all those whom you represent, must be the first to realize the hopes of your peoples and of the world at large. The decisions you make concerning yourselves and your vocation in society will decide the prospects for peace, both today and tomorrow.
Dear young Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians: I renew to you today the invitation I addressed to all young people on the occasion of the 1985 World Day of Peace, stressing the role that youth is called to play in efforts to promote peace. At the threshold of the new millennium, you must come to see more clearly that the future of peace, and therefore the future of all humanity, depends upon the fundamental choices which your generation will make. In a few years, your generation will be responsible for shaping the destiny of your peoples, your nations, and of the world. It is a moral imperative that you help to construct a new society, to build a new civilization, based ever more solidly on mutual respect, brotherhood and the spirit of cooperation. None of us is alone in this world; each of us is a vital piece of the great mosaic of humanity as a whole.
Do not be afraid of the challenge which awaits you: your hope and your youthfulness will stand by you in this exacting task. But you will be able to accomplish it only if you can instill in your own hearts that peace which you plan to bring to your peoples and to the world – no longer a peace based solely on accords and agreements, however noble and necessary they may be, but a peace born from within each person. This is essential if peace is to be stable and lasting.
In conclusion, I say to you in a special way what I said to the young people of the world in the Message mentioned above: “The future of peace lies in your hearts. To build history, as you can and must, you must free history from the false paths it is now pursuing. To do this, you must be people with a deep trust in man and a deep trust in the grandeur of the human vocation, a vocation to be pursued with respect for truth and for the dignity and inviolable rights of the human person”.
You know that, if God wills, I plan to go to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage tracing the stages of the history of salvation. God willing, therefore, we shall have the chance to meet again on your own soil. I trust that by then you will have begun your venture and that together we will be able to see its first fruits. Good-bye until then, and may God abundantly bless your efforts.
From the Vatican, 22 september 1999
To Mr Paolo Scandaletti
President of the Catholic Union of the Italian Press
1. The 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Catholic Union of the Italian Press offers me the welcome occasion to extend a cordial greeting to you and to all the members of this association. I willingly express my appreciation for the service that the CUIP renders to evangelization through the efforts of skilled professionals in the vast field of social communications, especially in the press sector.
I am well aware, in this regard, of how careful it is to contribute to spreading Christian values through strong and active networking in newspapers and periodicals. Praise should therefore be given to the Catholic professionals who are its members, for the apostolic concern which inspires their daily work: the courageous witness of faith that each one offers within the mass media sector constitutes a precious service for the protection and promotion of the real good of the person and of the community.
2. The constant development of the means of social communication has a growing influence on people and public opinion and this increases the responsibility of those who are directly involved in the sector, because it induces them to make inspired choices in the search for truth and in serving the common good.
In this regard, it should be stressed that in a large strata of today's society there is a strong desire for good which is not always adequately acknowledged in newspapers and radio-television news bulletins, where the parameters for evaluating events are often marked by commercial rather than by social criteria. There is a tendency to favour "what hits the headlines", what is "sensational", instead of what would help people understand world events better. The danger is the distortion of the truth. To prevent this it is urgent that Christians involved in the information sector work together with all people of good will for greater respect of the truth. By stressing themes such as peace, honesty, life, the family, and by not giving excessive importance to negative facts, they can help establish a new humanism that opens the doors to hope.
As I wrote in the Message for the 33rd World Day of Social Communications: "The Church's culture of wisdom can save the media culture of information from becoming a meaningless accumulation of facts; and the media can help the Church's wisdom to remain alert to the array of new knowledge now emerging" (n. 3). In this perspective, information appears as an increasingly indispensable value constituting a social good to which all its users should be ensured equal access.
3. The digital revolution which characterizes the world of information at the end of the millennium introduces a new way of understanding communications. The paradigms known until now have been changed: no longer are there only sources able to spread information and fields of receivers to gather messages. A network of interconnected computers makes it possible to hierarchically recognize those who emit messages and those who receive them, with reciprocity of emission. This extraordinary opportunity is endowed with an unprecedented cultural potential, with reflections on the social and political order to the advantage of the poorest and the less welloff. The full scope of its potential, however, may not be expressed, unless the users are offered equal access to other information networks.
The communication flow is capable of breaking down the traditional barriers of time and space by crossing frontiers and avoiding practically every type of censorship. The impossibility of controlling it creates a veritable flood of information which the individual has practically no means of checking. This risks creating a system based on a great mass of information which, at the national and supernational levels, can cause a complete "deregulation", re-creating conditions of superiority and therefore of cultural subjection.
4. A simple appeal to the individual responsibility of those who work in social communications is insufficient to ensure the control of this complex process of change. The commitment of government authorities is necessary. What is necessary in particular is an overall new awareness on the part of users, who must be put in a position where they can refuse their condition as passive receivers of the messages that flood their homes, involving their families. The "mass media" often risk becoming a substitute for educational bodies, indicating cultural and behavioural models which are not always positive and to which young people are especially vulnerable. It is therefore essential to provide everyone with suitable cultural instruments for dialogue with the means of social communication, so as to direct their information choices in a positive direction, with respect for man and his conscience.
These problems of great moral importance call for the action of the Church and lay groups at the central level and at territorial, diocesan and parish levels. The pastoral care of communications appears increasingly important as a reference point, both for "media" workers and for their users. I therefore encourage you to intensify your apostolic work with awareness of your responsibility in the Church and in society.
5. The 40 years' history of the Catholic Union of the Italian Press show that the laity's involvement, even in this special sector of cultural intervention, must be sought and developed through renewed pastoral awareness. The tradition of Catholic journalism in Italy has had indisputable importance in the formation of generations of believers enlivened by sincere faith. How many journalists have left a deep mark and how many others continue to work with a spirit of sacrifice and skill in the "media" sector! With regard to the development of the so-called "media culture", the idea, recently re-launched, of a Committee of media ethics that would be alert to the possible manipulation of information, fits in with the cultural tradition of the Church's social teaching and confirms the principle that even in the world of social communications not everything that is technically possible is morally lawful.
We are on our way to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. I know that in preparing for this extraordinary event, under the guidance of the diocesan Bishops you are rereading the Letters of St Paul and are meditating on the most significant passages of Sacred Scripture. This is the way of preparing to enter the new millennium that is most in line with the strong conviction that everyone who works in social communications, when carrying out his mission with seriousness and consciousness, actively takes part in the great plan of salvation which the Jubilee proposes anew in its deepest reality. May the approaching Holy Year reawaken in all this association's members a renewed desire to serve Christ and his kingdom.
With these wishes, I invoke Mary's motherly protection on each one of you and I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a token of abundant heavenly graces to you, Mr President, and indeed to all the members of your praiseworthy association.
From Castel Gandolfo, 22 September 1999.
To my Venerable Brother
The Most Reverend Vasco Giuseppe Bertelli
Bishop of Volterra
I learned with great satisfaction that this Diocese is preparing to commemorate with special celebrations the Pastoral Visit that I had the joy of making 10 years ago to the ancient and noble city of Volterra.
I have a vivid and joyful memory of the warm welcome I received from the Volterra community, the various meetings I had with the faithful and the citizens, and the strong witness of faith by which Volterra honours its rich Christian heritage. I hope that the heartfelt commemoration of that happy day may lead this Diocese to strengthen the exceptional bonds of ecclesial communion linking it with Rome since the dawn of Christianity, that is, from the time when Providence called St Linus Martyr, according to an ancient tradition in Volterra, to be the immediate successor of the Apostle Peter as head of the Church of Rome. I sincerely hope that the Church of Volterra may preserve and continue to foster this long tradition of apostolic faith and of spiritual closeness to the See of Peter.
Venerable and dear Brother, I wish to reaffirm today the exhortation I made 10 years ago during my visit: "My wish is that this Church of Volterra may truly be a family: God's family" (Address to representatives of the local Church, 23 September 1989; L'Osservatore Romano, 9 October 1989, p. 11). With the active contribution of all its members, may this diocesan community truly experience an ever deeper life of communion - a family life - to bear effective witness at the close of this century to the message of salvation and to cross the threshold of the third millennium inwardly renewed and ready to face the challenges of the new evangelization.
With these wishes, as I entrust the joys and hopes, the intentions and commitments of the beloved Church of Volterra to the heavenly intercession of Our Lady, particularly revered in your ancient cathedral, and to that of St Linus Martyr, patron of the Diocese, I affectionately impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, Venerable Brother, to the clergy, to the consecrated persons and to the entire community of Volterra.
From Castel Gandolfo, 23 September 1999, feast of St Linus, Pope and Martyr.
Dear Brother Bishops,
1. In the love of the Holy Spirit, I greet you, the Bishops of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, joined today by Cardinal Ambrozic and the Auxiliary Bishops of Toronto, as you come on pilgrimage ad Limina Apostolorum: "Grace and peace to you in all abundance through knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord" (2P 1,2). Here in Rome, at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, you renew the bonds of communion which bind you to the Successor of Peter and you rekindle the spiritual energies which your ministry demands. These are the tombs of martyrs, and they recall the power of Christian witness in every age and remind us that the Church is born from the shedding of blood - the blood of the Lamb which flows for ever in the heavens, and the blood of those who have washed their robes white in his blood (cf. Rv Ap 7,14). Here you celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice on altars raised in memory of "those who were slain for the witness they bore to the word of God" (Ap 6,9); and you join them in singing the great hymn of the Church: "To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and power, for ever" (Rv 5: 13). You journey back in time to the very origins of Christianity, but you do so in order to see more clearly and confidently the future which God has in mind for the Church in the millennium about to dawn.
2. At the heart of God's plan for the Church today there stands that great moment of grace, the Second Vatican Council. The decades since the Council have not been untroubled, but everywhere there are signs of the wondrous fruits which the Spirit can bring when we respond in faith to his promptings. Unquestionably, one of the fruits of the Spirit in the years since the Council has been the stirring of new spiritual vitality and apostolic energies among the lay faithful. Catholic lay women and men are living the grace of their Baptism in ways which show forth more splendidly the full array of charisms which invigorate and beautify the Church. We cannot cease to praise God for this.
Continuing the reflection begun with the previous groups of Canadian Bishops in this series of ad Limina visits, today I wish to share with you some brief thoughts on the relationship between priests and lay faithful in the pastoral life of your communities and in the Church's witness before society. We readily speak of Bishops and priests as "pastors", drawing upon the biblical and patristic tradition, in which the image of the shepherd is rich and evocative. Sometimes, though, this has been accompanied by a certain reluctance to speak of lay people as "the flock", as if to do so condemned the laity to a strictly passive and dependent role. Certainly this is not what the Council had in mind, nor is it what the Church needs now. It is therefore worthwhile to revisit the biblical image in order to rediscover the sense of complementarity and communion which it implies.
The image comes from a world in which the flock was the cornerstone of economic life and the key to human survival. The shepherd fed and watered the sheep and protected them day and night against predators and disease; and in that sense, the sheep lived because of the shepherd. The flock in turn provided food, clothing and even shelter not only to the shepherd but also to the entire family or tribe. In that sense the shepherd was as dependent upon the flock as the flock was upon him. What the biblical image offers therefore is a vision of life-giving reciprocity: the sheep live by the shepherd and the shepherd lives by the sheep. The same vision finds expression in what Saint Paul writes to the Church in Thessalonica: "Now we live, for you stand firm in the Lord" (1Th 3,8). The Apostle has given life to the community and now, by their fidelity, they give life to him.
3. More radically still, the sheep become the body of the shepherd especially as the source of food. Here the imagery is so profound that it introduces us to the notion of the Church as the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the eternal Shepherd of the flock in whose name all pastors serve; but the flock is Christ's Body in the world. Again we have a dramatic reciprocity of self-giving, which in this case is not just a matter of material life and human survival, but the great mystery of Jesus' self-giving sacrifice for the world's salvation, made present whenever the Eucharist is celebrated. Here we come to the very heart of the mystery of Christian shepherding, since Christ the Shepherd is also the Lamb. Indeed, he is the Shepherd because he is the Lamb. No pastor can be a true shepherd of God's flock unless he is one with the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world. We cannot hope to be shepherds conformed to Christ unless we live the mystery of his Cross (cf. Phil Ph 3,10). This is no less true of pastors in the Church today than it was of the Apostles to whose tombs you come as pilgrims. In dying a martyr's death, they were made completely one with the Lamb of God and thus they are for ever the shepherds who "from their place in heaven. . . guide us still" (Preface of the Apostles I). What is true of the pastors is also true of the whole Church, the priestly People of God, in the world. The heart of all pastoral activity and of every form of apostolate is union with Christ's Paschal Mystery. By becoming one with the crucified and risen Lord through the grace of the Holy Spirit, all the baptized become capable of taking part in the Church's evangelizing mission and in her service to the human family. Shepherd and sheep have complementary vocations of service.
4. Une telle vision de la complémentarité et de communion entre prêtres et laïcs entraîne des formes de vies spécifiques pour les prêtres et pour la formation dans les séminaires, qui font apparaître clairement que le prêtre est un homme mis à part pour un service particulier. Dans la liturgie et dans la charge pastorale des communautés, les prêtres continuent l'unique sacerdoce de Jésus Christ, "le Chef des pasteurs" (1P 5,4). En conduisant le troupeau et en présidant ses prières, le prêtre l'élève vers Dieu et ennoblit la vocation chrétienne de tous les fidèles, dont il est le serviteur. Il est important que les prêtres soient en même temps "mis à part" et "serviteurs", l'un étant la condition de l'autre. Si le prêtre n'est pas clairement mis à part, il ne pourra pas remplir le service que l'Eglise lui demande; s'il n'est pas un véritable serviteur, il sera conduit à une solitude vide et stérile qui est étrangère à un pasteur authentique. Le célibat sacerdotal, la discipline de prière, la simplicité de vie et l'habit ecclésiastique constituent des signes évidents que le prêtre est un homme mis à part pour le service de l'Evangile. Il est indéniable que de tels signes sont porteurs de fruits, spécialement dans une culture qui cherche de manière angoissée des signes de la transcendance, une culture qui est à la recherche de vrais pasteurs et de témoins convaincants.
5. La complémentarité de la vocation différente des prêtres et des laïcs doit constituer le cadre dans lequel se déploient les efforts pour rassembler les forces de l'Eglise en vue de la nouvelle évangélisation au Canada. Cette complémentarité, qui répond au caractère symphonique du Corps du Christ, dont tous sont membres mais dans lequel tous n'ont pas les mêmes fonctions, est la condition d'une coopération porteuse de grâce à la mission de l'Eglise. La charge pastorale des prêtres n'est en aucun cas une manière d'étouffer les initiatives des laïcs ni de réduire le peuple à une attitude de passivité ou de dépendance. Il convient au contraire de favoriser des formes de témoignages laïques qui non seulement rendront plus efficacement l'Eglise présente au coeur du monde, mais feront naître d'abondantes et de bonnes vocations sacerdotales. Il faut prendre soin cependant d'éviter d'atténuer la distinction entre le sacerdoce ministériel et la vocation laïque, car ce n'est certainement pas ce que les Pères conciliaires avaient en vue lorsqu'ils demandaient une plus grande coopération entre les prêtres et les laïcs, cherchant en particulier à affermir la vocation des laïcs dans l'Eglise et dans le monde. Une notion imprécise de la mission différente des prêtres et des laïcs a parfois conduit à une crise d'identité et de confiance au sein du clergé, mais aussi à des formes d'activité laïques qui sont soit trop cléricalisées, soit trop "politisées".
Le premier domaine de la vocation laïque est la vie de la société, de la culture et de l'entreprise, qui s'étend bien au-delà des limites visibles de l'Eglise. Les laïcs, hommes et femmes, y sont appelés à remplir leur vocation baptismale et à promouvoir l'art d'être chrétiens dans le monde. A notre époque où diminuent les entrées dans l'Eglise et la pratique religieuse, il peut sembler étrange que l'Eglise veuille mettre l'accent sur la vocation séculière des laïcs. C'est précisément la mission évangélisatrice des laïcs dans le monde qui constitue la réponse de l'Eglise au malaise de l'indifférence, que l'on décrit souvent comme la "sécularisation". La tâche spécifique des laïcs d'aujourd'hui, hommes et femmes, était un des thèmes prépondérants de l'Exhortation apostolique post-synodale Ecclesia in America, qui dit entre autre: "Bien que l'apostolat intra-ecclésial des laïcs doive être stimulé, il faut faire en sorte qu'il coexiste avec l'activité propre des laïcs pour laquelle ils ne peuvent être substitués par des prêtres, à savoir le domaine des réalités temporelles" (n. 44).
6. We must not forget that the intention of the Second Vatican Council was to unleash new evangelizing forces within the Church, in the wake of the devastation caused by the two World Wars and looking to the prospects of the new millennium. A new kind of missionary commitment was required, a new evangelization, and the Council, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, became the means of setting that dynamism in motion. This has been the overriding purpose of every new provision for the life of the Church resulting from the Council. Therefore, we must carefully avoid any form of ecclesial introversion that would be unfaithful to the Council's intention, since it would diminish rather than increase the missionary thrust needed to meet the needs of the new century.
Dear Brother Bishops, we are called to listen with a disciple's ear to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (cf. Rv Ap 2,7), so that we may speak as teachers in Christ's name, joyfully declaring with Saint John Damascene: "O glorious people of the Church, towering mountain, pure and clear, you who rely on the help of God, you in whom God takes his rest, receive from our lips the true faith of Christ untainted by error as it is handed down to us, which builds up and strengthens the Church" (Statement of Faith, 1). I pray most fervently that you will succeed in this great pastoral task, so that the Church in Canada will shine forth in all her glory as the Bride of Christ, whom he has taken to himself in infinite love. Entrusting your apostolic mission to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, who in every age is the bright Star of Evangelization, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, and to the priests, the women and men religious, and the lay faithful of your Dioceses.
Castel Gandolfo, 25 September 1999
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. This special audience, on the occasion of the world meeting of those entrusted by Episcopal Conferences with responsibility for university chaplaincies, is a joy for me since it affords me an opportunity, among other things, to express my keen appreciation of the work you are doing in the universities of your respective nations. I greet Cardinal Pio Laghi, whom I thank for his noble expression of the sentiments you all share. I also greet Cardinal Paul Poupard and the other prelates here, along with the academic authorities present. And I extend my greetings to all of you who devote your energies to such an important sphere as the university world.
This world meeting is certainly a worthwhile enrichment for you all, since it allows you to have a profitable exchange of experiences at the level of the local Churches. It also gives you the opportunity to work together on preparing the Jubilee for university students, which next year will bring to Rome numerous representatives of universities and scholastic institutes from every part of the world.
I know you are preparing for this event with commitment and dedication. In this regard, I wish to express my great pleasure with the booklet compiled by the Congregation for Catholic Education, together with the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Diocese of Rome, to awaken the interest of university students in the Great Jubilee and to prepare them for it. I entrust it to you and to all who work in university chaplaincies: it offers themes for reflection and practical suggestions which will find a creative response on each local scene, in order to converge again, with joy and enthusiasm, in the common celebration of the World Youth Day and, especially, in the Jubilee for university teachers next year.
2. The theme you have chosen - the university for a new humanism - is boldly situated at the critical point where the dynamics of knowledge intersect with the word of the Gospel. I am sure that, entrusted to your care and to that of Catholic and ecclesiastical universities, it will not fail to bear abundant fruit. It is your intention to involve the whole university community in its various composite dimensions (students, teachers, administrative personnel) and in its specific nature as a privileged place for fostering and transmitting culture: the Gospel is the basis for a conception of the world and of man that continually bears cultural, humanistic and ethic values which can influence one's entire view of life and history.
This confirms the university's primary vocation, sometimes jeopardized by distracting and pragmatic pressures: to be a place rich in formation and humanitas, serving the quality of life according to the integral truth about man on his journey through history. It is a culture of man and for man, which is spread and invigorated in the various fields of knowledge, in the ways and forms of morality, in the correct and harmonious ordering of society.
In this regard there are many problems that must be faced by university chaplaincies in their daily activity. New problems have appeared following the profound changes that have occurred in these final years of the millennium. At their root lies the constant challenge posed by the relationship between faith and reason, between faith and culture, between faith and scientific progress. In the university setting, the appearance of new knowledge and new cultural currents is always tied, directly or indirectly, to the great questions about man, about the meaning of his existence and action, about the value of conscience and the interpretation of freedom. This is why the priority task for Catholic intellectuals is to promote a renewed and vital synthesis between faith and culture, without ever forgetting that in their multifaceted educational activity the central reference-point remains Christ, the one Saviour of the world.
3. Dear brothers and sisters, proclaim by your life and your work the great news: "Ecce natus est nobis Salvator mundi"! This mystery is the very centre of the Jubilee celebration, which invites every believer to become a tireless messenger of this joyful truth.
To fulfil this apostolic task, however, he must let himself be docilely guided by the divine Word. This is inferred from St Paul's apostolic legacy to the elders of Ephesus: "I commend you", he said, "to God and to the Word of his grace" (Ac 20,32). The Apostle commends the elders to the Word, convinced that they, before being bearers of the Word, have been borne by the Word of God. This is precisely because the Word is powerful and effective. As something living and active (He 4,12), it has the power to save souls (Jc 1,21), to grant an inheritance among all who are sanctified (Ac 20,32), to impart the wisdom that leads to salvation (2Tm 3,15), because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who has faith (Rm 1,16).
In this connection, the Second Vatican Council states that the Gospel has the power continually to renew life and culture, to purify and elevate them (cf. Gaudium et spes, GS 58). We should not be discouraged when we see how inadequate our own forces are in relation to the problems we face. This was the drama St Paul lived, but, knowing the power of the Gospel, he told the Corinthians: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2Co 4,7).
4. The aim of every apostolic effort in a university setting must be to enable young people, teachers and everyone who works in the academic world to meet Christ personally.
To this end, the specific service of a university ministry, which is committed to encouraging and coordinating these various ecclesial realities active in this field, proves very useful: from chaplaincies to the colleges, from parish groups to faculty groups. The horizons for the evangelization of culture, in fact, cannot be restricted to the confines of the university campus. It permeates all the Church's activity and becomes more effective the more it is integrated into an organized pastoral ministry.
In this framework, it is desirable that a chaplaincy, the heart of university ministry, be set up at every university. It should be the driving force of formation and of the specific cultural programmes for evangelization. Its task will be to foster a frank and open dialogue with the various components of the university, offering suitable paths for seeking a personal encounter with Christ.
It will also be useful to promote significant initiatives at the national level, such as a committee on university ministry within the Episcopal Conference and a University Day, organized as a time of prayer, reflection and planning. As has already occurred on the European level, it would be beneficial to set up ways to coordinate the chaplains on every continent, in collaboration with the pastoral offices of the Episcopal Conferences, in order to strengthen cooperation between the manifold resources of the local programmes.
5. The Church invites you, dear brothers and sisters, to be evangelizers of culture. The believer, enlightened and guided by the Word of God, is not afraid to confront human thought. On the contrary, he embraces it as his own, in the certainty of the transcendence of revealed truth, which enlightens and makes the most of human effort. Wisdom and truth come from God: wherever there is an effort to reflect honestly, wherever there is unbiased passion for the truth, a way is already open to Christ, the Saviour of mankind.
Dear brothers and sisters, be convinced that you are not alone in this demanding missionary task. Christ is walking with you! Therefore, courageously proclaim him and bear witness to him: this message has the strength and the power to stir and astonish those who hear it, moving them to make a personal decision in its regard (cf. Lk Lc 2,34-35).
I invoke the protection of Mary, Sedes Sapientiae, on you, on your university communities and on everyone you meet in your daily ministry, and, as I assure you of a special remembrance in my prayer, I cordially impart to you my affectionate Blessing.
Castel Gandolfo, 25 september 1999
Speeches 1999 - Maribor, 19 September 1999