Speeches 2002 - Thursday, 27 June 2002
Thursday, 27 June 2002
1. I am pleased to greet Your Excellency at the beginning of your mission to the Holy See and warmly thank you for your courteous words. Through you, I cordially greet His Excellency Mr Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, and express my fervent good wishes to him for his new mandate at the service of the French people. To all your fellow citizens, my best wishes for their happiness and prosperity.
2. On this solemn occasion, there are many subjects I would like to discuss, given the centuries-old history of relations between France and the Holy See and the new prospects that open before us for the future. I would be happy today to emphasize that France, which from now on you will be representing, has played an essential role in the creation of the European Community and in the gradual unification of the continent, which has recently been symbolized by the adoption of a single currency by 12 countries. As you know, the Holy See is delighted with the creation of this European space which many countries are eager to join and which has favoured the emergence of new living conditions. They should allow a better social development and improve each country's wealth. In this way it will also contribute significantly to fostering peace and understanding among peoples throughout the continent.
Because of its history and specific situation, France is called to play a forceful role in the construction of the European identity and in Europe's enlargement, to make shine out across the world the ideals of "fraternité, égalité et liberté" (brotherhood, equality and freedom), to which your fellow citizens are also legitimately attached. I hope that the French authorities continue to work to put in place structures that will allow Europe to be an agent of peace on all the continents. Isn't this one of the traits of the humanist heritage of Europe, that plunges its roots into its long Christian history, to work to enable each people and nation to live in dignity with respect for the fundamental rights of individuals and groups? At the beginning of the work of the commission mandated to reflect on the appropriateness of a Constitution for the Union, it seems fundamental that the aims of the construction of Europe and the values that must support it should be made more explicit. How can I fail to mention the crucial contribution of the values of Christianity, which has contributed and still contributes to shaping the culture and humanism of which Europe is legitimately proud and without which it is impossible to understand its deepest identity?
In French schools programmes that familiarize students with religious thought and practice
In this spirit, I am very pleased with the research undertaken and the prospects of the courses suggested for the schools so that by means of familiarity with the religious fact, young people may find out about the different religions and human communities that practice them and be involved in the quest for the meaning of life, under the guidance of teachers who are aware of the value of this process. It will encourage mutual respect and contribute to a greater social peace and a deeper brotherhood among all the members of the nation.
Your previous missions, Mr Ambassador, have enabled you to judge how religion is an essential dimension of culture. Far from being a threat to social life, religious forces are in fact a benefit for community life, for they participate in the place which is theirs, in building a society in which the human person is considered in all his dimensions. The national community can thereby benefit from the contribution of the cultural, spiritual and moral values handed on by religious traditions, which tend to favour the establishment of a climate of harmony and peace.
3. In this perspective, I am pleased to underline the importance of the meeting of last 12 February with the principal members of the government. As the fruit of a patient dialogue between the State, the Holy See and the Catholic Church in France, the Prime Minister's meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio, the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris and the officers of the Bishops' Conference proves that the way of dialogue and negotiation to resolve the concrete questions concerning the exercise of freedom of religion and worship are a reciprocal advantage for the State as well as for the Church.
The Holy See is very pleased with the implementation of a permanent dialogue within the framework of the Church's relations with the State. This will certainly encourage a better mutual knowledge and the search for a point of balance between the natural intervention of the Bishops and the assistance and guarantee that are always offered by the presence of the Holy See, especially when essential principles are at stake. The creation of work groups dedicated to the study of aspects of the life of the Catholic Church in your country is promising in this regard. May this spirit of dialogue and agreement always prevail for the service of all!
4. Here in Rome the tradition of a French presence happily endures. Through its numerous initiatives, the Cultural Centre of Saint-Louis de France makes a valuable contribution to reflection on the questions arising in society today. I realize that by this instrument your embassy may propose in a meaningful way the indispensable reflection prompted by the rapid evolution of science and technology. Indeed, the admiration and questions they give rise to call for additional wisdom and are an invitation to reflect on the consequences of applying certain discoveries that could lead to practices that disregard the dignity of the human person.
5. At the end of our encounter, through you, I am pleased to be able to greet the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church in France, suffering from the recent death of two eminent pastors, Cardinals Pierre Eyt and Louis-Marie Billé. I thank God for the vitality and fidelity of so many of the baptized in your country who respond to their Christian vocation through their many commitments to the service of the ecclesial and human communities with immense generosity. May they all, priests, men and women religious and faithful, be assured of my spiritual closeness and warm affection!
Mr Ambassador, at the moment when your mission in the Eternal City is beginning, I offer you my best wishes, assuring you of the full availability of my collaborators to give you the help you may need to accomplish your high function. I ask God to sustain the people of France, so that faithful to its history, spiritual and cultural heritage, it may continue to work for peace and understanding between persons and among peoples, and I very gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, to your staff and to your loved ones.
As I accept the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Holy See, I offer you my cordial welcome. I am grateful for the warm good wishes that President Boris Trajkovski has conveyed to me through Your Excellency. Please reciprocate with my heartfelt good wishes, which I accompany with a special prayer to God, that the beloved people of your country may continue to act wisely for the authentic human development of the nation, as well as for peace and justice in the region. By so doing, your fellow citizens will show that they are faithful heirs to the rich Christian tradition which the Apostle Paul and the holy brothers, Cyril and Methodius, bequeathed to them.
Today's solemn ceremony of the presentation of your Letters of Credence is taking place in a world context that is very far from peaceful. There are alarming outbreaks of violence in different parts of the world, which are often motivated by long-standing animosity and the temptation to rekindle past hostilities.
Unfortunately, your country too has gone through painful experiences. The authorities of your nation, in close collaboration with the leaders of the international community, have dealt carefully with these difficulties. The necessary constitutional reforms have been made. Laws have been promulgated that further respect for the rights of minorities by encouraging the participation of the different members of the population at the various levels of the political process. This will lead to progress on the path of dialogue, to reconciliation and to peaceful coexistence.
In this process, the Church does not cease to recall that the main focus of attention must be the human heart. Indeed, it is here that hatred and abuse can take root, sentiments that give rise to every act of oppression. The intention, therefore, to uproot these sentiments and replace them with an attitude of brotherhood and openness to others, seeing in them what unites rather than what divides, must come from the heart. Actually, any society that wants to be truly civilized and desires to contribute to the progress of peoples must foster an objective and impartial understanding of others in all its members. The value of this kind of understanding in helping individuals to accept cultural and religious traditions that differ from their own is invaluable. It really is the first step towards reconciliation, given that the respect of differences is an indispensable condition for genuine relationships between individuals and groups. An ethnocentric culture, even when it claims to solve the problems on the table, only succeeds in exacerbating the difficulties and spreading further divisions.
The Church is profoundly concerned about the social dimension of human life, and concern for the well-being of society is an essential part of the Christian message (cf. Centesimus annus CA 5). She therefore invites her members to take an active part in political, economic and social life in their respective countries, to ensure that the light of faith and the Gospel message of reconciliation and forgiveness are spread in them.
The prerequisites of justice demand that every time an error is made or a wrong committed it be recognized and as far as possible atoned for; but human justice is ultimately founded in the law of God and in his plan of salvation for humanity (cf. Dives in misericordia DM 14). Therefore, if it is fully accepted, justice is not limited to re-establishing what is right between the parties in conflict, but presupposes restoring the proper harmony of each one with God, with others and with himself.
This is why there is no contradiction between forgiveness and justice. Indeed forgiveness does not diminish the needs of justice, but seeks to reintegrate individuals and groups in society, and states that in the community of nations, through a renewed sense of responsibility and wherever possible, solidarity with the victims of past injustices.
This is the reason why all social classes must act together to build a civil coexistence in which the dignity of the person and the respect for human rights is the norm of conduct for all: individuals, governments and international organizations. Yes, true peace is the fruit of justice, "that moral virtue and legal guarantee which ensures full respect for rights and responsibilities, and the just distribution of benefits and burdens" (Message for World Day of Peace 2002, n. 3). This must be the broadest context for the various priorities which - in the long tradition of tolerance and respect for the different ethnic groups to which you referred - the Government follows, as it strives to introduce a new era of peace and stability for the nation.
I am pleased to be able to assure you that Catholics, despite their situation as a small minority in the country, will not fail to join in the building of civil society, and in particular in promoting and safeguarding human rights, in relieving situations of poverty and in the education of youth.
Mr Ambassador, your Government's decision to appoint an ambassador to the Holy See who is resident in Rome cannot but strengthen the bonds of friendship and understanding that already exist.
I am sure that the period of your service in this role will help to deepen this relationship, and I would like to assure you that the various offices of the Holy See will cooperate in every possible way to facilitate the fulfilment of your mission. With these sentiments, I invoke the abundant Blessings of the Most High upon you and upon the beloved people of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
1. "Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God" (1 Jn 4,7).
With great joy I welcome you to Rome on this feast day. I am deeply grateful to the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness Bartholomew I, and the Holy Synod who have sent you for this celebration in a spirit of ecclesial brotherhood and mutual love.
2. The annual exchange of visits in Rome for the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, and at the Phanar, for the feast of St Andrew, revives the love of our hearts and encourages us to continue on our way toward full communion. As we journey on, we can already live now a form of harmony with a view to full unity round the one altar of the Lord. During this year, the Lord has given us occasions to manifest to the world our common desire to seek and explore all the paths that can lead us to unity, to direct to humanity an appeal for peace and brotherhood, in mutual respect, justice and charity.
3. Today once again I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness Bartholomew I, for his fraternal participation in the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi. With other brethren, we have proclaimed to the world in our different forms, John's exhortation: "Let us love one another, for love comes from God" (1Jn 4,7). If humanity is firmly committed to taking this path, little by little the violence and threats that threaten men and women will be eased.
4. At the end of the Fourth Symposium on the Environment which was dedicated to the Adriatic Sea, I had the joy of signing the Venice Declaration with His Holiness Bartholomew I. This text expresses our common commitment to safeguarding and respecting nature; it manifests equally our desire to work to ensure that in our world science is at the service of people and that people always feel responsible for creation.
5. Much still remains to be done so that a greater brotherhood may reign on earth. The desire for revenge often prevails over peace, especially in the Holy Land and in other regions of the world struck by blind violence. This gives us a sense of the precariousness of peace that obliges us to unite our forces and so that we may be together and act together so that the world may find in our common witness the strength required to make the changes that are indispensable. This path of collaboration will also lead us to full communion following Christ's will for his disciples.
6. However, if we are firmly convinced that they are necessary, the dialogue of charity and our own brotherhood must not suffer. We have to persevere so that the dialogue of charity may sustain and nourish our dialogue of truth; I refer here to the theological dialogue whose beginning we announced to the world on the occasion of the feast of St Andrew in 1979, with the late lamented Patriarch Dimitrios, putting in this step great hope. In spite of our efforts, this theological dialogue is at a standstill. We realize our inability to overcome our divisions and find the strength in ourselves to look with hope to the future. This delicate stage must not dismay us; nor can we be indifferent to this state of affairs. We cannot renounce the continuation of the theological dialogue that is an indispensable step to unity.
Your Eminence, dear members of the Delegation, I thank you for your visit. I would be grateful if you would convey my brotherly greetings to His Holiness Bartholomew I, to the members of the Holy Synod and to all the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. My visit to the Phanar remains an indelible memory, which I recall with the greatest joy. May the Lord be always with us!
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. I am very pleased to welcome you and to renew my cordial greetings to you. After the celebration on Saturday, the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, during which, according to tradition, I conferred on you, Metropolitans appointed during the past year, the sacred pallium, this meeting enables us to meet in a more family-like atmosphere.
Today again, it is the family of the Church that I can admire in contemplating you who come from diocesan communities on all five continents.
2. I greet with affection the Patriarch of Venice and the Archbishop of Catania, together with the great number of confreres, friends and faithful who have wished to accompany them on this special pilgrimage. May your dioceses always be distinguished by an intense and active spirit of communion.
I address a cordial welcome to the French-speaking pilgrims who came to be with their archbishops for the reception of the pallium, especially the faithful from the Dioceses of Gagnoa in Côte d'Ivoire, Saint-Boniface in Canada and Bordeaux in France. May this sign, given to your bishops, help you live in ever greater communion with the whole Church!
I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking Metropolitans and to the pilgrims accompanying them: from Newark, Madang, Visakhapatnam, Cardiff, Adelaide, Kumasi, New Orleans, Glasgow, Calcutta and Kingston. Your presence is an eloquent sign of the universality of the Church and a powerful witness to the communion through which the Church lives and fulfils her saving mission.
Dear friends: may your pilgrimage to the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul confirm you in the Catholic faith which comes to us from the Apostles. To you and to the local Churches that you represent I offer the assurance of my prayers and of my affection in the Lord.
I greet with affection the new archbishops of the Archdioceses of Burgos and Oviedo in Spain, Assumption in Paraguay, and Calabozo and Cumaná in Venezuela, as well as your relatives and friends. At the time when I express my cordial congratulations to you for the day of the reception of the pallium, I desire that, in putting on this ornament, the sign of a special bond of communion with the See of Peter, you might be living witnesses of faith and bearers of hope in the risen Christ in the particular Churches entrusted to you.
I also greet with affection the new Brazilian archbishops with their relatives and friends from the Archdioceses of Rio de Janeiro, Juiz de Fora, Florianópolis, Goiânia, Vitória da Conquista and Feira de Santana. With my congratulations on this occasion, I express the wish that, wearing this insignia, the sign of a special bond of communion with the See of Peter, you may serve as a stimulus to faith and hope in the risen Christ in the particular Churches that have been entrusted to you.
I am happy to greet Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the Mother of God in Moscow, and the group of relatives, friends and faithful who are with him. May the Virgin Theotokos obtain for each one and especially for the Catholic community of Russia the graces they desire.
I cordially greet the pilgrims who have come from Poznan accompanying their pastor, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, on the occasion of the conferral of the pallium, a sign of union with the Successor of Peter. I ask you always to remain faithfully with him and to support him with your prayers. God bless you!
3. "Plebs adunata de unitate Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti": this is the Church, according to the ancient definition of St Cyprian (De Orat. Dom. 23: PL 4, 553) revived by the Second Vatican Council.
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, always be passionate servants of the unity of the Church! And you, dear brothers and sisters, may you always be able to collaborate with them, so that every ecclesial community may live and work with one heart and one mind.
As I invoke the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, with great affection I renew my Blessing on you.
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
1. I am pleased to welcome you to our meeting, Pastors of Christ's Church in Peru, who are making your ad limina visit to the See of Peter, the Apostle who received the mandate to "strengthen his brethren" in the faith (cf. Lk Lc 22,32) and crowned his witness of love and faithfulness to the Lord by pouring out his blood for him in Rome.
I am grateful for the kind words addressed to me by Bishop Luis Armando Bambarén Gastelumendi of Chimbote, President of the Bishops' Conference, in which he identified the "bond of unity, charity and peace" which unite you to the Bishop of Rome (Lumen gentium LG 22), as well as the principal aspirations that motivate your apostolic mission in the different particular Churches entrusted to you. As Pastor of the universal Church, I share in your anxieties, and encourage you to persevere in your devotion with generosity in an open spirit, giving an incentive to the gripping task of pastoral renewal at the beginning of the new millennium.
2. One of the crucial challenges of our time, as I pointed out in my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, is precisely to make a spirituality of communion prevail in the Church and guide all the dimensions and sectors of pastoral action (cf. nn. 43-45). Indeed, communion as a spirituality that is rooted in the Trinity, as an educational principle and a Christian attitude that we must witness to openly, as well as being an imperative of Christ's Message (cf. Ecclesia in America ), is also a response to the "world's deepest yearnings" (Novo Millennio ineunte NM 43).
Through your broad pastoral experience, you are certainly familiar with the paradox of a historical moment in which the almost unlimited scope for contact and exchange frequently goes hand in hand with a sense of isolation that causes fragmentation and conflict in various human contexts. In confronting this situation, the Church must remember and continually revive the incomparable experience of Pentecost, when "all together the disciples praised God in all the languages, since the Spirit had led the distant peoples to unity and offered to the Father the first-fruits of all the nations" (St Irenaeus, Adv. Haeres, 3,17,2). Then, Brothers in the Episcopate, you are called to be an example of communion in collegial affection, without jeopardizing the responsibity that each one has in his own local Church, which in turn "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of unity" (Lumen gentium LG 23).
3. Should the scarcity of means, misunderstandings, differences of opinion or of origin among your people, or any other difficulties discourage them, Jesus never fails to bring comfort by showing us that "even winds and sea obey him" (Mt 8,27). It is therefore necessary to rely on him and to increase in all believers a true desire for holiness, to which we are all called and in which the human being's deepest aspirations are fulfilled.
Peru, which has been blessed by God with abundant fruits of holiness, has many examples which can illumine the generations of today and unfold great prospects before them. Among others, figures such as St Toribio de Mogrovejo, St Rose of Lima, St Martín of Porres, St Francis Solano or St Juan Macías should not be forgotten. They are examples for Pastors, who must identify with Jesus Christ's personal approach that consists of simplicity, poverty, closeness, the renunciation of personal benefits and complete trust in the strength of the Spirit over and above any human means (cf. Ecclesia in America ). They are also models for believers, who find in the saints a living proof of the marvels God works in well-disposed hearts, whatever the social class or walk of life in which they receive his grace.
Your nation must indeed feel favoured by its many fruits of holiness, for they reveal very clearly your people's deep Christian roots, which have made a decisive contribution to forging its identity. Far from being disregarded they must be safeguarded as an indispensable value.
4. In this context it is particularly important to kindle in young people a passion for the great ideals of the Gospel, in such a way that more and more of them feel drawn to dedicating their whole life to proclaiming and witnessing that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2Co 3,17). In this way, the evangelization of the new generations must be accompanied spontaneously by a vocations ministry, every day more urgently needed, which will unfold new horizons of hope in the local Churches.
Painstaking attention to the formation imparted in seminaries is equally important. In addition to fostering the candidate's human maturity, so that he may make himself completely available to God and the Church with full awareness and responsibility, each one must be wisely guided towards a profound spiritual life that will prepare him effectively and affectively to take on his demanding future ministry. The prerequisites of unconditionally following Jesus in the ministerial priesthood or in the consecrated life must be clearly presented and addressed in full, so that those who truly love him may repeat in their hearts in the face of any difficulty Peter's words: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6,68).
Your country needs priests and evangelizers who are holy, learned and faithful to their vocation. This requirement cannot be foregone, merely because their numbers are few or because of other social or cultural circumstances. In this task the bishop must show special closeness as the father and teacher of his seminarians, relying on the unconditional and transparent cooperation of the formation teachers. An emphasis should also be placed on the spirit of collaboration among the different dioceses, so that they can offer better personal and material means to their candidates to the priesthood. This collaboration can have excellent results and shows concrete solidarity with the particular Churches in the most precarious financial position.
5. You also expressed your concern about the problems affecting marriage and the family which are due to certain cultural trends and to a specific atmosphere, at times in "militant" opposition to the authentic meaning of these institutions (cf. Novo Millennio ineunte NM 47). In this regard, it is important that human life and family coexistence are also motivated by the Christian project of holiness, since God's plan for all human beings and their sublime dignity as a sign of the love that unites Christ with his Church (cf. Eph Ep 5,32) must be fully respected.
The complexity of the aspects involved in this area also require a multi-disciplinary pastoral action, in which the Pastors' catechetical project is integrated with the educational action of other lay faithful, the reciprocal help among families and the promotion of conditions favourable to the growth of the spouses' love and the family's stability. Indeed, it is indispensable that young people know the true beauty of love, "for love is of God" (1Jn 4,8), so that they develop an attitude of self-giving and not selfishness, that they begin their coexistence with a clear, pure spirit in which they retain the treasure of the experience of shared faith. They must also face their future as a true vocation to which God is calling them in order to collaborate with the ineffable task of giving life.
The pastoral care of families must also consider those aspects which can condition the dignified development of the duties that belong to this fundamental institution. It must encourage greater financial support of new families being formed, greater opportunities to obtain decent housing that will prevent the deterioration of the family, and the effective possibility of exercising the right to bring up children in accordance with the family's faith and with an ethical sense of life. This means Pastors must make their voices heard to highlight the importance of the family as the first and fundamental cell of society and its irreplaceable contribution to the common good of all citizens.
This becomes especially urgent when, for more or less opportunist reasons, contraceptive policies are presented, the desire for marital fidelity stifled and the normal development of family life otherwise impeded.
6. I am pleased to see the strength and creativity of the action for the needy of the Church in Peru. It is even more necessary at a time when the difficult economic situation in this region is giving rise to many forms of poverty, old and new, and an increase in violence. When so many of God's children are living in subhuman conditions, an impetus must be given to pastoral care, involving tangible and organized social assistance, that will satisfy the most urgent needs and lay the foundations of a harmonious and lasting development based on the spirit of fraternal solidarity.
In this regard, I express my deepest gratitude to the numerous ecclesial institutions that with great energy and dedication take the light of the Gospel and fraternal help to the most remote corners of Peru, from the forests of the Amazon, to the Cordilleras of the Andes and the coastal plains. It is wonderful to see how, in this area, when efforts are combined, differences vanish and boundaries are overcome. The institutes of consecrated life are distinguishing themselves in this. They can be considered "a living exegesis of Jesus' words: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me'" (Vita consecrata VC 82). It is up to Pastors to make all these projects a clear sign of the Church's concern that none of her members, Pastors or faithful, should be unmoved by spiritual and material need, whether this regards daily support, personal dignity or the effective opportunity to participate in the common good of their people.
7. At the end of this fraternal meeting, I repeat my encouragement to you to persevere in your work of guiding and enlightening the life of your particular Churches, which I entrust to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelization. Please take the Pope's greetings and affection back to your priests and seminarians, the missionaries, religious communities, catechists, teachers and committed lay people, as well as to the elderly and the sick, who are beside you and help you in the exciting task of sowing the Gospel in Peruvian hearts which are a fountain of hope and peace.
As I accompany you with my prayers and affection, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.
1. Your institute is celebrating its 330th anniversary today. Indeed, on 2 July 1672 Anna Moroni and 12 girls consecrated themselves to Christ in Rome, resolving to follow him and serve him in the "little", especially through catechesis and the education of youth. I am pleased to address a special Message to you on this happy occasion. I greet each one of you, with a particular thought for your Superior General, whom I thank for the sentiments she has expressed on behalf of you all.
Dear sisters, you have looked forward so much to meeting the Successor of Peter, to whom you are bound by your appreciated service in the Pontifical Sacristy, entrusted to you by my Venerable Predecessor, Bl. Innocent XI. I am grateful to you for the application and diligent care with which you have fulfilled it since then. Your spirituality, stamped by contemplation of the Child Jesus in Bethlehem, impels you to treat the holy things necessary for the liturgy in the same loving way that the Virgin Mary wrapped her newborn son in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger (cf. Lk Lc 2,7). Adoration of the Infant Jesus encourages you to be ever more gentle and humble of heart, imitating his obedience and hard work in the Holy Family.
2. "Living the spirituality of Bethlehem, to achieve conformity with the incarnate Word": this is the charism of your congregation, closely connected with the mystery of the Incarnation. I feel that the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 was a privileged occasion for you to deepen this "spirit of Bethlehem" even further. It is the essence of spiritual childhood which, as your Congregation's Constitutions stress, helps you "through God's grace to acquire the same virtues with respect to God and your neighbour which children have by nature: innocence, spontaneity, openness, sincerity, trust, rectitude, the simplicity that is born from divine wisdom".
Speeches 2002 - Thursday, 27 June 2002