NEWS STORY: Pope Opens Penitential Season of Lent With Ashes in His Hospital Room

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c. 2005 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Unable for the first time in his 26 years as Roman Catholic pontiff to preside over an Ash Wednesday church service, Pope John Paul II opened the penitential season of Lent (on Feb. 9) from his hospital room. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the 84-year-old pontiff blessed […]

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