THE POPE is preparing a new document focusing on the Church in the third millennium, according to Italian newspaper La Stampa. Quoting "Holy See sources", the paper said that the document may become the Pope's first encyclical of the next millennium.
The document, which may appear in the year 2000, will address more thoroughly the topics covered in the 1994 apostolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, which prepared the Church for the Great Jubilee.
The text will analyse 2,000 years of Christianity, dwelling particularly on the 20th century, before offering a vision of hope based on the renewal of faith in the new millennium.
John Paul II is reported to be writing the text during his holiday in Les Combes.