Pope celebrates 80th birthday tomorrow

Wednesday, May 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Vatican City-AP) -- Pope John Paul is celebrating his 80th birthday tomorrow with a symbolic tribute to the roots of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

A performance directed by a Jewish conductor is one highlight of the birthday celebration tomorrow at the Vatican.

The pope has chosen Brooklyn-born Gilbert Levine to conduct Haydn's "Creation." The work depicts the start of the universe by the common God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Pope John Paul has also invited priests from around the world to help him celebrate a Mass at St. Peter's Cathedral. In Poland, his native land, there will be special birthday Masses celebrated at churches throughout the country.

Despite his age, the pope has given no hint of retiring.

U-S Archbishop John Foley says the pope often says, "Heaven is the time to rest. Now is the time to work."