THURSDAY
March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

ARAFAT'S WIFE CLAIMS POPE SUPPORTS STATEHOOD

    BETHLEHEM (CWNews.com) -- The wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat saw great political significance in the visit of Pope John Paul II to Bethlehem-- despite Vatican disavowals of any political message.

    Suha Tawil-- who is a baptized Christian, although she also practices Islam-- told reporters that most Palestinians are "joyous" and "pride" to welcome the Pope to their territory. But she made a point of the fact that John Paul kissed the ground of Palestinian territory-- a gesture which, she insisted, "sends us a clear message: the Pope is speaking in favor of a free and independent Palestinian state."

    (Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls insisted that the papal gesture had no such significance. He pointed out that Pope John Paul has habitually kissed the ground upon his arrival in each new land.)

    Questioned about the status of Jerusalem-- which is claimed by both Israel and Palestine as a capital-- Suha Tawil deferred, saying that such questions were beyond her competence. However, she did say, "I think there is a place for everyone in Jerusalem."

          

March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
NEWS & VIEWS

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