SATURDAY
January 6, 2001
volume 12, no. 6
Pope says Clinton Never Listened


    ROME (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II has been quoted as saying that US President Bill Clinton was the only world leader with whom he wasn't able to have a good conversation and said that he had urged former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to resign when they met in Chile in the 1980s.

    In an interview published on Thursday, the Holy Father's surgeon revealed details of some conversations the two men have had over the years. Surgeon Gianfranco Fineschi said the Pope told him, "The only leader I did not manage to have a proper conversation with was Clinton. I was speaking and he was looking at one of the walls, admiring the frescos and the paintings. He was not listening to me." Clinton met the Pope at the Vatican in June 1994.

    He also said the Pope once referred to discussions he had with former Polish President General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who introduced martial law in Poland in 1981 to crush the pro-freedom and pro-Catholic Solidarity movement. "Jaruzelski told me: 'I am a Catholic but before the Red Army this counts for nothing'," the Pope was quoted as saying.

    On the former Chilean dictator, he said: "Pinochet, whom I advised to resign, said much the same thing and after our meeting he tried, within his limits, to improve the harsher aspects of his regime." The Vatican has not commented on the veracity of the details of the reported conversations.

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January 6, 2001
volume 12, no. 6
News from the Vatican



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