DAILY CATHOLIC for February 13-15, 1998
NEWS & VIEWS
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vol, 9
no. 32

VATICAN PLEASED WITH CUBAN PRISONER RELEASE AT SAME TIME POPE NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

     VATICAN (CWN) -- The Vatican today expressed warm approval of the news that Cuba had released some political prisoners, saying that the move offered "concrete hope for the future of that noble country."

      The Vatican confirmed that some Cuban prisoners had been released in "an act of clemency and good will," in accordance with a request made by Pope John Paul during his January visit to the island nation. The names of those who have been released have been conveyed to the Holy See by international organizations, human-rights groups, and the families of the released prisoners.

      Apparently the releases to date have involved "dozens" of prisoners, from a list of 300 names given to Cuban authorities by the Holy Father. The Vatican noted that the Cuban government has said it is still studying other cases.

      Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, told the daily Avvenire, "This is a sign that the words of the Pope were not in vain." During his trip to Cuba the Holy Father had denounced the suffering of people who are imprisoned "for reasons of conscience."

      The fruits of this and other endeavors is being rewarded by the fact Pope John Paul II is among the nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, according to a report from the Nobel committee in Oslo. The Holy Father has been nominated as a "universal symbol of peace," because of his many interventions in search of a peaceful way to resolve conflicts-- such as those in Bosnia and in the Middle East.

      The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is named in mid-October. The prize is formally awarded in December.


Acknowledgment:

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February 13-15, 1998       volume 9, no. 32
NEWS & VIEWS



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