DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     May 25, 1999     vol. 10, no. 101

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

IRAQ PATRIARCH HOPEFUL UN WILL WORK TO ALLOW PAPAL VISIT AS POPE AWAITS VISIT OF JORDAN KING

          BAGHDAD (CWNews.com) - The Catholic Chaldean Patriarch of Iraq, Rafael I Bidawid, said on Friday that Pope John Paul II is set on making a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Abraham this year despite political, logistical, and military hurdles to overcome.

          The patriarch said he expects the United Nations to suspend a ban on direct air travel to Iraq to allow the Holy Father to visit Iraq at an unspecified date later this year. "He told me his dream was to make that trip, to see Abraham's journey repeated, and I think he is determined to do it," said Patriarch Rafael. "He has long called for unity and Abraham is the father of all believers," including Muslims, Christians, and Jews, he said.

          Under current UN sanctions against Iraq -- for its 1990 invasion of its neighbor Kuwait and its efforts to create weapons of mass destruction -- direct air travel to Iraq is forbidden and travelers must fly into Amman, Jordan, and make a grueling 12-hour drive to Baghdad. The Pontiff has been a frequent critic of the sanctions for their deleterious effects on the population of Iraq, especially children.

          The patriarch also said the US and British militaries should suspend attacks -- which have been occurring almost daily since December -- on Iraqi military facilities in the northern and southern no-fly zones during the papal visit.

          Meanwhile, it was announced from Amman that Jordan's King Abdullah will meet Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on June 4, according to a senior Vatican diplomat in Jordan on Sunday.

          Jordanian officials declined to confirm the meeting which would take place following the king's planned trip to France on June 2 and a meeting in Amman on June 3 with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah, who has held the throne only for three months, has already travelled extensively in the Persian Gulf region, North Africa, Europe, and North America.

          Abdullah succeeded his father King Hussein, who made peace with Israel in 1994, after Hussein's death from cancer in February. The new king has repeatedly expressed his support and optimism for the Middle East peace process for which the pope has also frequently expressed support.


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.

May 25, 1999       volume 10, no. 101
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

|    Back to Graphics Front Page     Back to Text Only Front Page     |    Archives     |    What the DAILY CATHOLIC offers     |    DAILY CATHOLIC Ship Logs    |    Ports o' Call LINKS     |    Catholic Webrings    |    Catholic & World News Ticker Headlines     |    Why we NEED YOUR HELP     |    Why the DAILY CATHOLIC is FREE     |    Our Mission     |    Who we are    |    Books offered     |    Permissions     |    Top 100 Catholics of the Century    |    Enter Porthole HomePort Page    |    Port of Entry Home Page |    E-Mail Us