DAILY CATHOLIC for March 10, 1998
NEWS & VIEWS
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vol, 9, no. 49

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Articles provided through Catholic World News ServiceCatholic World News Service
POPE MEETS US SECRETARY OF STATE, EXPRESSES ALARM OVER FIGHTING IN KOSOVO

     VATICAN (CWN) -- During a 30-minute conversation with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Saturday, March 7, Pope John Paul II emphasized America's responsibilities as a world power, particularly concerning Kosovo, the Middle East, China, and Cuba.

      Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that the atmosphere of the meeting was "very cordial." Albright was accompanied to the Vatican by US Ambassador Lindy Boggs. After her audience with the Holy Father, she also met with the Holy See's Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and his deputy, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran.

      "The conversations allowed a useful exchange of opinion regarding the responsibilities of the United States on the world scene," Navarro-Valls told reporters in Rome. He indicated that the newly erupted violence in the Serbian province of Kosovo was high on the agenda.

      Prior to the meeting, sources at the Vatican had predicted that the Holy Father would also seek to discuss American policies regarding the Middle East (Iraq in particular) and Cuba. Navarro- Valls confirmed that those topics had been discussed, and that the Pope had noted the apparent move toward political liberty in Cuba after his visit there in January. The Pope also asked for American help in the effort to encourage religious freedom in China, he said, as well as help in ending bloody ethnic rivalries in central Africa.

      The next day, Pope John Paul II raised a cry of alarm on Sunday, March 8, because of the widening violence in Kosovo-- a province of Serbia largely populated by ethnic Albanians. The Holy Father called for a clear recognition of the rights of the people of Kosovo.

      Speaking at the end of his regular Angelus audience, Pope John Paul observed that the bloodshed in Kosovo undermines the overall peace of the Balkan region, and that the "explosions of violence threaten once again all the efforts we have seen toward dialogue and peace." For that reason, he said, all men of good will should work devotedly for the establishment of a peace in which freedom and human rights are clearly secure.

      The Holy Father offered his condolences to all those people in Kosovo who had already lost family members in the fighting, saying that he would be with them in prayer and in solidarity.

      Pope John Paul II raised a cry of alarm on Sunday, March 8, because of the widening violence in Kosovo-- a province of Serbia largely populated by ethnic Albanians. The Holy Father called for a clear recognition of the rights of the people of Kosovo.

      Speaking at the end of his regular Angelus audience, Pope John Paul observed that the bloodshed in Kosovo undermines the overall peace of the Balkan region, and that the "explosions of violence threaten once again all the efforts we have seen toward dialogue and peace." For that reason, he said, all men of good will should work devotedly for the establishment of a peace in which freedom and human rights are clearly secure.

      The Holy Father offered his condolences to all those people in Kosovo who had already lost family members in the fighting, saying that he would be with them in prayer and in solidarity.


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March 10, 1998       volume 9, no. 49
NEWS & VIEWS



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