For weeks he labored painstakingly to find just the right words: balancing regret for a fading century's horror with the promise borne by the approaching millennium. During his fourth trip to the U.S. last week, Pope John Paul II visited New York, New Jersey and Maryland, but the centerpiece was his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, on the eve of the U.N.'s 50th anniversary. Switching from English to French, from Russian to Spanish, the 75-year-old Pontiff condemned the genocidal impulses that have scarred the 20th century. But he held out hope for the 21st, saying that there is a...

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