The Vatican

The Pope Lays Plans For a Trip to Iraq

Christians and Jews alike are fascinated with the prospect that POPE JOHN PAUL II will make his first visit to Israel to mark the anniversary of Jesus Christ's birth in A.D. 2000. The Pope is ardently interested, but plans have long been entangled in politics and diplomacy. Now the Pope is also exploring a visit to Iraq. ROGER CARDINAL ETCHEGARAY, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, was recently in Baghdad to bemoan the "perverse" impact of the economic sanctions against Iraq. But Etchegaray--who is the Vatican's chief planner for the 2,000th-anniversary celebrations--was also laying groundwork for a papal...

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