On Wednesday (8 December), Pope Paul and Rome's communist-backed Mayor, Mr. Giulio Carlo Argan, had?
On Wednesday (8 December), Pope Paul and Rome's communist-backed Mayor, Mr. Giulio Carlo Argan, had their first meeting since the election of a leftist city council last June.
SYNOPSIS: The two men met in the cit's central Piazza di Spagna to commemorate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope visits the square once a year to lay flowers and pray at the foot of a statue of the Madonna. And the first non-Christian Democrat Mayor of Rome was there to greet him. The meeting was expected with a considerable interest. The Vatican appealed to Roman Catholics not to vote Communist before last June's election.
But despite this the Communists emerged as Rome's most popular political party. Mayor Argan, who is not a member of the Communist party, was elected on their lists.
About 7,000 people turned out to see the Pope make his annual journey through the streets of the capital. As well as being Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, he is also bishop of Rome. The Pope and the Mayor chatted informally for several minutes at the end of the ceremony.
Recently Mayor Argan applied for a private meeting with Pope Paul to discuss the cit's urgent problems. The Vatican indicated that this could be arranged before the end of December.