Pope John Paul the Second, on the second day of his tour of the United States, addressed the United Nations' General Assembly and called for international peace and the abolition of torture and oppression.
Pope John Paul the Second, on the second day of his tour of the United States, addressed the United Nations' General Assembly and called for international peace and the abolition of torture and oppression. The Pope arrived in New york on Tuesday (2 October) after a triumphant - but rain-drenched-start of his American visit in Boston.
SYNOPSIS: The Pope was greeted at Boston airport by President Carter's wife Rosalyn and several members of the United States' government. Then he celebrated an open-air mass in the city. The wet weather reduced the expected number of worshippers, but an estimated crowd of five hundred thousand braved the rain. Boston has a large Catholic community and Pope John Paul is the first Pontiff to visit the city.
When Pope John Paul arrived in New York, he was greeted by the now-familiar sight of thousands of cheering people. Such scenes attended every moment of his busy schedule during his visit to Ireland before going to the United States. United nations' Secretary General Kurt Waldheim welcomed the Pope outside the United Nations building. Mr. Waldheim invited Pope John Paul to address the General Assembly soon after the Pontiff was elected, and the Pope said he had been looking forward to the opportunity of speaking to the international community. And Pope John Paul showed his usual interest in meeting as many children as possible.
During his speech, the Pope criticised governments which restrict human rights and individual religious freedom. He compared any oppression - whether physical or moral - to the injustices of the Nazi state. ON the Middle East he gave his partial endorsement to the Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel but stressed that he hoped for a more comprehensive settlement which would include a solution for the Palestinian question. On a more general theme, the Pope commented on the legacy which would be inherited by future generations, including nuclear weapons and the prospect of war, and he made an impassioned plea for peace and disarmament.