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    Pole John Paul II has published his first Encyclical... a 24 thousand world letter on?

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    Pole John Paul II has published his first Encyclical... a 24 thousand world letter on the role of the Church and Man, as he sees it. In the letter, the 58 year-old Pontiff criticised capitalism, for failing to narrow the differences between the rich and poor. He also denounced atheist countries where believers were made to feel second class citizens.

    SYNOPSIS: The Pope's message, addressed to the world's 750 million Roman Catholics was entitled "Redemptor Hominis" (Redeemer of Man) and focused on the role of Christianity in the modern world. The letter was introduced to newsmen by Father Roberto Tucci. Theologians say that in the encyclical, Pope John Paul II emerges as a strong Christian humanist, warning mankind against being swallowed up by materialism.

    The Pope, until his election, a cardinal in communist Poland, also criticised the arms race, and suggested that the money spent on weapons should go instead to help feed the world's poor. He wrote that the difference between rich and poor in the world was so widespread that "it brings into question the financial, monetary, production and commercial mechanisms that support the world economy." These mechanisms were proving incapable of remedying social injustice and dealing with urgent challenges and ethical demands.

    Father Roberto Tucci, who is Director of Vatican Radio, underlined the message of the Encyclical. He said Pope John Paul II was determined to preserve the Church's independence, but he also wished to concentrate on protecting Man and his dignity, irrespective of the political system under which he lived. The Pope did not go into detail, even though he said he would have a special right to do so ....an apparent allusion to his East European background.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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