NEWS

Papal blessings for Olympics organizers

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope John Paul II urged on Saturday that the forthcoming Olympics should be a show of fraternity and peace, and offered his blessings to the organizers. He was speaking at a meeting with Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis, who is on a European and US tour ahead of the Games. «I express the wish that the next celebration of the Olympic Games in your city be a show of brotherhood for all the participants and a message of peace and union for all those who will be spectators across the world,» John Paul said. «In this spirit, I invoke divine blessings for you and all the organizers of this celebration.» [In a meeting earlier on Saturday with Italian Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani, Bakoyannis raised the question of the long-term loan to Greece of a small piece from the 5th century BC Parthenon frieze displayed in a Palermo museum. Agreed in late 2002, the loan has yet to materialize.]