MPs commemorate Pope, praise influence

5th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Parliament commemorated the late Pope John Paul II on Tuesday as massive crowds of people gathered in Rome to view the pontiff's body in St Peter's Basilica. Lower House chairman Frans Weisglas praised the Pope and said he was not only a religious leader but also someone who exerted great influence on world politics.

5 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Parliament commemorated the late Pope John Paul II on Tuesday as massive crowds of people gathered in Rome to view the pontiff's body in St Peter's Basilica.
  
Lower House chairman Frans Weisglas praised the Pope and said he was not only a religious leader but also someone who exerted great influence on world politics.

Weisglas said John Paul II contributed immensely to the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism. The Pope had staunchly encouraged the Solidarity movement that helped end communist rule in Poland.

He also praised the manner in which the Polish-born Pope brought the world's various religious faiths together, news service NOS reported.
 
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende — who will attend Friday's funeral in Rome with other world leaders — said the Pope deserved respect, despite the fact that he expounded controversial issues that were criticised in the Netherlands.

The Christian Democrat CDA leader was implicitly referring to the Pope's stance against abortion, sex before marriage and the use of condoms despite the AIDS crisis in Africa.

The Pope's funeral will be broadcast live on television on Nederland 1 on Friday.

Catholic Church cardinals were meeting on Tuesday to arrange the Pope's funeral and the election of his successor. Tolling bells and the traditional white smoke will signify that a new Pope has been chosen.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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