Vol. 1, No. 44, 3 June1997
POPE HOPES TO LEAD CHURCH INTO YEAR 2000. Pope John Paul II, speaking at an
evening service in Gorzow, in southwestern Poland, on 2 June, asked his
countrymen to pray for him so that he can lead the Roman Catholic Church into
the year 2000. The service was attended by nearly 400,000 people. The pontiff
said his mentor, the late Polish primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, had told
him he would be the pope to take the Church into the third millennium of
Christianity. Earlier the same day, the pope celebrated a mass in Legnica,
also in southwestern Poland, at an airfield that was a Soviet military base
under communism. On 3 June, the Pope is scheduled to meet with the presidents
of Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, and
Hungary to commemorate St. Adelbert in the western Polish town of Gniezno.
Adelbert is regarded as a symbol of an undivided Europe in medieval times.
HUNGARY SIGNS MILITARY PACT WITH LITHUANIA. Defense Minister Gyoergy Keleti
and his visiting Lithuanian counterpart, Ceslovas Stankevicius, signed a
military agreement on 2 June, Magyar Hirlap reported. The two ministers told a
press conference that the pact covers cooperation in peacekeeping, security,
training, and environmental protection. Hungarian troops are expected to take
part in a NATO Partnership for Peace exercise in Lithuania next year.
Meanwhile, the Hungarian Defense Ministry wants a 65% increase in state
funding in 1998. According to the ministry's press office, the increase is
justified by the direct costs of NATO accession. The parliament's Defense
Committee recently said the ministry's demand for an allocation of 160 billion
forints ($880 million) out of the next year's budget was well-founded but
difficult to satisfy.
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