Praises Pakistan Bishops’ Work with Moslems, Refugees
VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II today praised Pakistan’s bishops for their efforts to improve relations with that country’s Moslem majority and the prelates’ aid to refugees.
The pope, in a meeting with six bishops from Pakistan, noted that an ″area that deeply affects your lives and ministry is your relationship with your Moslem brethren.″
The pontiff said the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s called for ″common endeavors,″ including ″safeguarding and fostering social justice, moral values, peace and freedom.″
Delivering his remarks in English, the pope said, ″I know that you have been trying to do much in this regard.″
He also praised their work on behalf on refugees.
Pakistan has been a major stopping point for refugees fleeing the fighting in Afghanistan, where guerrillas have been battling Soviet occupation forces. ″On this occasion, I repeat the sentiments that I expressed on my arrival in Karachi four years ago, regarding the refugees,″ John Paul said. ″I renew my gratitude for the many efforts made to assist them, and I pray that these efforts will continue as long as the need persists.″
The bishops, led by Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro of Karachi, were on the traditional visit to the Vatican that Roman Catholic prelates make every five years.