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John Paul meets with communist mayor

May 10, 1986

RAVENNA, Italy (AP) _ Pope John Paul II met with Ravenna’s communist mayor Saturday and called for greater ″dialogue and collaboration between people of diverse cultures and faiths.″

Mayor Giordano Angelini, at the meeting in Ravenna’s main square, responded by praising the pontiff as a man of peace and appealing for ″solidarity and tolerance″ in the struggle against unemployment and other economic problems in the northern Romagna region.

John Paul was on the third day of a four-day visit to the region, known as the ″Red Belt″ because it is the stronghold of Italy’s Communist Party, the largest in the West.

The pope told the mayor that ″man can realize encounters, dialogue and also collaboration ... even without sharing the same religious faith″ and should share ″fundamental values connected with human dignity.″

″The more a Christian lives his own faith, the more he is capable of cooperating with other men of good will,″ he said.

But the pontiff took a stronger line in other appearances Saturday.

In Modena, he said modern man is ″distracted by a continuous influx of ideologies″ and there is a need for ″profound faith and convictions that hold to Catholic doctrine.″

Addressing members of an agriculture cooperative in Faenza, John Paul warned against ″resorting to a collective solution that suffocates individual initiative and devalues the reason for collaboration.″

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