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Pope to Address Italian Parliament

September 25, 2002

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ROME (AP) _ Pope John Paul II will address Italy’s lawmakers in a rare appearance before a national legislature, Italian state TV reported Tuesday night.

The TV report said the exact date was not immediately known, but the Italian news agency ANSA said the pontiff would go to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome on Nov. 14.

The Vatican press office was closed for the day, and Vatican officials could not immediately be reached for details.

In 1999, the globe-trotting pope made his first speech to a national parliament when he addressed Polish lawmakers in Warsaw, where he was cheered by longtime political adversaries -- former Communist rulers and the Solidarity activists who toppled them.

The invitation to address Italian lawmakers dates back to 2000 when Rome celebrated the new millennium and the Vatican marked a special Holy Year.

At the start of this summer, the current head of the Chamber of Deputies, Pierferdinando Casini, was received by the pope at the Vatican.

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