Two Popes Hope for Mideast Peace

Pope Paul VI and the leader of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, took leave of each other today with a thought for Palestinian refugees and the hope of a “just solution” to the Middle East crisis. Pope Paul also told Shenouda he would consider it a “privilege” to go to Egypt in order to meet Coptic Christians there.

In a final communique, the two churchmen said “our thoughts reach out to the thousands of suffering and homeless Palestinian people. We deplore any misuse of religious arguments for political purposes in this area. We earnestly desire and look for a just solution for the Middle East crisis so that true peace with justice should prevail…” The communique said Paul and Shenouda have decided to establish a joint commission to study eventual unity between their churches, which have been separated for 15 centuries.

Vatican sources said many difficulties stood in the way of a Papal visit to Egypt, but that the invitation is being considered along with many others. The Pope has visited two Arab countries the then-Jordanian part of Jerusalem in 1964 before crossing over to Israel, and stopped briefly in Lebanon on his way to Bombay later that year. The Vatican has full diplomatic relations with Egypt.

Sir Alee Guinness, the British actor who portrays Hitler in the film “Hitler–The Last 10 Days,” took issue today with Bernard Delfont, the Jewish impressario, who has banned the film from the 200 movie houses in the ABC-EMI chain he controls. Sir Alee said of Delfont’s action. “On the face of it, it looks like dictatorship.”

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