Pope with one eye on Moscow

As John Paul II ends his visit to Azerbaijan, with a message of inter-religious dialogue, an unspoken message is sent to Patriarch Alexis, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

Pope John Paul II praised the spirit of tolerance shown by the inhabitants of the Caucasus and expressed his satisfaction at visiting the country where Zoroastrianism and Christianity developed. His visit was one of dialogue between Catholics and moderate Moslems and the fact that Azerbaijan is an ex-Republic of the USSR will not have gone unnoticed in Moscow.

The Pope made an appeal for peace: “In this bridge between East and West, I make an anguished appeal to those lands where there are wars and in which unarmed people suffer constantly. I urge everyone to promise to strive towards peace. However, this has to be a real peace, based upon mutual respect, which refuses…any form of imperialism”.


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