TO U.S. AS WELL
From Alan McElwain
VATICAN officials said here today that it was "virtually certain" that the Pope would go to India for the Bombay Eucharist Congress next November. A visit to the United States is also talked of as a distinct possibility.
Since Pope Paul's visit to the Holy Land, Rome has been buzzing with rumours about his next projected journeys. Most of the reports can be discarded, but those connected with the Bombay and U.S. trips are firm.
Cardinal Gracias. Archbishop of Bombay, is known to he working very hard behind the scenes to persuade the Pope to make the trip. It is felt that it would underline the Church's role as the Church of the Poor, and its mission of
Pope Paul's call on President Segni. shortly before the President left for a visit to the U.S., is regarded here as significant, and the Pope is believed to have given the Italian President a personal message to President Johnson.
If this is true, the message would certainly contain some reference to the U.S. President's publicly expressed wish for a meeting with the Pope.
However, reports that Pope Paul would travel to the U.S. for the World Fair in April are discounted. it is considered more likely that President Johnson would first come to Rome and that the Pope would later make a return visit.
A visit to the U.S. would open the way to a visit to \ Moscow, which Vatican experts saY is very much in the forefront of the Pope's -mind. It is felt here that he could not make the journey to Russia first
A meeting between Pope Paul and President Johnson would, it is felt, pave the way to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Vatican. The only previous official representation at the Vatican was by Mr. Myron Taylor, who was the personal representative of President Roosevelt.