Israeli becomes papal knight
A PAPAL knighthood has been conferred upon Israel's ambassador to the Vatican.
Yosef Neville Lamdan was one of "five or six" ambassadors to receive the Grand Cross of the Pian Order in mid-October, according to the Vatican.
Ambassadors, apparently, are considered for the knighthood after two years' service in Rome, "so it is not as if I were singled out, although it is not automatic", said Lamdan.
Cardinal Angelo Sadano, Vatican secretary of State, said that the award was a recognition not only of his personal service, but also of his country.
Mr Lamdan said there were questions about the appropriateness of a Jew accepting the "grand cross" insignia from the Vatican, but "it is not a pectoral cross. It is more like a star; it is not something which would make a Jew uncomfortable," he said.
Rome signs deal with Latvia
THE HOLY SEE and Latvia have signed a bilateral agreement for "more intense" collaboration.
The solemn ratification of the agreement took place today following an audience between Pope John Paul 11 and Latvian Prime Minister Andris Berzins in the Apostolic Palace. The agreement was first signed in Rip on November 8. 2000.
Berzins and Vatican Secre
tary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano signed the document today. In his address, Cardinal Sodano said the treaty seeks to promote "more intense" collaboration between the Holy See and the former Soviet republic.
Pope pleads for rosary prayers
POPE Jot-ix Paul II has renewed his appeal to the faithful to say the rosary regularly.
The Pope reminded the faithful gathered on Sunday in St. Peter's Square that he has proclaimed this month through to October 2003 the "Year of the Rosary".
"The most important reason for proposing again the practice of the rosary is the fact that it constitutes the valid means to foster among the faithful that commitment to contemplation of the face of Christ, for which I appealed following the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000," the Holy Father said before leading pilgrims in praying the midday Angelus.