Page 1, 23rd August 1968

23rd August 1968
Page 1
Page 1, 23rd August 1968 — Was this the best time?

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Was this the best time?


THERE are misgivings and a very strong feelin in Vatican circles that Pope Paul would be wiser not to travel at this time to Latin America. said Alan McElwain, Rome correspondent of the CATHOI.IC HERALD and Sunday Tinies, on the radio programme " T h e World This Week-end" on Sunday.

Latin America was a turbulent place, McElwain continued, especially Colombia where anti-Church, anti-clericalism, anti-State authority and anti-Papal trip sentiments are most violent.

Asked by the interviewer, Jack Pizzey: "What exactly is the Vatican afraid of, do you think? Is it assassination?" McElwain answered: "Well, that is something, of course, that all prominent people who appear in public these days have to risk. But I think the real fear is that if the Pope is not actually harmed, the person of the 70year-old Vicar of Christ on earth—as Catholics regard him —may be grossly affronted by demonstrators."

"VIOLENT COUNTRY" In the same programme on the previous day Jack Pizzey questioned Fr. Brian Passman, an English priest working in Latin America, on the dangers to Pope Paul.

Fr. Passman said: "There are many people in Latin America who might have a motive for assassinating the Pope. It could be some person who is very angry with him over the encyclical. It could be some person who resents the Pope because he—in their eyes—represents power and the structures which they disagree with. and they are living in poverty and in hunger."

But John Rettie. a LatinAmerica newspaper editor, told Pizzey: "It is a violent country and obviously any prominent figure is in danger in a country which knows violence well, but after all, even though people are mostly poor, it doesn't necessarily mean that they want to kill the Pope, because there is a great deal of veneration for the Head of the Catholic Church."

Cardinal Beran

CARDINAL BERAN. Archbishop of Prague, is seriously ill in Stuttgart after "a complicated operation" during a visit to West Germany from Rome. The return to Czechoslovakia of the 80year-old Cardinal from his exile was being demanded in the Czech Press.

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