BY LUKE COPPEN
POPE JOHN Paul II has appealed for a world-wide ceasefire during the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.
The Pope said he hoped that the next Olympics would "offer the possibility of a new experience of fraternity to vanquish hatred, to bring individuals and peoples closer".
Receiving the credential letters of Christos Botzios, the new ambassador of Greece to the Holy See, the Pope made "an appeal for a lasting truce from all violence so that the peaceful spirit and healthy stimulus, proper to the founders of the Olympic Games, may spread in all areas of society and in all continents".
He added: "I hope that, in a perturbed and at times uncertain world, this sports event will be a joyful manifestation of everyone's belonging to the same human, fraternal and mutually supportive community."
Ambassador Botzios, 63, noted the wish for peace had already been expressed jointly by John Paul II and Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos during the Pope's visit to Athens in May 2001. The Olympics are scheduled for August 13-29,2004.