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UK    BLAIR TO HELP QUEEN DRAFT APOLOGY TO IRISH CATHOLICS
British Prime Minister Tony Blair - who has already apologised for the potato famine and for the Guildford Four case - is helping the Queen draft an apology for historical abuses inflicted on Irish Catholics.
    Catholic World News reports that the Queen will present the apology to the Holy Father when she visits Rome next month. The text of the written statements will then be released after the private talks in the Pope's library in the Vatican.
    The Pope, in response, is expected to formally apologise for the Catholic treatment of Protestants.
    Two years ago, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said in a statement: "In the name of the Catholic religion, terrible wrongs were done, for example, to Protestants at the time of the Reformation in Great Britain."
    Next month's meeting will be the third between Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul. She met him in Rome in 1980 during a state visit to the Vatican, and the two met again during the Pope's visit to England in 1982.
    A delegation from Buckingham Palace travelled to Rome last week to start arrangements for the visit.
   
CWN
   
27 Sep 00



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