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Pope cites foreign visits, Vatican meetings as highlights of 2001

At his annual encounter with members of the Roman Curia, Pope John Paul II reviewed the pastoral high points of a year that he said was darkened in recent months by terrorism and war.

At the meeting with several hundred Vatican officials last Saturday, the pope described 2001 as a busy time both at home and abroad in the wake of the year 2000 jubilee.

He pointed to his various meetings with the world's bishops and cardinals as especially helpful for the church: a consistory in February to create new cardinals, a special consistory in May to discuss evangelisation strategies and internal church affairs, a Synod of Bishops in October on the role of the bishop, and the various "ad limina" meetings with episcopates from around the world.

The pope said his three foreign trips during the year carried a multiplicity of meanings.