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Polish PM Invites Pope for return visit

Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller has invited John Paul II to make another pastoral visit to Poland.

Such a visit would be the Holy Father's eighth to his native land in his 23-year pontificate. Reports in the Polish and Italian press said it could occur this June.

"All of us in Poland would be delighted if you returned again to our country," the Prime Minister said at the end of a half-hour audience with John Paul II on Thursday in the Pope's private library.

Later, Vatican Press Office director Joaquín Navarro-Valls said that the Pope and Miller discussed Church-state relations in Poland, and addressed "the problems of European integration and the international situation."

This was Miller's first meeting with the Pope since the post-Communist left took office in Poland following the September elections.