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Bush could discuss sex abuse with Pope

White House officials are shifting President Bush's schedule his European trip that starts next week to make room for a visit with Pope John Paul II.

The meeting is likely to take place on 28 May while Bush is in Rome to attend a summit between NATO and Russia, White House officials said yesterday.

The original White House schedule did not include a visit with the Holy Father, but officials said they realized that it would be unusual for a US president to travel to Rome without a papal meeting.

The visit comes at a tough time for the Church, with recent polls show that two-thirds of Americans say they're dissatisfied or angry with the way the Church is handling the scandal of sex abuse of children by some priests.

It is unclear whether Bush will discuss the issue with the pope, White House officials said.

Bush is scheduled to depart next week for a trip taking him to Berlin; Moscow; St. Petersburg, Russia; Normandy, France; and Rome. The Rome portion of his weeklong trip is being adjusted to allow for the papal meeting.

Pope Meets With Bush, Condemns Stem-Cell Research (23/7/01)


15 May 2002