Pope John Paul II met Wednesday with Sadako Ogata, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to discuss the "humanitarian catastrophe" caused by the flood of refugees from Kosovo.
    Catholic World News reports that after the meeting-- which took place at the Vatican after the Pope's regular public audience-- the Vatican indicated that the Holy Father had expressed his appreciation for the efforts undertaken by 56 nations to ease the suffering of the refugees. He also assured the UN official that Catholic welfare organizations would do their best to cooperate in these efforts.
    While welcoming the news that a number of countries will provide temporary refugee for the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from Kosovo, the Holy See has insisted that the ultimate goal of any international effort must be to ensure that these families will eventually be able to return to their homes. At a recent Geneva meeting convened by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Vatican representatives also called on all international organizations to support diplomatic efforts to establish a "humanitarian corridor" allowing the free delivery of relief supplies to Kosovo.
    After meeting with the Pope, Ogata also spoke briefly with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

8/04/99 10:41:24 / Catholic World News


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