|India||PRESIDENT SAYS PAPAL VISIT WILL BE MEMORABLE|
President Kocheril Raman Narayanan said on Monday that the coming papal visit will be "a truly memorable event" for all the people in the country.
"We greatly look forward to welcoming His Holiness in India in November," he told Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri in New Delhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president's house, as he accepted the archbishop's credentials as the new apostolic nuncio in India.
Pope John Paul is scheduled to arrive in India on 5 November. He will deliver the apostolic exhortation that will officially conclude last year's Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia, held at the Vatican.
The president recalled Pope John Paul's appreciation during his first visit to the country in 1986, of the inclusion of religious freedom in the Indian Constitution.
"It is our constant endeavor to ensure that this spirit of the Constitution is reflected in our day-to-day life," the Indian president said.
However, this year militant Hindu groups have stepped up acts of violence and intimidaton towards Christians. Some critics have said that the Government has not done enough to end the religious discrimination.
x UCAN 1:45pm 1/9/99