Pope Disavows Bulgarian Connection in Attempt on His Life

VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2002 (VIS) - A joint statement was issued today by the Holy See Press Office and the Press Office of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Following are excerpts:

«The President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Georgi Parvanov greeted His Holiness Pope John II and expressed his deep respect and recognition to the Holy Father for his contribution and active role aimed at strengthening peace in the world, at the building of a more just society and the promotion of a dialogue and understanding between religions and peoples. President Parvanov pointed out to the esteem of the Bulgarian people for the Holy Father, which excludes Bulgaria's involvement in the assassination attempt on his life.

[At this point, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, stated: 'I would like to add that the Pope has told the President that he had never believed in the so-called 'Bulgarian connection' which blamed a people whom he fondly likes and admires.']»

«Both sides confirmed the importance of respecting the principles of religious freedom and the freedom of conscience as the basic principles of democracy. A common desire to further develop bilateral relations in the social, charitable, scientific and cultural fields was expressed. Both sides also declared their readiness to start the preparation of an agreement between Bulgaria and the Holy See in that connection.»

«Both sides condemned racism, xenophobia and ethnic intolerance and called for active measures against terrorism, organized crime, illegal drug-trafficking and the traffic of people, child pornography and the exploitation of child labor. Globalization should go hand in hand with solidarity in order to prevent the growing gap between the rich and the poor countries.»

«Both sides exchanged views on questions pertaining to peace, security and cooperation in Europe.»

«The Holy Father voiced his support for the efforts of the Republic of Bulgaria to become a full member of the European Union in order to provide its contribution with its history and culture, which to a great degree have been forged by Christianity.»

«Both sides expressed satisfaction with peace and stabilization in South-East Europe and particularly in the Western Balkans.»

«The Balkans are part of Europe. Both sides agreed that it is necessary to do everything in their power for the faster integration of the region into the European Union, for its economic and social revival.»

«Both sides voiced their deep anxiety over the ongoing violence in the Middle East. They emphasized that violence is to come to an end, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are to be resumed in the nearest future through the joint efforts of the two sides as well, backed by the international community, in order to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting resolution of the conflict. A common belief was expressed to the effect that peace talks are the only chance to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the basis of the principle 'land for peace' and on U.N. Security Council resolutions, by guaranteeing the right of all countries in the region to live in peace and security within the internationally-recognized borders.»

Vatican Information Service
24. mai 2002

av Webmaster publisert 25.05.2002, sist endret 25.05.2002 - 00:00