New Hungarian President Meets with John Paul II

Attends Vatican Exhibition on History of Church in His Country

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2001 ( John Paul II this morning received in audience Hungarian President Ferenc Madl, who arrived at the conclusion of celebrations marking 1,000 years of Christianity in his country.

In the afternoon Madl attended the inauguration of the exhibition «One Thousand Years of Christianity in Hungary» in the Vatican Museum.

The exhibition, which runs until January, is a joint project of the Hungarian bishops´ conference and the government.

Historical documents are on display, as well as a film projection of the history of Hungarian Christianity, particularly the life of the Church during its repression and its rebirth after the fall of Communism.

President Madl, 70, is an intellectual who entered politics after the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989. In 1996 he founded the Hungarian Political Association of Civic Cooperation. The president took office Aug. 4.

John Paul II visited Hungary in 1991 and 1996.

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