Day Scheduled for Papal Visit to Italian Parliament

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 25, 2002 ( John Paul II will visit a joint session of the Italian Parliament on Nov. 14, the first such papal event since the country was unified, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls confirmed.

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Italy’s unification was proclaimed following the annexation of the Papal States in July 1871. Rome became the capital of the country.

Observers regard the upcoming visit as the height of the reconciliation between the Italian state and the Vatican, which were in open opposition at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Navarro-Valls said the visit is taking place in response to an invitation from the presidents of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

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