John Paul II Again Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

ROME, FEB. 20, 2003 ( John Paul II is among the candidates for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, say sources at the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

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«We have a total of 150 nominees to date, 21 of which are organizations, said Geir Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

The cut-off date for nominees was Feb. 1, though the five members of the Award Committee may propose additional names when they meet Feb. 25.

John Paul II’s name appears yearly on the list of candidates. A Nobel panel member, Lutheran Bishop Gunnar Staalseth of Oslo, in 2001 said the Pope would not win a peace prize because of the Church’s opposition to condoms in the fight against AIDS.

«The current Roman Catholic theology is one that favors death rather than life,» Staalseth said in statements published in August of that year by Reuters.

Other Nobel prize candidates this year include Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya; former Governor George Ryan of Illinois, who commuted the death sentences of inmates; and Bono, singer of the rock group U2.

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