'05 Papal Trip to Poland Is Ruled Out

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 12, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II is scheduled to visit Germany this year, but will not travel to Poland, where elections are scheduled, the Holy See confirmed.

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In response to journalists’ questions, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls today explained that “this year no trip has been foreseen of the Holy Father to Poland, a country in which in the year 2005 there will be electoral consultations.”

Last June the Pope had been invited to visit his native country. Navarro Valls’ announcement suggests that the Holy Father does not want his presence or addresses to be manipulated, or to influence what is usually a tense political atmosphere before elections.

“In any event, I confirm the Holy Father’s trip to Cologne on the occasion of World Youth Day,” added the director of the Vatican press office. John Paul II plans to visit Cologne from Aug. 18-21.

The Holy See has made no announcement about the Pope’s visiting other countries in 2005.

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