• Short Summary

    On the third day of a 5-day visit to West Germany, Pope John Paul the Second and leaders of the country's Evangelical (Lutheran) church agreed to set up a joint commission to study ways of uniting the divided churches.

  • Description

    GV Pope John Paul II descending steps of aircraft at Cologne-Bora airport, knelling and kissing ground.

    GV Pope being greeted by West German officials. (2 SHOTS)

    GV Pope reviewing Guard of Honour and receives bouquets from small children. (4 SHOTS)

    GV Pope being introduced to dignitaries.

    GV PULL BACK TO LV Cologne cathedral with crowds massed in pouring rain.

    GV Pope driving through crowd in open convertible with plastic top.

    GV INTERIOR Cathedral with Pope and entourage going aisle, kneeling at altar. (3 SHOTS)

    GV Pope waving to applauding congregation.

    SV & GV Pope arriving at meeting with Protestant churchmen in Mainz. (4 SHOTS)

    GV Pope enters room of another meeting with Jewish leader Werner Nachmann.

    Initials JS/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: On the third day of a 5-day visit to West Germany, Pope John Paul the Second and leaders of the country's Evangelical (Lutheran) church agreed to set up a joint commission to study ways of uniting the divided churches. The Pope also admitted that the Roman |Catholic Church was not blameless for the division. His visit, which he described as a pilgrimage to promote Christian unity is only the second Papal visit to Germany since Luther nailed his 95 revolutionary these to a Wittenburg church door almost 500 years ago, in effect, the beginning of the Reformation.

    SYNOPSIS: Pope John Paul's visit began on the rain-swept tarmac of Cologne's airport. He kissed the German soil before proceeding to the 21-gun salute and official ceremonies.

    He was welcomed by Cardinal Joseph Hoeffner, head of the Roman Catholic Church in West Germany and President Karl Carsten, the head of State.

    The bad weather was blamed for the relatively small turn-put at the airport. But some 300,000 people later braved the rain and grey skies to attend the Pope's first mass at a disused airfield outside Cologne. There the Pontiff said that the Vatican had no sympathy with an appeal, signed by prominent Protestant and Catholics, for a review of Catholic doctrine on birth control and divorce. He said marriages were made to last and abortion was not a legitimate means of family planning.

    Crowds massed outside Cologne Cathedral despite the pouring rain.

    Later in the evening the Pope was due to meet Chancellor helmut Schmidt at a state reception. Though the talks were to be confidential it was known that the German leader hoped to raise the thorny issues of church-state relationships and birth control.

    Another item of this first day's busy agenda was a meeting with students and scholars inside the twin-inspired Cologne Cathedral.

    There he called for a new dialogue between science and church. He said that the church was not afraid that a science, based on methodically pursued reason, could arrive at conclusions that could conflict with religious truth.

    The Pope said the wanted to honour the whole German nation and its close links with Christian history. This was seen as a conciliatory statement following recent comments by Catholic publications in Germany criticising Luther and the reformist movement.

    But the real progress in Pope John Paul's efforts for greater Christian unity came during his meeting, with Protestant leader in Mainz on Monday (17 November). The Pope, however, warned that the evident good will on both sides should not blind to some of the 450-year-old-divisions that still stand between them. He said Christians of both faith could assemble around one altar only after their churches were fully united.

    Then the Pope attended a meeting in Mainz with German Jewish leader Werner Nachmann and other Prominent Jews. He called for co-operation between Roman Catholicism and Judaism with both sides working together for peace.

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