Media Watch

October Trip to Mexico Not on Pope's Calendar

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, July 3 — Pope John Paul II will forgo an invitation to visit Mexico for the World Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara from Oct. 10-17, instead sending a delegation to the congress.

The Holy Father “would make his presence felt by means of a special television hookup, which will allow him to follow the final celebration of the solemn Eucharistic Congress and to deliver a special message to the bishops and the faithful gathered there,” the Vatican announced July 3.

Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Ber tello had said last year that the Holy Father might make the visit despite his health problems.

In April the Mexican government formally invited the Pope to make his sixth pilgrimage to the countr y, the Associated Press repor ted. The Holy Father's most recent visit to the countr y was in 2002.

John Paul named Cardinal Jozef Tomko to head the delegation for the October visit.

John Paul Named One of Most-Admired Leaders

PRNEWSWIRE, June 30 — A new poll by Harris Interactive Europe, a division of the worldwide market-research firm, has found that among Europeans, Pope John Paul II is one of the most admired world leaders.

U.N. Secretar y-General Kofi Annan was named by the poll to the top of the list, with the Holy Father as second. The results were based on 2,330 inter views in Britain; 2,018 in France; 2,078 in Germany; 2,012 in Italy; and 1,382 in Spain, according to PR Newswire.

The Holy Father ranked most popular in Italy (78%), second to Annan in Britain (31%), four th in France (39% behind Annan, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Spanish Prime Minister Luis Zapatero), four th in Germany (33%, behind Annan, French President Jacques Chirac and Zapatero) and third in Spain (45%, behind Annan and Zapatero).

Of those who said they felt “very” or “somewhat” negatively toward John Paul — 25% overall — 29% were from Britain, 27% were from France, 36% from Germany, 25% from Spain and only 6% from Italy.

Pope Wishes Summer Travelers ‘Happy Holidays'

REUTERS, July 4 — As he prepared for his own vacation to the Alps, which he has had to skip the past two years, Pope John Paul II on July 4 wished all travelers happy holidays.

But he wasn't referring to the United States of America's Independence Day.

“I hope that ever yone can take advantage of a necessar y break from work,” the Pope told the thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Holy Father used to take a 10-day vacation in the nor thern Italian mountains each summer to indulge his passion for hiking, Reuters noted.

In recent years, however, he has had to cut back his activities due to health reasons.

However, John Paul appeared slightly stronger since the star t of this year, Reuters pointed out, and was scheduled to stay at his Valle d'Aosta vacation spot July 5-17.