POPE JOHN PAUL II, at the start of a six-day visit to Switzerland, has appealed for greater ecumenical unity. He was speaking at the World Council of Churches headquarters in Geneva on June 12, and described Catholic commitment to the ecumenical movement as "irreversible".
The Pope went on to express the hope that his meetings with Protestant and Orthodox leaders during his stay in Switzerland would help to "deepen our mutual understanding and strengthen our common witness of faith".
Pope John Paul was met by President Leon Schlumpf at Zurich airport at the start of a trip, which has caused some controversy with Protestant groups, The overrall tone of the visit so far has been low-key, but despite the protests by groups objecting to the Pope's stance on Central America and abortion on the eve of his arrival, he has received a warm reception from Swiss crowds.
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