Pope Says Belief In Christ
Proscribes Contempt For Other Faiths
Copyright 2000 by Agence France-Presse

VATICAN CITY, June 25 (AFP) - Pope John Paul II said Sunday that the Catholic Church did not consider other religions with contempt, even if it strongly defended Jesus Christ as the world's only saviour.

"We firmly believe that Christ is the world's only saviour," the pontiff declared during a daily prayer service before several thousand people gathered in Saint Peter's Square.

He added: "In light of this truth, the Church does not hold in contempt what man may accomplish through diverse religious expressions to approach God and receive his purification."

John Paul II said he hoped for a "profitable interreligious dialogue."

The pope, who will conclude on Sunday the 47th international eucharistic congress, announced the next would be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2004.

(Empasis added by DITC.)