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Newsmakers

Chinese Unofficially Kiss Ring

June 26, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Chinese Catholics shoved aside officials in Peking to kiss the ring of Roman Catholic Bishop Francis Quinn of Sacramento, the Panchen Lama led Buddhist priests in chanting sutras, and Taoist monks beat gongs and bells in simultaneous prayers for peace. The services at several places of worship in Peking were part of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, which opened in a nation that a decade ago banned worship and persecuted religious believers. About 100 religious leaders from 30 countries and 30 Chinese from the five Chinese religious groups hosting the conference--Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, Catholics and Protestants--are to exchange views on disarmament, economic development, human rights and peace education during the meeting. At the Cathedral of Our Savior, Roman Catholic Archbishop Angelo Fernandes of New Delhi and Bishop Quinn listened as Fu Tieshan, the Patriotic Catholic Church's bishop of Peking, expressed hope for world unity and peace. Chinese Catholics do not officially recognize papal authority and Quinn said he "was very touched" by his reception.

--Former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. says he is a dark horse, but still plans to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 1988. Haig, secretary of state during part of President Reagan's first term, said he will officially announce his bid after this year's elections. "I just think timing is very, very important because I'm a dark, dark horse," Haig said in an interview with the Chattanooga (Tenn.) News-Free Press. "I believe it (the race) is wide open."

--American oil tycoon John Paul Getty II revealed that he was the mystery man who paid $2 million Tuesday at a London auction for four pages of a medieval manuscript on 12th-Century Archbishop Thomas a Becket, who was murdered in his cathedral in Canterbury on the orders of King Henry II. The recluse millionaire said he bought the pages to ensure they would remain in England. "It's English, and it should stay here," he said.

--Britain's Prince Andrew and his fiancee, Sarah Ferguson, flew to Northern Ireland for an unannounced one-day visit amid tight security. Armed soldiers were seen crouching on roofs as the couple pulled up in a bulletproof limousine to tour a new hospital complex in Belfast. Hundreds of police were stationed outside the hospital to hold back crowds straining for a glimpse of the couple, who will be married July 23. Andrew, 26, second-oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, last visited Northern Ireland in 1977. It was the first visit for Ferguson, also 26. "Everyone seems so happy here," she said of the crowds.

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