VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II is still hoping to visit Iraq in 2000, the Vatican's secretary of state said Saturday.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's No. 2 official, was asked by reporters at a ceremony if John Paul will make the trip as part of Holy Year activities.
"We hope so," Sodano replied. "It's in our prayers."
The pope has mentioned more than once that he would like to make a pilgrimage to Iraq, which includes the biblical birthplace of Abraham, but no plans for such a visit have been announced.
Speaking hours before President Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair called a halt to the bombing in Iraq, Sodano renewed the Holy See's call for an end to the aerial assault.