President Papadopoulos said that Pope Benedict XVI expressed great sorrow over the destruction of the church heritage in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.
He said the Pope felt great sorrow when he was told of the destruction.
''He was surprised. He felt great sorrow, which he expressed to me in private and when he was looking at the series of photographs I had given him. He assured that one of his main aims was to promote as much as he could freedom of religion and the right of citizens to follow any religion they want anywhere they want, with respect to church and religious monuments. This was clear,'' President Papadopoulos said in remarks on Friday evening.
Asked if he had invited the Pontiff to visit Cyprus, President Papadopoulos said he had, adding that Pope Benedict XVI had said he intended to visit the Holy Lands when the circum-stances allow for such a visit, without saying when that would be.
''I told him we would consider it a great honor if on his way to the Holy Lands he visited Cyprus. He said this was a very interesting proposal and he would have it in mind,'' President Papadopoulos said.
Source: Athens News Agency