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IN SHORT

Bishops seek sponsors for papal visit

THE BISHOP's office in the central Slovak town of Banská Bystrica is looking for sponsors to help them finance the preparations for the visit of Pope John Paul II.

The pope will visit Slovakia between September 11 and 14, stopping in Banská Bystrica, the eastern Slovak town of Rožnava, the country's capital, Bratislava, and nearby Trnava.

Jozef Hrtús, head of the Banská Bystrica bishop's office said to the SITA news agency that his office needed several million crowns, and if no sponsors were found it would be forced to sell some of its real estate to be able to pay for the visit.

He said his office has already invested Sk15 million (€357,000) into the reconstruction of a cathedral in the city but added that more investments needed to be made prior to the pope's arrival.

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