Gromyko May Meet Pope, Vatican Says

United Press International

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko may have an audience with Pope John Paul II during his four-day visit to Rome starting Monday, the chief Vatican spokesman said Saturday.

“It is possible the Pope will meet Gromyko during his forthcoming visit to Italy,” Joaquin Navarro, director of the Vatican press office, told reporters. He did not say whether any approach had been made by the Soviets.

The pontiff tonight begins a week of “spiritual retreat” marking Lent in the Vatican. But Vatican sources said this could be interrupted briefly, as it has been in the past, for a meeting that the Pope considers important for international relations and peace.