WORLD : Pope Urges Missionary Zeal

From Times Wire Services

Pope John Paul II today announced an aggressive campaign to spread church teachings to new fronts, including post-Communist Eastern Europe and Asia, where Christians are a small minority.

To emphasize concern that missionary zeal is diminishing, the Pope laid out his strategy in an encyclical, one of the most authoritative forms a papal pronouncement can take. It was the eighth encyclical of his 12-year papacy.

“Missionary activity . . . appears to be waning,” the Pope wrote in the document, addressed to Roman Catholics worldwide.