Pope pays tribute to Calvinists

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The Independent Online
Kosice (AP) - After protests over the canonisation of three Roman Catholic priests, the Pope yesterday sought to heal centuries-old wounds by including praise for 24 Protestant martyrs in the ceremony.

And, as a last-minute addition to his Slovakia visit, he will stop at a Protestant monument honouring the Calvinists,killed in 1687 for refusing to convert to Catholicism. In the Presov massacre the 24 were beheaded and their bodies quartered.

The change of schedule was announced on Saturday, hours after Protestants, feeling slighted by the canonisations, held a "counter-memorial" in Presov.

The Pope went to Kosice yesterday to canonise the priests - Hungarian Istvan Pongracz, Croat Mark Kirzevcanin and Pole Melchor Grodziecki - during an airport Mass attended by 300,000 people.

The three were tortured by soldiers of a Calvinist prince. Two were then beheaded and the third disembowelled.