Pope John Paul II concluded his final foreign trip of the year with an appeal to Europe to reject a secular future and look to its common religious heritage to guide it into the 21st century.
John Paul, who completes a decade as pope this week, devoted the four-day trip in northeastern France to spreading his vision of a unified Europe and shoring up the wilting Roman Catholic Church on the continent where it first flowered.The pope got a sharp reminder of the divisions still plaguing European countries as he gave a speech Tuesday to the European Parliament, his main address of the trip.
Shortly after he began speaking to the packed chamber, a militant Northern Ireland Protestant leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley, leapt to his feet and shouted, "I renounce you! I renounce you as the anti-Christ!"
The pope paused and Paisley, an elected parliamentarian, was dragged from the hall.