Gandhi, Tagore influenced Pope

Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore had a great influence on Pope John Paul II and he used to quote both of them extensively. The Pope was attracted by the nonviolence of the Mahatma, said Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil of Varappuzha near Kochi. The archbishop, who was a rector of the Urban University in Rome, was invited by the pope frequently to discuss about Indian religion and philosophy over lunch. Another Indian, Davmani of the Gregorian University in Rome also used to join them. The pope's fascination for the Mahatma brought him two times to the Raj Ghat, Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi, in 1986 and 1999. Before visiting India, he read the Mahatma's autobiography and other books.

Source: Times of India, Wednesday, April 6, 2005