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Thursday, August 6, 1998 Published at 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK

World: Europe

The Pope goes pop

The new video is intended to celebrate the Pope's leadership

Pope John Paul II is the star of a new Italian pop song, marking his 20th anniversary as leader of the world's Catholics.

Clip of Amedeo Minghi's 'Un uomo venuto da lontano'
On release in September, the accompanying video apparently has his blessing.

The first pop music video to star the Pope steers clear of the raunchy style of other pop videos.

[ image: Minghi:
Minghi: "He told me it was very good"
In fact, the video has been put together as a reverent commemoration of the Pope's leadership of the Catholic church.

"The song and its artistic expression interprets the Pope and his Pontificate well because he has written songs and poetry and musical comedies. So he is a man, despite his great spirituality," said Amedeo Minghi, the singer and songwriter.

The video and song, called "Un uomo venuto da lontano" or "A man who came from afar" spans the Pope's life from when he was a young man to the present day.

[ image: The next video will be about Mother Teresa]
The next video will be about Mother Teresa
Amedeo Minghi first performed it for the Pope two years ago.

"When we met, I felt his inner strength, but he's also a great man as well as a great Pope, "he said.

"He told me it was very good, but he hadn't understood the words well because there was only a small speaker."

"So I promised his Holiness that as soon as I made the record I would bring him the lyrics so he could hear it and also read the words."

The team that worked on the Pope video are now planning a video to go with a song about the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mother Teresa.

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