Pope John Paul II had a private three-hour audience with Jordan's King Hussein today, and church sources said the two leaders discussed Israel's recent proclamation of Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided capital."
Hussein said in an interview published yesterday in the West German magazine Der Spiegel that "Moslems Jews and Christians should be able to pray freely in Jerusalem, and the Vatican therefore has its word to say."
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Middle East war.
The Vatican is said to favor internationalizing the city.
Meanwhile, militant Protestant leaders in Northern Ireland and Scotland have protested the pope's announced visit to Britain.
Church spokesmen said yesterday that Pope John Paul had accepted an invitation from Cardinal Basil Hume, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Westminster, to make the first papal visit in history to Britain in 1982.
A Vatican spokesman said the pope would not visit Northern Ireland -- the scene of more than a decade of sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.
The Rev. Ian Paisley, a member of the House of Commons for Northern Ireland, said the invitation was "flouting the constitution and the laws of the realm." He said he had filed a complaint with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's office about the visit.
Seven Protestant organizations also planned to protest the visit in a meeting with the prime minister today. The meeting had been scheduled before the invitation was announced.