Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree declaring 2003 the Year of Invalids. The president's press service cited the decree as saying that the invalid problem was "one of the priority lines of the country's social policy." The idea to declare the Year of Invalids came from public organisations.
Putin has ordered the government to set up an Organising Committee.
On December 3rd, the International Day of Invalids, the president shall meet with representatives of invalids' public organisations and specialists and scientists who have contributed to the effort to solve the invalid problem.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.