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September 25, 1987     The Message
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September 25, 1987

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CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 18 NUMBER 4 SEPTEMBER 25, 1987 Blessing the crowd 'Inspiring' Pope John Paul II blesses the crowd of over 100,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Mass was the final event in a day long series of stops the pontiff made on his first day of his visit to the city. --Photo by Associated Press Pope calls for unity and fidelity By NC NEWS SERVICE Pope John Paul lI traveled across a vast expanse of the United States in September and preached a message as varied as the people and circumstances he encountered. Focusing on a theme of "Unity in the Work of Service," he called for greater fidelity to church teachings, especially with regard to sexual morality, and urg- ed Catholics to exert greater influence on the society in which they live. Hundreds of thousands saw and heard him in person and millions wat- ched on television as he visited Miami; Columbia, S.C.; New Orleans; San An- tonio, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; Los Angeles; Monterey, Calif.; San Fran- cisco and Detroit. Pope John Paul's call for closer adherence to church teachings was repeated throughout the 10-day visit Sept. 10-19, but it came most forcefully at a meeting in Los Angeles with more than 3O0 of the almost 400 U.S. bishops. Reacting to presentations by four leading U.S. churchmen who described the diversity -- and at times dissent -- within the church in the United States, Pope John Paul declared: "It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the magisterium (church teaching authority) is totally compatible with be- ing a 'good Catholic' and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere." The pope specifically cited dissent on "sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage... (and) abortion." ANSWERING QUESTIONS at a news conference after the closed-door meeting, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarc- zyk of Cincinnati, vice president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the pope was not sug- gesting that anyone should be excluded from the church. He said the pope was underlining "the fact that Catholic teaching is not a See POPE page 9 Bishop Shea describes meeting with Pope John Paul II By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor "It felt very good to be in his presence," says Bishop Francis R. Shea, describing the meeting of Pope John Paul II with the bishops of the United States. "It was a blessing to be one of those to whom he was speaking." Bishop Shea had flown to Los Angeles last week, to gather with other bishops from around the country for a morning meeting with tE pope. After morningprayers, four selected bishops addressedthe pope, who responded to their presentations. "Basically he reiterated earlier statements," said Bishop Shea, about the pope's prepared remarks. "He stressed Gospel values, and said that we cannot depart from them." The pope recognizes this country is a democracy, and he knows people will speak their minds, according to Bishop Shea, but even if he cannot change age- old doctrines and disciplines, "he listens." The bishop says the pope af- firmed traditonal values "in a kind and pastoral way." The bishop agreed with a news reporter's analysi that the pope and bishops had covered a wide range of issues, beyond the headline-making at- tack on dissent. According to the news reports, the pontiff said it was a "grave error" to think one could be a "good Catholic" while dissenting from some of the church's moral teachings. The pope singled out dissent on abortion and on "sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage." Other matters discussed in the morn- ing long session included a call from the pope for bishops to get more involv- ed in Catholic colleges and universities, See INSPIRING Page 15 On the inside-00! Touching the pope Newburgh couple's experience on page 2. St. Joseph, Jasper -- Feature parish on pages 10 & 11.