DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     October 7, 1998     vol. 9, no. 196

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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VATICAN POSTPONES AUDIENCE FOR LUTHERAN BISHOP

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican today announced the postponement of a private meeting between Pope John Paul II and the Lutheran Archbishop K. G. Hammar of Sweden, which had been originally scheduled for October 10.

          The announcement appears to reflect the shock felt by Catholics in Sweden when the archbishop-- the head of the Lutheran Church in that country-- announced his support for church recognition of homosexual unions.

          Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the papal audience had been postponed in view of "recent events in Stockholm, and the public discussions they have provoked." It seemed prudent, he said, to schedule the meeting for a later date.

          In addition to his public backing of proposals for blessing homosexual unions, Archbishop Hammar had drawn fire in Sweden by authorizing a photographic exhibit, displayed in his cathedral, which included a parody of the Last Supper, in which the apostles were dressed as women and Jesus himself wore spike-heeled boots.

          In a press conference of his own, held in Upsala, Archbishop Hammar said that his audience with the Pope had been postponed at the request of Swedish Catholics. He added that he would not change his public stance, regardless of the Vatican's displeasure.

          For his part, Navarro-Valls said that a new date for the audience would be set upon agreement between the two parties.


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October 7, 1998       volume 9, no. 196
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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