Hark! It's the Sound of Protest: Reformers, Others Vie for the Papal Ear

By Edwards, Robin T. | National Catholic Reporter, August 27, 1993 | Go to article overview

Hark! It's the Sound of Protest: Reformers, Others Vie for the Papal Ear


Edwards, Robin T., National Catholic Reporter


DENVER -- Look. Up in the sky. It's a bird with a really long tail. No, it's a plane. And streaming along behind it are the words "STOP THE POPULATION EXPLOSION."

Not everyone who was in Denver for the papal visit had something good to say about the Catholic church or its leader, during World Youth Day.

Various groups of protesters used the occasion to call attention to their particular cause. A handful of fundamentalists handed out anti-Catholic literature and took on some WYD participants in verbal sparrings about religion and ethics. A few atheists were also on hand to take issue with the use of U.S. tax dollars to pay for the pope's Secret Service protection. Pro-choice and pro-life activists stepped up their ongoing campaigns. Antiabortion forces sought to block several Denver abortion clinics, but m most cases were outnumbered by counterprotesters.

Representatives of Catholic Organizations for Renewal, a national coalition of 22 church reform groups, chose more peaceful means of getting their messages across, sponsoring prayer vigils, press conferences and taking out an advertisement in the local paper. Among their causes: women's ordination, the married priesthood, family planning and abortion rights, and "justice and reconciliation" between lesbian and gay Catholics and the church.

They are not alone in their disagreements with church teachings. According to a recent USA Today poll, 84 percent of U. …

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