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Baptists Challenge Reagan's Vatican Envoy

Religion Notes

September 13, 1986|Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports

Baptists have filed a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to President Reagan's appointment of an ambassador to the Vatican, calling it a "blatant violation" of constitutional requirements of impartiality toward religion.

In a brief, the Washington-based Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs urged the high court to review a lower court decision upholding the action, saying it conferred on the Roman Catholic Church a status not enjoyed by any other religious group.

Reagan in 1984 appointed a longtime friend, William A. Wilson, to the post, after the U.S. Senate repealed a 117-year-old ban on diplomatic ties with the Vatican. Wilson resigned his post earlier this year, leaving a vacancy Reagan has yet to fill.

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