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Pope to Offer Mass in L.A. During Tour of U.S. in '87

November 01, 1986|RUSSELL CHANDLER | Times Religion Writer

PHOENIX — Pope John Paul II will celebrate a Mass honoring immigrants at Dodger Stadium and hold a second public service, probably at the Rose Bowl, during a two-day visit to Los Angeles next Sept. 15 and 16, the coordinator of the Pope's U.S. trip said here Friday.

According to a projected itinerary, the Pope will also ride in a motorcade through ethnic neighborhoods of Los Angeles, talk with communications industry representatives, participate in a youth teleconference and meet with the nation's 315 Roman Catholic bishops for four hours during his Los Angeles stay.

The eight-day U.S. visit is scheduled to begin in Miami on Sept. 10 and end in San Francisco. The twin themes for the papal visit in Southern California are immigrants and refugees and communications.

According to a privately circulated schedule, the pontiff will spend two nights at downtown St. Vibiana's Cathedral at the residence of Los Angeles Archbishop Roger M. Mahony.

Although definite announcement of the Pope's travel plans awaits confirmation from the Vatican, many of the details are "already in place and I think we'll have an (official) announcement very soon," Father Robert Lynch, associate general secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference, told a regional meeting of the Catholic Press Assn. here.

Lynch cautioned that he could only confirm the dates and general outline of the trip--the Pope's second to the continental United States and first to the South and West. But Lynch, who also coordinated the Pope's 1979 U.S. trip, corroborated other sources and published materials available to The Times.

Beatification Ceremony

The Pope will spend several hours in Monterey, but it has not been decided yet whether a beatification ceremony for Father Junipero Serra will be held at Carmel Mission, burial place of the Franciscan friar who founded the California mission chain, Lynch said.

He acknowledged that the Pope's U.S. visit will come "at a time of increased tension," an apparent reference to the conflict between the Vatican and U.S. Catholic scholars and clergy over sexual practices and the role of dissent.

In recent months, with John Paul's express approval, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has censured Father Charles Curran of Catholic University and Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen for differing with official church teachings on sex and other issues. The disciplinary measures have unleashed pointed criticism among U.S. Catholics. Some critics have even threatened to demonstrate against the Pope when he comes here.

'Dynamic Force for Good'

But Lynch said the 1987 visit "even with some warts and wrinkles not present in 1979 . . . will be a dynamic force for good. His (the Pope's) approval rating and popularity in polls is very high. The trip will bear good fruit."

According to Lynch and other sources, John Paul, accompanied by a papal party of 33 assistants, including Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, the Vatican secretary of state, will arrive at Los Angeles International Airport on a chartered plane at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The Pope will then proceed by motorcade along a route that will include South-Central and East Los Angeles, a path designed "to highlight the ethnic diversity of Southern California," Lynch said.

That afternoon, John Paul is scheduled to meet with leaders in the communications and entertainment industries at the Universal Studios, and to participate in a teleconference in the studio amphitheater with about 6,000 young people attending. The event will be transmitted by satellite to similar youth gatherings in Detroit, St. Louis and Portland, Ore., where two-way visual and audio communication will be set up, according to plans.

Mass in Rose Bowl

A 6 p.m. Mass in the Rose Bowl is scheduled for Sept. 15. Lynch said an alternative location, the US Festival rock concert site at Glen Helen Regional Park 65 miles east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County, is still being considered. It is the only place in Southern California large enough to accommodate a crowd of 400,000 or more.

Lynch said a "system of ticket allocation" will be used to control admissions to events on the papal trip that have limited capacity. No fees will be charged for any event, but each diocese where the pontiff appears will be asked to underwrite the major share of the local costs, Lynch said.

On Sept. 16, the Pope will meet with the U.S. bishops. The site will either be Our Lady Queen of Angeles Seminary in San Fernando, or a "more central" downtown Los Angeles location, Lynch said. He did not indicate where the central site might be.

During the afternoon of Sept. 16, the Pope will meet non-Christian religious leaders at the Japanese American Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The interfaith event will include Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews, a source said.

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