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Pope's Meeting With Waldheim

July 05, 1987

In response to "Jewish Groups Seek Resolution of Issues Before Pope Meeting" (Letters, June 29).

I am a Catholic who is greatly chagrined over Pope John Paul II's reception of Kurt Waldheim with full diplomatic protocol. It is important that Jewish leaders know that all Catholics are not in lock step with the Pope on this matter. Please understand this against the background of Pope John Paul's mounting problems with the thinking American church. American Catholics in general have a deep reverence for the Holocaust in the Jewish experience, and a deep abhorrence of its causes over the centuries.

On his American tour the Pope is going to have to face the ramifications of the Hunthausen affair, the Curran affair, and now the Waldheim affair. It is to be hoped that the American church can get through this visitation without further embarrassment. If not, our American bishops must be ready to take this as an opportunity to lead and educate. This will be hard to do while keeping a face of deep loyalty to the Pope on everything.

I support the idea of the "communication of conscience" to the Pope on the part of the Jewish leaders, although I do not yet know its contents. It will be received warmly and contritely by most American Catholics.

ROBERT E. DOUD

Glendale

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