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Catholic Church and Women

September 20, 1987

With all due respect, it takes some Grand Revisionist to retell the story of Vatican II to make the present Pope, John Paul II, the hero of the effort to push through the outstanding American contribution to that council, the Declaration on Religious Freedom. Thomas Cahill (The Book Review, Aug. 30) blithely announces "that the declaration's most earnest supporter in the council was the then-archbishop of Krakow who is the first Polish Pope."

As an accredited journalist to the council, I must protest this revision of the facts. Cardinal Albert Meyer, Cardinal Joseph Ritter and Cardinal Francis Spellman--to name just three of the total contingent of the U.S. bishops--spearheaded the drive to win the Catholic Church's first official approval of the great American experiment in freedom. Beyond all doubt, without the determined, committed leadership of the U.S. bishops, the ordinary of Krakow never would have had a chance to vote on that issue at all.

WILLIAM F. GRANEY

San Diego

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