In September of 1987 near the historic San Fernando Mission in Los Angeles, Pope John Paul II held his first face-to-face meeting with the entire U.S. hierarchy. He dealt bluntly with the “selective” dissent of many American Catholics over church teachings on sexual policies, women’s equality and church authority.
The Terri Schiavo case serves as a reminder of how important advance written directions are to family members when an incapacitated loved one is at death’s door, say church leaders. And at least three denominations reminded members of the general tendency of ecumenical churches to oppose extraordinary medical means to prolong life.
Leaders of the Scottish Episcopal Church have added fuel to a controversy dividing the worldwide Anglican Communion by declaring that in their church practicing homosexuals are not barred from becoming priests.
Protestants joined political and religious leaders worldwide in praising John Paul II’s compassionate papacy and leadership. If some Protestants voiced their disappointment that relatively little had changed in ecumenical affairs, doctrine or sexual policies, their remarks were contained within the universal admiration shown for the late pope.