Religion: The Archbishop Stands Firm

In the garden of the archbishop's residence in New Orleans, a group of Roman Catholic women chatted and fingered their rosaries, waiting for the Most Reverend Joseph Francis Rummel, 85, to lead them on a Holy Week pilgrimage of prayer to the city's shrines. They studiously tried to ignore women pickets protesting the archbishop's excommunication the day before of three Roman Catholics who had opposed his decision to desegregate the city's Catholic schools.

Suddenly, as Rummel appeared, a distraught, dark-haired woman flung herself through the gathering and fell on her knees before him. "I ask your blessing," cried Mrs. Bernard J. Gaillot,...

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