Religion: Bold Bishops, Firm Pope

For four weeks, while the 1974 Synod of Bishops met in Rome, Pope Paul VI had dutifully sat silent through the plenary sessions as Roman Catholic bishops from around the world frequently criticized their church and often made bold suggestions for improving it (TIME, Oct. 28). Not until the final session did the Pope get his chance at rebuttal. He first congratulated the bishops for making the synod a "positive experience." He was pleased, he said, at the "increasing vitality of the particular churches." But he then went on to make it clear who was still boss. He was, he reminded...

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