Religion: A 'Call' by Catholics

"I never thought that I would live long enough to see this," declared Msgr. John Egan, 60, grand old man of Catholic social action. What the balding monsignor saw as he looked out upon the throng in Detroit's Cobo Hall was an unprecedented gathering of representatives of the U.S. Roman Catholic hierarchy and the church's grass roots: 110 bishops meeting openly in discussion with 1,230 priests, nuns and laity. Said Egan: "The voice of the church is about to be heard through these delegates."

The conference at least lived up to its name, "A...

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