Ivory Coast: A Monumental Dispute

A Monumental Dispute

When Pope John Paul II concludes his 10-day tour of Africa this week with a stop in the Ivory Coast to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, he will be consecrating the biggest church on the African continent. But critics of the structure, which cost more than $200 million, charge that the Pope will also be giving his blessing to the monumental extravagance of Ivorian President Felix Houphouet-Boigny. In response to questions about where the funds came from, the President insists that he used his own fortune to finance the basilica.

Embarrassed Catholic leaders have tried to...

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