Page 1, 20th June 1969

20th June 1969
Page 1
Page 1, 20th June 1969 — Pope asks U.S. bishop not to resign

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Pope asks U.S. bishop not to resign


N American Bishop who resigned because he couldn't accept the birth control ruling in Humanae Vitae has been asked by the Pope to reconsider his decision, Vatican sources said on Friday.

The resignation of Bishop Shannon, Auxiliary of St. Paul and Minneapolis, was reported by sonic American newspapers last month.

Vatican sources said Bishop Shannon, who is 48, one of the best known liberals in the American Church, wrote to the Pope last September strongly opposing the ban on artificial birth control.

In that letter he threatened to resign and actually submitted the resignation in November.

But the Pope asked him to think it over, the sources said. This was apparently the reason why he took four months' leave of absence early this year to teach at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Vatican sources said they did not know if there had been any further communication between Bishop Shannon and the Pope. His resignation would not be effective unless the Pope accepted it.

'OUR IDEA" In New York last week, Bishop Shannon denied that his resignation had been asked for by anyone. "The suggestion came from me because I didn't want my superiors to be demanding something of me that I should be willing to supply voluntarily."

Mgr. Terrance Berntson, Chancellor of the St. Paul Minneapolis Archdiocese, said the archdiocese still considered Bishop Shannon its auxiliary bishop. As far as he knew the resignation had not been accepted officially. Despite Bishop Shannon's request that there should be no public demonstrations about his resignation, 60 priests of his archdiocese organised a march and two prayer services on June 8, the 23rd anniversary of his ordination, despite a vote against such a march by the archdiocesan priests' senate. The four-mite march began at St. Paul Cathedral with about 500 people taking part, but by the end the number had doubled. Nuns distributed armbands saying: "1 support Bishop Shannon."

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