One of Iowa’s top leaders has convinced Congress to present the leader of the Catholic Church with one of America’s highest honors. With just one dissenting vote yesterday, the U-S House approved Congressman Jim Leach’s bill which awards the “Congressional Gold Medal” to Pope John Paul the Second. Leach says the Pope is a preeminent moral authority and spiritual leader for more than a billion Catholics. Leach, a republican from Davenport, says Pope John Paul has dedicated himself to the freedom and dignity of everyone. Leach says the Pope has brought hope to millions of people around the globe who are oppressed by hunger, poverty, illness and despair. Leach, who is a Protestant, says Pope John Paul has reached out to all of the world’s other great religions and has promoted the inner peace of man and mankind. Some 270 Congressional Gold Medals have been struck since 1776 when the first was authorized to honor George Washington.
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