USA    HOUSE APPROVES GOLD MEDAL FOR POPE
In Washington, the House voted on Tuesday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Pope John Paul II in recognition of his contributions to peace and religious understanding.
   The legislation, passed 416-1, praised the spiritual leader of 1 billion Catholics for dedicating his pontificate "to the freedom and dignity of every individual human being" and using "his moral authority to hasten the fall of godless totalitarian regimes."
   Republican Jim Leach of Iowa, who introduced the bill, said the Pope "has sundered despotism and ennobled faith by displaying the courage and conviction."
   The bill directs the president to determine the provisions by which the medal will be awarded. The Treasury secretary will determine the inscriptions to be placed on the medal.
   
AP
24 May 00

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