In an appeal to Catholic voters on Friday, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush called for "a culture of life" and endorsed permanent observer status at the United Nations for the Vatican.
   The Texas governor, was harshly criticised for visiting a college whose leaders espoused anti-Catholic views, touched all the right bases in his speech to the Catholic Press Association's conference, quoting the pope and the late Cardinal John O'Connor of New York in addressing family values, moral courage, high ideals, justice and compassion.
   Bush reaffirmed his opposition to abortion except in cases involving incest, rape and the endangerment of the mother's health, but reiterated that there would be no litmus test for any justices he appointed to the Supreme Court.
   "A truly welcoming society must be a culture of life," he said via satellite from his Austin campaign headquarters. "We must appreciate the dignity of life in all its seasons ... and look toward the day when every child, born and unborn, is welcome in life and protected in law."
29 May 00


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