A French Catholic Bishop has been ordered by the Pope not to take part in a conference being organised in Rome on Monday on religion and homosexuals.
    The event is part of World Pride Week, the first international Gay Pride meeting.
    Bishop Jacques Gaillot said he had been personally ordered by the Pope not to take part in the meeting in a Rome hotel.
    The bishop who was deprived of his diocese in northern France by the Vatican five years ago because of his unorthodox views on social issues said that he was very angry at the ban, but he would obey the Pope as a man of the church.
    Bishop Gaillot told a news conference that the church must be present where it is needed, and that gays have been subject to innumerable acts of discrimination.
    "If the church doesn't free people from oppression, what use is it?" he asked.
    A Vatican spokesman said he had no information about the Pope's ban.
4 July 00

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