President Hinckley meets with Catholic leaders

President Gordon B. Hinckley on Feb. 19 thanked two Catholic leaders, who are members of a Hawaiian grassroots coalition opposed to same-gender marriage, legalizing prostitution and casino gambling, for their work.

The prophet took time from his busy schedule of meetings and other commitments here to exchange courtesies with Honolulu Catholic Diocese Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and the Rev. Marc Alexander - men who have worked with local Church leaders on the issues which have "serious long-term implications."President Hinckley was in Laie for a conference Feb. 18 with about 14,000 members of nine Oahu stakes, who gathered in two sessions at the Cannon Activities Center on the BYU-Hawaii campus. After his visit with the Catholic leaders, President Hinckley spent the remainder of Feb. 19 at the Polynesian Cultural Center before returning to Salt Lake City on Feb. 20.

Known as Hawaii's Future Today, the coalition is a broad-based, non-denominational organization of about 1,500 members. It is made up of the Catholic and LDS churches - the two largest denominations in Hawaii - and a "broad section of other citizens who have concerns about these issues," said Elder Loren C. Dunn of the Seventy and president of the North America West Area.

In the Hawaiian Islands there are aproximately 240,00 Catholics and 50,000 LDS.

President Hinckley - accompanied by Elder Dunn, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve and two local Church leaders - visited informally with Bishop DiLorenzo and the Rev. Alexander in Laie.

"We appreciate being associated with you," said President Hinckley. "We think these are very important issues that have serious long-term implications. To be associated with you is a privilege and an honor. I just wanted to meet you and assure you of our appreciation for you and

the other members of this coalition."

Bishop DiLorenzo responded: "I'm very fortunate as a Cathoic bishop to have you, as a community, who are willing to work with us on these important issues. I'm very, very happy that we do have this coalition. I have found it to be a great sense of support spiritually and emotionally."

President Hinckley was updated briefly during the visit concerning proposed legislation related to the issues at hand. "Let's go forward together in our support of this coalition," he said.

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