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Written by Bert B. Beach
What happened when Dr. Bert Beach visited Pope Pius VI?
Bert Beach—1977 Statement regarding the papal visit and the medallion.
In May of 1977, there was a meeting of Christian World Communions held in Rome. This conference is not an organization in which one has membership, with a constitution and dues, et cetera; but it is simply an informal forum that meets in order to discuss issues of mutual interest.
In connection with the conference, there was a meeting with the pope. Dr. Beach was one of fifteen people who attended this meeting. The other fourteen were non-Adventists. This was not a meeting of our church with the pope but simply a meeting of the participants in the conference with the pope. It was felt that it was of interest to meet with the man who is the religious leader of some 700 million people around the world and head of the Vatican and a person with great world influence. At that time, Dr. Beach was the religious liberty director for Northern Europe and West Africa, and he felt that this meeting would be of PR and religious liberty interest to our church. In connection with the meeting, he gave the pope one of our missionary books, which gives a pictorial presentation of our work around the world and at the same time also presents some of our beliefs. In addition, he gave him one of the medallions that were available in the office and that were given from time to time to statesmen or other significant world figures.