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Pope says parents have claim to aid for religious schooling

Pope John Paul II, in a major statement on religion and schools Wednesday night, said parents have a legitimate claim to tax dollars to help pay the cost of religious schools. He said, ''In dealing with this complex challenge, one must not ignore the centrality of God in the believer's outlook on life. A totally secular school system would not be a way of meeting this challenge. We cannot leave God at the schoolhouse door.''

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The Pope did not specifically address the issue of prayer in public schools under debate across the border in the United States, where President Reagan recently said separation of church and state should not be construed as ''freedom against religion.''