Pope, Mrs. Reagan Review Fight Against Drug Abuse

From a Times Staff Writer

First Lady Nancy Reagan and Pope John Paul II discussed worldwide drug-abuse problems Saturday, expressing eagerness to get together again in Los Angeles on Sept. 16 to jointly address a group of grade-school youngsters.

The 10-minute conversation took place after President Reagan had a private audience with the pontiff.

Mrs. Reagan, wearing an ankle-length skirt and a black mantilla veil, joined the two after their 53-minute meeting, and the Pope then spoke to her as the President looked on.

Mrs. Reagan had her own private audience with the Pope in 1985, receiving a rare papal commendation for her work against drug abuse.

Saturday, the pontiff "encouraged her to continue her work," Mrs. Reagan's press secretary, Elaine Crispen, said.

"He brought up the visit of a couple years ago and talked about his travels. He said that in some places the drug problem had gotten a little better and in some places it had grown worse," Crispen said.

To Meet in Los Angeles

"They said they're looking forward to being together in the fall and going to that school (in Los Angeles)."

On the way out of the Vatican, Mrs. Reagan stumbled on a red carpet that had been laid out for her and the President. Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, who was wounded in the attempt on President Reagan's life in 1981, caught Mrs. Reagan's elbow and kept her from falling.

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