Religious Heartbreak

In the Roman Catholic Church, the fallout from the child sex-abuse scandal continues: In Massachusetts, a priest convicted of molesting two boys and who is a suspect in the murder of an altar boy has been defrocked. Pope John Paul II pulled Richard Lavigne’s orders on Nov. 20, but the priest will continue to be on the church payroll until May 2004. Figures.

Meanwhile, a group of antigay Episcopalians has formed a protest organization — a so-called “network of conservatives who pledged to work with each other and oppose church leadership.” The new Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes has not broken with the Episcopal Church USA, which pissed off right wingers when it consecrated as openly gay bishop last year, but the dissidents are expected to launch church-by-church fights for authority and control of the denomination. Should be interesting…

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