Not Since 1884 ...

If the nation's bishops thought they were going to have a quiet get-together last week in St. Louis, Mo., the site of their annual spring meeting, they were quickly disabused of that notion. The resignation of Frank Keating, the former Oklahoma Governor who was chair of the Conference of Catholic Bishops' lay review board, reopened the festering controversy over whether the church has adequately dealt with the scandal arising from allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Comfort-zone topics, such as the training of deacons, were discussed in sessions open to the public. But behind closed doors, the bishops explored an ambitious...

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