Roman Catholics: The Embattled U.S. Bishops

At the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome last month, Catholic prelates and theologians alike warned that the bishops who sought a larger role in shaping church policy had better be prepared to share that power with priests and laity at home. Last week, as 221 members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Washington's Statler-Hilton Hotel, that prophecy proved correct. The Rev. Patrick O'Malley, 37, moderate president of the National Federation of Priests' Councils representing some 35,000 of the nation's 58,000 Catholic priests, proposed that the bishops turn...

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