Religion: Bishops at Bay

Like most other establishments, the Roman Catholic hierarchy of the U.S. has had some hard times lately. Just three weeks ago, a $500,000 study of the priesthood commissioned by the bishops themselves concluded that a "serious and potentially dangerous gap" existed between them and their clergy. Last week, as if to confirm the findings, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Detroit and drew its wagons in a circle.

The bishops' reaction to the report was swift and often angry. Most grudgingly accepted the sociological findings, which showed a majority of priests...

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