Religion: Feeney Forgiven

Of the handful of priests expelled from the Roman Catholic Church in modern times for doctrinal error, none was more celebrated than Boston Jesuit Leonard Feeney. Technically, the Vatican excommunicated him in 1953 for refusing to meet with the Pope, but his beliefs caused his earlier 1949 suspension by Archbishop Richard Gushing. Feeney's undoing was his hard-line reading of the formula, first proposed by Church Fathers Origen and Cyprian in the 3rd century, that "outside the church there is no salvation."

Before the Second Vatican Council, that meant salvation was limited to Roman Catholics, but even the anti-liberal Pope Pius IX offered...