Editor fired from North Carolina Catholic newspaper

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2004

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The longtime editor of the N.C. Catholic, published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, has been fired after an article ran that included criticism of the church.

John Strange, editor for nearly a decade, said he was ''surprised and saddened'' by the decision by Bishop Joseph Gossman.

Gossman declined to say exactly why he dismissed Strange just before Christmas. ''He knows what it was,'' Gossman said. ''The matter is an employee-employer relationship, and those are not public. I don't feel free to break that confidence.''

Strange said the firing followed an interview in the Dec. 14 issue with William Powers of Chapel Hill, author of the book ''Tar Heel Catholics.''

The interview included Powers' view that the church has trouble recruiting clergy and should consider allowing women and married men to become priests. Powers was quoted as saying ''no organization has trouble finding key workers unless there is something wrong with it.''

Strange said he was not aware of any other cause for the firing.

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