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Two Presbyterian officials leave posts after disputed Hezbollah meeting

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2004

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Two Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) officials who took part in a controversial meeting with leaders of Hezbollah have left their jobs.

The church's Louisville headquarters gave no reason for the departures of Kathy Lueckert and Peter Sulyok, wouldn't say they had resigned or been fired, declined further comment and cited employees' right to confidentiality, The Courier-Journal reported.

Lueckert and Sulyok were part of a Presbyterian delegation on an October fact-finding trip to the Mideast that included talks with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The meeting was renounced by Presbyterian leaders and criticized by U.S. Jewish officials. Israel's government canceled its planned meeting with the delegation.

Hezbollah is listed by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.

Lueckert was deputy executive director of a council that administers many Presbyterian programs and supervised Sulyok, who coordinated the social policy committee.

Meanwhile, the denomination stepped up security at headquarters and warned congregations to be on alert after it received a letter from New York City threatening to set churches on fire while people were inside because of the church's Mideast views. The FBI is investigating.

http://www.pcusa.org



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