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THE NATION

N.Y. Church Won't Back Monsignor

April 23, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York archdiocese distanced itself Monday from a high-ranking official's sermon that blamed the Catholic Church's child-molestation scandal on gay priests and widespread American immorality.

Msgr. Eugene Clark, who was filling in Sunday for Cardinal Edward Egan at the pulpit of St. Patrick's Cathedral, gave the sermon without consulting Egan, according to both Clark and the archdiocese.

"He was speaking for himself," archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said.

Clark, the rector of St. Patrick's, called the United States "probably the most immoral country in the Western Hemisphere," labeled homosexuality "a disorder" and called admitting gay students into seminaries a "grave mistake," the Daily News reported Monday.

Clark said Monday that he did not discuss his sermon with Egan and that his homily had been "misconstrued and misinterpreted."

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