US Church criticises AIDS priests newspaper follow-up
    Catholic spokesmen have criticised The Kansas City Star daily newspaper for its follow-up of an investigative report on the allegedly high number of priests who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
    In response to criticism that its reports earlier this year were based on anecdotal evidence, The Star now claimes to have comprehensively reviewed priests' death certificates from 1987 to 1998 in 14 states where those documents are public records.
    The paper claimed last week that "the average annual AIDS death rate for priests in the states where death records were available was 6 per 10,000, which is more than double that of the adult male population in those states and more than six times that of the general population in those states."
    The US Catholic Conference Department of Communications, headed by Msgr. Francis Maniscalco, said in a statement on Monday that The Star 'systematically violated the privacy of deceased priests in 14 states'. It added that 'if any organisation other than a journalistic one tried to do something like this, it would quickly hear from an outraged public'.