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Head of US Abuse Inquiry Quits

Just days after his comparison of some Catholic bishops to the Mafia sparked a wave of criticism from church leaders, the former Oklahoma governor who was appointed to lead a panel examining the abuse scandals says he's going to resign.

The report originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday but has been picked up by the mainstream media around the world this morning. The following is the opening from an Associated Press report carried on CBS which provides a concise summary of what is known at this time.

"Former Oklahoma Frank Keating plans to resign as head of the church's National Review Board this week, before the bishops' semi-annual meeting, Keating's spokesman, Dan Mahoney, said in Sunday's Los Angeles Times."

"Mahoney conceded that the timing was "awkward," but portrayed it as a planned departure after a year on the job, according to the Times.

"Messages left by The Associated Press at the Mahoney's Washington, D.C. office were not immediately returned Sunday.

"A spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Monsignor Francis Maniscalco, said Sunday that he had no knowledge of a plan by Keating to resign any time soon. Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, also said Sunday that he had not heard of any plan for Keating to resign.

"The report follows on the heals of an interview in the Times in which Keating said a number of unnamed church officials have "clay feet."

"'To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy. Eventually it will all come out,' Keating said.

"Cardinal Mahony, who Keating accused of listening 'too much to his lawyer and not enough to his heart,' issued a sharp rebuke Friday, calling the comments 'the last straw' and saying he would ask other bishops to consider calling for Keating to step down during their meeting this week."


16 Jun 2003