Monday, January 6, 2003

O'Connell's name to removed from building

The pastor and parish council of St. Mary's Catholic Church on Saturday decided to remove former Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell's name from the church's family life center. In March the founding bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville resigned as bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., after admitting to sexual impropriety involving a former teenage seminary student in Missouri. The incident occurred more than 25 years ago. Church pastor Father Michael Woods read a statement at each Mass over the weekend explaining why he had decided to change the name of the Bishop O'Connell Family Life Center at the church that serves some 1,100 families. Woods said the decision came after praying, reflecting and consulting Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz as well as meeting Saturday morning with the nine-member parish council.

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