177 U.S. PRIESTS OUSTED (Sex-abuse scandal has impact in almost all 50 states)

A nationwide review of Roman Catholic dioceses by The Associated Press found that at least 177 priests suspected of molesting minors have either resigned or been taken off duty in 28 states and the District of Columbia since the clerical sex scandal erupted in January.  The review also showed that in 18 other states, where priests have not been taken off the job, dioceses have responded to the crisis in various ways.  They include turning over allegations to prosecutors, scouring personnel records to see whether old claims were properly handled, and reviewing and publicizing policies for handling complaints.  The review found only four states, Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming, where the scandal seems to have had no impact on the way the church operates.