15 June 2003
The head of the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse oversight panel in the United States has resigned. His resignation came days after he compared Catholic bishops to organized crime.
A spokesman for former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating told the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Keating has resigned as head of the church's National Review Board.
The spokesman sought to portray the resignation as a previously scheduled departure after a year on the job, but admitted the timing was "awkward."
Last week in an interview with the Times, Mr. Keating said some Catholic bishops were acting like organized crime in trying to hide and suppress evidence in the child sex abuse scandal.
The Catholic church established the National Review Board in an effort to reassure Catholics that the bishops are serious about confronting the problem of priests sexually abusing children.