"In those days, there wasn't a lot of talk about gay priests. People didn't want to believe it." On Dec. 4, 1982, a deeply suntanned man, about 40 years old, walked into the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Boise, Idaho, and readied himself for confession. As he waited, the man swallowed a cyanide capsule. A few minutes later, he was dead. He had no identification, and a note in his pocket said only that the $1,900 he carried should be used for his burial, with any remainder donated to the church. The note was signed with what turned out to be a false name. To this day, no one has been able to identify the man, nor to determine why he had come to the church to absolve himself of his sins. On the answers to that mystery may hang the fate of a small, quiet, meticulous man who now lives in South Austin, and who spent 20 years in a Texas prison for a murder he says he did not commit, but which investigators believe may be connected to the dead man at the Boise Sacred Heart Catholic Church. More inside.
Articles of Faith "By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese helped make America Magazine a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Catholic Church and the country today." Thomas J. Reese's policy -- to present both sides of the discussion -- apparentlly "did not sit well with Vatican authorities". Reese, a Jesuit and a political scientist, had made a point of publishing both sides of the debate on a range of subjects, some of them quite delicate for a Catholic magazine -- gay priests, stem-cell research, the responsibility of Catholic politicians confronting laws on abortion and same-sex unions and a Vatican document (the Dominus Iesus declaration) which outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular. Reese, who had described last month the Vatican as behaving like the cranky owner of a good restaurant, resigned yesterday as editor of the magazine. More inside.