Apparently for an interview he ran in the paper:
A retired sociology professor who served as a Catholic priest in New York, Powers approached Gossman in 1997 about writing the history. Gossman authorized the book and gave Powers full access to diocesan archives to do his research. The book was published in October.
In the article, Strange asked Powers some general questions about the state of the Catholic Church. Powers criticized the church for being unable to recruit enough priests.
“To me, the Catholic Church is sick,” Strange quoted Powers as saying. “No organization has trouble finding key workers unless there is something wrong with it. God’s giving us a message here; something’s got to give.”
Powers said opening the priesthood to women and married men would continue to be an issue. Powers also said the U.S. Church may be “following the pattern emerging” in nations such as France, Italy and Ireland, where Mass attendance has declined and “the Church no longer seems relevant.”
“It will change. It has to. The show is over unless it does change,” Powers told Strange.
Gossman’s decision to fire Strange shocked and surprised many people connected with the Church. It also sent a chill through the Catholic Center staff. None of those reached were willing to comment on the record about the decision.
“What it also did is it put an incredible pall of anxiety over the whole Catholic Center, where everybody there now feels they could have the same experience if they step out of line in the slightest,” said Powers, who spoke with friends he made while working on the book.
A spokesman for Gossman, asked about Strange’s dismissal, said the bishop would not comment on personnel matters. On the day he fired Strange, the bishop–who’s known as a liberal-minded prelate–distributed copies of Powers’ book as a Christmas gift to all the priests of the diocese during his annual Christmas party.