April 09, 2002

SEWICKLEY, Pennsylvania (AP)--A Roman Catholic priest is being transferred to another parish because he told his congregation in an Easter sermon that the church should ordain women and let priests marry.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh said the Rev. Bill Hausen will be transferred from St. James Catholic Church in the Pittsburgh suburb of Sewickley to Sacred Heart Parish in the equally affluent Shadyside neighborhood.

``If that homily had not been delivered, he may not be transferred now,'' said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese. ``There's no question that that was the catalyst.''

Parishioner Lisa Oliver said Hausen used coarse language in telling people they should be angry about the child sexual abuse scandal rocking the church. She is among parishioners who say they are trying to keep Hausen at St. James.

``This is not a man who maliciously maligned the church. He sees the need for change in the church,'' Oliver said.

Hausen did not immediately return a call Tuesday. A secretary said he is on leave this week.

Hausen wrote the congregation a letter of apology in which he said his comments ``should have been reserved to a classroom discussion and as `my personal opinion.''' He also apologized for what he called his first use of profanity during a sermon in 37 years.

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