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Associated Press, October 11, 2007

Roman Catholic bishop upset over conference at Holy Cross

WORCESTER Mass.

The head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Worcester wants Holy Cross to revoke a rental agreement for a conference that will feature groups promoting abortion rights and artificial contraception.

The event sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy will include workshops by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

Bishop Robert McManus says any ties those groups could confuse the faithful and create theological scandal.

But the college plans to honor the agreement, saying it doesn't endorse abortion rights and artificial contraception.

Patricia Quinn, a spokeswoman for the Alliance, says the controvery surprised and "disheartened" her group. She says the group has a long history of bringing together people of diverse opinions who can find common ground to help teens and parents.

A school spokeswoman says renting space to professionals discussing the care of teenagers at risk of pregnancy doesn't represent a disregard of Catholic teaching.

Ellen Ryder says no Holy Cross officials are involved in developing the conference's content.

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