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Dallas Priest Drops Job Appeal

April 24, 2002

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DALLAS (AP) _ A popular Catholic priest said Tuesday he would not fight his transfer to another church because he did not run criminal background checks on church workers.

The Rev. Stephen W. Bierschenk, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church for 13 years, had said last week he would appeal the reassignment to a smaller church, ordered because he did not comply with the background check requirements for church employees and volunteers under a diocesan sexual abuse prevention program. He received support from a number of parishioners, including about 2,000 who held a vigil.

But on Tuesday, he said he talked with a representative of the diocese and ``told them I would just accept the transfer.″

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