September 10, 2002 at 4:07 PM EST - Updated July 12 at 6:40 AM
CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland Catholic Auxiliary Bishop A. James Quinn is no longer on a committee that decides how to discipline abusive priests.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops restructured its 15-member Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse last week. Both Quinn and Bishop John B. McCormack of Manchester, N.H., who have been criticized heavily by victims advocates -- were left off.
Bill Ryan, a spokesman for the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, said Quinn "was not fired or removed."
"Bishop Quinn stepped down as part of the natural rotation process," Cleveland diocesan spokesman Bob Tayek said.
Quinn has been criticized for suggesting in a 1990 speech that church leaders hide records of abusive priests in the Vatican embassy, which has diplomatic immunity.
A spokesman for McCormack said the New Hampshire bishop also was not asked to step down.
The committee authored the draft charter on clergy abuse that bishops voted on in Dallas in June.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)