Religious Service for North Canceled When Priest Objects

Associated Press

A religious service planned to help commemorate Oliver North Day in the Marine's hometown has been called off because a Roman Catholic priest says he won't participate.

Father Charles Gaffigan said he thinks the celebration surrounding the former National Security Council aide is an inappropriate occasion for such a service.

But Mayor Philip Mossman said he thinks Gaffigan is mixing politics and religion.

"We're not honoring him just for his actions in the hearings, we're honoring him for what he did in Vietnam," Mossman said of the celebration, which is to take place in two weeks. "We're honoring him for when he was an altar boy. I don't think the father should have any hard feelings."

Early today, Gaffigan's secretary said he did not want to comment on the matter because it had been blown out of proportion. She said he objected to the religious service "on moral grounds."

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