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Msgr. John F. Barry, director of religious education for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has been accused of conflict of interest for accepting money from a publishing company whose books dominated the Los Angeles Catholic-school textbook market in the 1970's and are still widely used in the district.

The National Catholic Reporter, a weekly newspaper, disclosed that Monsignor Barry received $500,000 for work as a consultant and author for William H. Sadlier Co., a New York publisher, during the past two years.

The newspaper said that the company had a monopoly on textbook sales to the archdiocese from 1972 to 1980.

Although it no longer has a monopoly, Sadlier is still the dominant supplier of textbooks to the archdiocese.

Virtually all of the market belonged to Sadlier because of "pressure" from Monsignor Barry, the newspaper charged.

"In an apparent conflict of interest [Monsignor Barry] has received at least a half-million dollars in the last two years," the paper said. It also said the Monsignor started his own corporation in 1978, "apparently for investment and tax-shelter purposes."

In a statement released through the archdiocese, Monsignor Barry said the allegations were "distortions."

"I make no apologies for my success as an author and for the royalties I received" as a result, he said. "By the manipulation of information I have been made to appear in a 'conflict of interest.' I categorically deny the allegations."

Several educators and organizations have offered to help quell ethnic animosities stemming from the discovery of an anti-Semitic, anti-black hate group in a suburban Boston school.

Richard Howland, principal of the Manchester Junior-Senior High school, has ordered the dissolution of the club--which called itself "Nigger and Jew Haters of America"--and has promised stiff penalties if the members attempt to reorganize. About a dozen eighth-grade boys reportedly belonged to the group.

Club members wore T-shirts emblazoned with the initials "najhoa" to their classes. Many of their classmates at the 515-student school knew about the club and what the initials stood for, but some students dismissed it as a "joke." Teachers apparently remained unaware of the club until the past few weeks, when parents of the school's six Jewish and two black students reported that their children had been subjected to ethnic insults.

Several parents have taken "extreme and appropriate action," Mr. Howland said, "stronger than [the school] could [take] under law."

In addition, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has offered to coordinate a multicultural program; the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith has volunteered to work with the teachers; school administrators have established a "brotherhood committee"; and one teacher at the school is leading class discussions on issues such as the Holocaust.

In the aftermath of his action, Mr. Howland said he received a note calling him "a Jew-lover." One student, reportedly a member of the disbanded club, was suspended after a shoving incident.

Vol. 01, Issue 36

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