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Former USCCB employee says he was forced out because of Kerry support

.- An alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention says he was ousted from his job at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for his support of presidential candidate John F. Kerry, reported the Capital News Service.

Ono Ekeh, 33, of Waldorf, Md., said his employers accused him of using the organization's computers to moderate a "Catholics for Kerry" electronic message board.

Ekeh had been program coordinator for the USCCB Secretariat for African American Catholics for three years when he was asked to resign from the $54,000-a-year post March 9.

Ekeh posted 31 of the board's 401 messages from its creation last August until the end of February, when the publisher of an electronic newsletter wrote about Ekeh's role in the Catholics for Kerry message board.

USCCB spokesman Bill Ryan said the organization would not fire anyone merely for supporting a particular political candidate, but declined to comment on the Ekeh matter.

Ekeh, an alternate delegate from the 5th Congressional District, said he supports the Massachusetts senator's "pro-choice but not pro-abortion stance." The 49-year-old owns a Catholic books shop and is studying theology at Catholic University.

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