The Religion Newswriters Association, which annually chooses and ranks the top religion stories of the year, this year picked Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned recently as the embattled archbishop of Boston, as its top religion newsmaker for 2002.
Participants in the poll, primarily journalists who report on religion in the secular press, also listed the Catholic clergy sex-abuse scandal as the year's top story.
In other balloting, RNA gave its "Into the Darkness Award" to the American Catholic hierarchy for keeping sexual-abuse reports and settlements secret over the years.
Many of the other nine top stories chosen during electronic polling by 71 writers from Dec. 11 to 16 involved some aspect of the Catholic sex scandal. They are listed in order below, starting With the No. 2 story:
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