Leader of Christian Science Church Resigns

Associated Press/December 7, 2004

Boston -- The head of the Church of Christ, Scientist, has retired after 12 years as the church's top official, church officials announced.

Virginia Harris, who chaired the Boston-based church's board of directors during a period of expansion, financial difficulty and restructuring, retired Friday.

The church cut 125 jobs this year and scaled back its Pulitzer Prize-winning Christian Science Monitor newspaper as it worked to recover from financial difficulties, including a 2003 deficit in the millions.

The church said Harris dedicated herself to increasing the world's understanding of founder Mary Baker Eddy, who emphasized healing through prayer.

Mary Trammell of Coral Gables, Fla., will take over for the next year as board chair, a position which will now rotate, the church said.

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