Gunman Kills Brazilian Church Leader

The local leader of a dissident branch of the Roman Catholic Church was gunned down inside his church's headquarters in Sao Paulo, police said Thursday.

The gunman shot Bishop Paulo Pereira five times in the chest Wednesday before fleeing. Pereira, 38, was bishop of the Vetero Catholic Church, in the low-income district of Guainazes. He died on the way to the hospital.

One of Pereira's aides, Ulisses de Queiroz, said the gunman visited the church earlier that day and asked if the bishop could preside over a wedding.

"As I was ushering him into the office he pulled out a pistol and shot the bishop five times in the chest and ran away," Queiroz said.

Queiroz said the Vetero Catholic Church is part of a Catholic movement begun in the 18th century "by clergy and faithful who refused to accept the infallibility of the pope."