The U.K. Daily Mail reports that "Pope Benedict XVI has sacked his chief astronomer after a series of public clashes over the theory of evolution":
Although the Vatican did not give reasons for Father Coyne's replacement, sources close to the Holy See say that Benedict would have been unhappy with the priest's public opposition to intelligent design theory.
Father Coyne's most notable intervention came after Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, a former student of the Pope, put the case for intelligent design in an article in the New York Times in July last year.
The cardinal, responding to an explosive debate on evolution in the US, had argued that Darwinian concepts of "random variation and natural selection" were incompatible with the Catholic belief that there is a divine purpose and design to nature.
The cardinal also said that the evolution had become an atheistic ideological dogma that was being used against the Church.
The views of Cardinal Schonborn, one of the authors of the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, were criticised just a month later in an article written by Father Coyne for the London-based Tablet magazine.
God "is not constantly intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves," Fr Coyne wrote, adding: "Religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator or designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly...."
I don't have to add much to the story, but if you're interested in reading the astronomer's article that the story mentions -- an article that, as I read it, is much more about theology than about science as such -- I found it here.