PROVO, Utah (AP) – Thousands of issues of Brigham Young University’s student newspaper were pulled from newsstands because a front-page photo caption misidentified leaders of the Mormon church as apostates instead of apostles.

An apostate is a person who has abandoned religious faith, principles or a cause.

The photo in The Daily Universe on Monday was of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the weekend general conference.

The caption called the group the “Quorum of the Twelve Apostates.” The mistake happened when a copy editor ran a computer spell check and apostate was suggested as the replacement for a misspelling of apostle.

“Unfortunately that’s the one she clicked on,” said Rich Evans, the paper’s editorial manager. “It still should have been caught by two more levels of review after that, but again with deadline looming, the worst possible thing happened.”

The typo was an honest mistake, said Carri Jenkins, spokeswoman for church-owned BYU. She said most of the 18,000 copies of the student paper were retrieved Monday morning and replaced with 10,000 corrected copies later in the day.

No university or church administrator has sought to punish anyone, Jenkins said.

“This is extremely rare,” she said. “The focus today has been how and why the error occurred and what we can do to make sure that this does not happen again.”

No disrespect to church leaders was intended, Brad Rawlins, chairman of the school’s communications department, said in a statement.

“The Daily Universe is a student laboratory, and, while this fact does not excuse errors of this magnitude, it does mean that we go through a continuous learning and improvement process in order to enhance the quality of what we do,” Rawlins said.

Information from: The Daily Herald,

AP-ES-04-07-09 1634EDT

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