Mon | Feb 6, 2023

More Catholic priests in sex scandal

Published:Sunday | May 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Five priests will be perma-nently barred from ministry after the Philadelphia archdiocese substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or inappropriate conduct, a Roman Catholic archbishop announced on Friday.

Three other suspended priests will return to ministry, and another died during the investigation, Archbishop Charles Chaput said as he added that another 17 cases remain under review.

"When a child is harmed, the church has failed. When trust is lost, the church has failed. When the whole community suffers as a result, the church has failed," Chaput said.

"We can't change the past. But I pray - and I do believe - that the lessons of the last year have made our church humbler, wiser, and a more vigilant guardian of our people's safety."

Four of the five cases substantiated were said to involve "boundary" or "behavioural" problems, not sexual assaults.

Yet, a lawyer for one accuser said one of those four priests had raped his client at St Timothy's Parish rectory in Philadelphia in the early 1970s.

"How do they define boundary issues, if somebody reports, credibly, that he was sexually raped - both orally and anally - as a nine-to-11-year-old?" said the man's lawyer, Daniel Monahan of Exton.

The accuser, now in his 50s, contacted the archdiocese in 2006. He met last year with church investigators, a team led by a former child sex-crimes prosecutor and retired detective, and detailed his allegations, Monahan said.

The announcements came as a former archdiocese official, Monsignor William Lynn, stands trial on child-endangerment and conspiracy charges. He faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted of helping the church cover up abuse complaints as the secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.

Defence lawyers say he took orders from the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.