Archive for January, 2013

Guilty Verdicts Returned in Philadelphia Abuse Trial

Catholic Priest, Teacher Guilty of Abusing Altar Boy

A Philadelphia jury returned guilty verdicts (Jan. 30) on child-sex charges against a Roman Catholic priest and former Catholic school teacher. The verdict supports accounts by a 24-year-old policeman’s son that he was sexually abused by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt between 1998 to 1999 and sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero in 2000.” By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press on

Prosecutors: Priest Trial Verdict a Victory

In a case that has already put a former official of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia in prison for covering up child sexual abuse, a city jury Wednesday (Jan. 30) returned guilty verdicts against a priest and former parochial schoolteacher for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northeast altar boy.” By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Philadelphia Inquirer

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Australian Catholic Church Could Lose Shield Against Legal Action

Church May Lose ‘Shield’

Victoria’s clergy sex abuse inquiry is likely to recommend at least six state laws be reformed to hold the Catholic Church to account, including removal of the legal ”shield” it has used to avoid being sued by victims. By Barney Zwartz, The Age

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Watered Silk May Substitute for Real Ministry

When removing gloves, keeping a skullcap in place or adjusting a pallium appear more important than the elevation of the chalice, according to Thomas F. O’Meara in National Catholic Reporter, the watered silk and other elaborate dress may become a substitute for real ministry.

What’s the message on the runway for Baroque fashion? is O’Meara’s lengthy exploration of the historical, theological and liturgical significance of the ostentatious ceremonial costumes making a comeback among conservative clerics today.

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“The breadth of Cardinal Mahony’s cover-up became shockingly clear”

The Cardinal and the Truth

No member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy fought longer and more energetically than Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to conceal the decades-long scandal involving the rape and intimidation of children by rogue priests. For years, the cardinal withheld seamy church records from parents, victims and the public, brandishing endless litigation and fatuous claims of confidentiality …” Editorial in The New York Times

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Statute of Limitations May Thwart Prosecutions in L.A.

Church Sex Abuse Files Unlikely to Lead to Charges, Experts Say

Statute of limitations is the main stumbling block to prosecuting Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and aides in the sex abuse files from the 1980s released this week, experts say … A nearly insurmountable barrier is the statute of limitations. A quarter-century has passed since Mahony and his chief aide for sex abuse cases, Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, wrote memos outlining strategies to prevent police investigations of three priests who had admitted abusing boys. The 1986 and 1987 letters fall decades beyond the three-year statute of limitations for felonies such as child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit those offenses.” By Harriet Ryan, Ashley Powers and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Cardinal Hid Abuse, Files Show / The New York Times

The retired archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, and other high-ranking clergymen in the archdiocese worked quietly to keep evidence of child molesting away from law enforcement officials and shield abusive priests from criminal prosecution more than a decade before the scandal became public, according to confidential church records.” By Ian Lovett, The New York Times

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Hot Line Records Show Long History of Abuse by Priests in Germany

German Priests Carried Out Sexual Abuse for Years

A report about child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, based on victim accounts and released by the church this week (Jan. 18), showed that priests carefully planned their assaults and frequently abused the same children repeatedly for years.” By Melissa Eddy, The New York Times

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