Posts Tagged Philadelphia Inquirer
American bishops promised reform after the clergy sexual abuse scandal exploded in Boston. But they largely ignored the misdeeds of one group: themselves. (The Boston Globe)
Bishop Robert Finn wasn’t going anywhere.
“He never alerted authorities about photos of young girls’ genitals stashed on a pastor’s laptop. He kept parishioners in the dark, letting the priest mingle with children and families. Even after a judge found the bishop guilty of failing to report the priest’s suspected child abuse — and after 200,000 people petitioned for his ouster — he refused to go.
“‘I got this job from John Paul II. There’s his signature right there,’ Finn had told a prospective deacon shortly after the priest’s arrest in 2011, pointing to the late pontiff’s photo. ‘And that’s who I answer to.’
“Sixteen years after the clergy sexual abuse crisis exploded in Boston, the American Catholic Church is again mired in scandal. This time, the controversy is propelled not so much by priests in the rectories as by the leadership, bishops across the country who like Finn have enabled sexual misconduct or in some cases committed it themselves.
“More than 130 US bishops — or nearly one-third of those still living — have been accused during their careers of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses, according to a Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer examination of court records, media reports, and interviews with church officials, victims, and attorneys …”
By By Jenn Abelson, Thomas Farragher of the Globe Staff, Jeremy Roebuck, Julia Terruso and William Bender of the Philadelphia Inquirer Staff — Read more …
“Rev. James Brzyski turned their community into a stalking ground. Brzyski (BRISH-kee) had sexually assaulted possibly more than 100 boys during stints at St. Cecilia’s and a prior parish, St. John the Evangelist in Lower Makefield, a grand jury later asserted, but like so many abusers had eluded prosecution.” Philadelphia Inquirer
Decades later, the damage from one Philadelphia predator priest still torments a generation of victims.
“Like (Jim) Cunningham (who committed suicide), each (Cunnigham’s friends) had been a student in the same Northeast Philadelphia parish school, St. Cecilia’s, in the 1980s when the Rev. James Brzyski turned their community into a stalking ground. Brzyski (BRISH-kee) had sexually assaulted possibly more than 100 boys during stints at St. Cecilia’s and a prior parish, St. John the Evangelist in Lower Makefield, a grand jury later asserted, but like so many abusers had eluded prosecution.
“As far as any of Cunningham’s boyhood friends had known, the scrawny bookworm with a million-dollar smile had been among the lucky altar boys to avoid the predator’s reach. He had earned a master’s degree, built a career, even won a seat on his local board of supervisors.
“But in truth, his world had spiraled over a simmering torment: long-ago abuse at the hands of Brzyski. His anguish peaked one February night in Doylestown, surrounded by the same Bucks County SWAT team he had helped with suicide standoffs. His mom had called the police to save her distraught son. Inside, Cunningham had posted a note on Facebook: ‘This is the face of being raped as a child.'”
By Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer — Read more …
Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse said Thursday (Dec. 26) that the dismissal of Msgr. William Lynn’s conviction on child-endangerment charges was nothing short of a travesty of justice.
“‘What a disgrace,’ Marita Green, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, a group of activist Catholics, said in a statement. ‘I don’t care whose ‘orders’ Lynn followed, whether [Cardinals] Bevilaqua’s, Krol’s, or even O’Hara’s. It is appalling that the laws in the state of Pennsylvania have been so ineffective that none of these enablers, facilitators, and cover-uppers have gone to jail.'” By Aubrey Whelan, Philadelphia Inquirer
Click here to read the rest of this article.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said he will most likely appeal the Superior Court’s reversal Thursday (Dec. 26) of the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn. ‘I am disappointed and strongly disagree with the court’s decision,’ Williams said in a statement. ‘While we are deciding what our next course of action will be, we most likely will be appealing this decision.'” By Alex Wigglesworth, Philadelphia Inquirer — Click here to read the rest of this article.
In a sentence that stunned the packed courtroom, a Philadelphia judge today sentenced a Catholic priest to 6 to 12 years in prison, and a former parochial teacher 8 to 16 years, for the serial sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy in the late 1990s.” By Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Joseph Slobodzian
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 NBCPhiladelphia.com
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