The Archdiocese of Philadelphia was hit yesterday with the fourth in a series of new lawsuits that blame church officials for failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests.
The lawsuits mirror accusations made by city prosecutors in a grand-jury report last month that led several priests to be charged with rape and, in a rare move, a church official to be charged with child endangerment.
Yesterday's suit, filed by a 32-year-old Arizona man, is the second that names the late Monsignor John E. Gillespie as the abuser. The "John Doe" who sued yesterday said Gillespie had abused him from 1988 to 1991, when he was an altar boy at the Our Lady of Calvary parish in the Northeast. Gillespie continued to work around children even after being sent for sex-abuse treatment sometime before 1991, the suit charged.