September 19, 2012 |
In March, Edward Avery made a bombshell decision: He took a plea deal. Avery, a former priest, admitted he had sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999. He was sentenced to 21/2 to five years in prison. Weeks later, the victim described the attack for jurors at the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial of Avery's codefendant, Msgr. William J. Lynn. After hearing the testimony, the jury convicted Lynn of endangerment because he had let Avery live at the boy's parish. On Monday, Lynn's lawyers dropped their own bombshell in their latest bid to free him on bail.
August 7, 2005 |
When the Rev. James Gigliotti told church officials in the early 1980s that a Northeast Philadelphia priest was molesting boys, he remembers receiving a stern warning. "This comes from the highest authority: You're to keep your mouth shut," Gigliotti said an assistant chancellor told him. The Philadelphia Archdiocese quickly removed the accused priest, the Rev. James J. Brzyski, from his parish in the Fox Chase section. But the archdiocese did not tell parishioners the reason.
January 3, 2012 |
THERE WAS a framed photo over the bar of Billy Murphy's Irish Saloon showing a Roman Catholic High football squad of the early '60s - everybody looking fierce and mean. Everybody, that is, except Billy Murphy. There was the Irish kid, who, despite his reputation as a star running back and a fierce linebacker, had a big grin on his face. That photo told all you needed to know about the jovial Irishman who ran the "Saloonery," as it was popularly called, at Indian Queen Lane and Conrad Street in East Falls for 33 years.
January 16, 1998 |
A priest who says he is seeking treatment for a "sex addiction" admitted yesterday in Bucks County Court that, over the course of three years, he supplied an altar boy with beer, shared a bed with him, hugged him, and kissed him on the lips. The Rev. Michael Swierzy, 49, of Downingtown, a former principal of Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, who most recently ministered at St. John the Evangelist church in Lower Makefield Township, pleaded guilty to one count of corruption of minors and was sentenced to five years' probation.
November 18, 2014 |
A former Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy at a Northeast Philadelphia parish from 1998 to 1999 died Sunday, just weeks after an appeal of his conviction was heard before the state Supreme Court. The Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 67, of Wynnewood, was in the second year of a six- to 12-year sentence at the Coal Township Prison in Northumberland County, stemming from his 2013 conviction. Engelhardt died at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, the Associated Press reported.
August 30, 2012 |
A Philadelphia judge this morning set March 6 for the retrial of Rev. James J. Brennan, the Roman Catholic priest charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy in 1996. Common Pleas Court Judge Robert P. Coleman met briefly with Assistant District Attorneys Patrick Blessington and Mark Cipolletti and Brennan and defense lawyers William J. Brennan Jr. and Richard J. Fuschino Jr. before setting the trial date. Coleman also set March 4 for a pretrial conference. Father Brennan, 49, was tried earlier this year with Msgr.
August 17, 2012 |
A municipal judge stunned Philadelphia prosecutors today when she threw out the most serious charges against a former Roman Catholic pastor accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Philadelphia altar boy in 1997. Judge Karen Simmons ruled after the alleged victim testified that the Rev. Andrew McCormick led him to his rectory bedroom in the city's Bridesburg section one evening in 1997, stripped to his boxers, straddled the altar boy and tried to force him to perform oral sex. McCormick's lawyer, William J. Brennan, argued that the allegations didn't justify felony sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges because there was "absolutely no evidence" of clear penetration, as he said the law requires.
December 24, 2003 |
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, to a young altar boy at St. Patrick's Church in Jersey City in 1956, felt like a medieval mysterium. It had all the pomp of the centuries-old Tridentine Mass sung in Latin by the priest at the altar, and answered by the choir from the shadowed loft at the rear of the darkened church. Memory carries the treasure of this moment. Altar boys enter and swing bronze censers as wreaths of evergreen and holly shudder to the sounds of a thousand parishioners rising as one, singing the opening lines of "Adeste Fidelis," and the bells above us begin to ring out from the high stone towers.
November 13, 1992 |
They come into the Adoption Center playroom in a tumble of joy. They're wrestling, punching and laughing. These six brothers and sisters live in four separate foster homes, and this is a day of celebration. It's their once-a-month gathering. They're together! And that's what they want to be, with the miracle of a family that will read their story and see the love they can bring. They jump on a big table and grin at one another. Hope swings her legs and bats her eyelashes as she swishes a paper fan at Eddie.