May 1, 2015 |
For years, the man identified in court documents as John Doe 187 said he harbored thoughts of suicide - crippled by a "dark anger that was suffocating my soul. " The depression eased, he said, after he approached lawyers with allegations that a Philadelphia priest had abused him when he was a child, and he said he was prepared to testify against the priest at trial. That never happened. The man's lawsuit, filed in 2011 against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was settled last month - less than two months after the church settled a suit filed by another man who alleged that he, too, had been sexually abused as a boy by a priest.
May 1, 2015 |
IN WHAT THEIR attorney called a "significant step" in the healing process of two survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has settled the first civil suits filed in 2011 after a damning grand-jury report on sex abuse by area priests. The settlements with survivors - identified in court documents as John Doe 10 and John Doe 187 - were made earlier this year, the second coming in February the day before jury selection was to begin for the trials in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, said attorney Dan Monahan, who represented both men. Monahan and attorney Jeff Anderson announced the settlements yesterday.
April 13, 2015 |
The Rev. Thomas M. Higgins, pastor at Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church in Juniata Park, is not just the spiritual leader of a vast area of Lower Northeast Philadelphia. He's also a busy property manager. To date, Holy Innocents, the sole survivor of a five-way merger, is the most extreme case of parish consolidation in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It left Higgins in charge of 22 buildings clustered in Frankford, Juniata Park, and Kensington - churches, schools, rectories, and convents that had to be sold or rented to cover their costs.
March 24, 2015 |
JOHN WISNIEWSKI, 60, says he has been with St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown all his life. His parents and grandparents were married there, and he was baptized there. A.J. Thompson, 38, left another church two years ago to join St. Laurentius, a church he found "welcoming," he said. Now, both men are furious with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which announced yesterday that it would proceed to demolish the 133-year-old building at Berks and Memphis streets, the oldest Polish church in the city.
March 13, 2015 |
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and local organizers of the World Meeting of Families announced Monday the creation of 15 committees to coordinate the international gathering in September, which will feature a visit to Philadelphia by Pope Francis. The committees will develop programming and coordinate efforts on such topics as music, "visitor experience," liturgies, youth events, parish preparation, and papal events. Sponsored by the Vatican and hosted by the archdiocese, the six-day gathering will feature a four-day congress of lectures and workshops at the Convention Center.
March 5, 2015 |
A Bucks County priest removed from ministry last month was placed on leave because it was discovered that a trove of pornographic images he had downloaded in 2005 may have included up to a dozen photos of minors, the archdiocese said in a statement Tuesday. The Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, 47, most recently of St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Holland, had been disciplined in 2005 and 2011 for downloading pornography, Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman Ken Gavin said. But recently, Gavin said, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office - which had investigated the previous cases but declined to press charges - told the archdiocese that among the 12,000 images Kolenkiewicz downloaded in 2005, up to 12 may have depicted juveniles.
March 3, 2015 |
The Vatican is asking Catholics around the world how the church can better serve their families, but local response to Rome's questionnaire has been lackluster, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia reports. The Diocese of Camden, meanwhile, has rewritten the survey's dense language - what it calls "Vaticanese" - inspiring lively conversations in its parishes. The emphasis on families comes as the region prepares for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, which will be capped by a visit from Pope Francis.
February 17, 2015 |
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed a Bucks County priest on administrative leave while it reviews allegations against him. The archdiocese said Sunday it had placed the Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, 47, on leave, "in an abundance of caution. " Archbishop Charles J. Chaput took the action in response to new information stemming from allegations that were investigated twice before, in 2005 and 2011. The archdiocese did not disclose details of the allegations but said Kolenkiewicz was alleged to have violated ministry standards regarding the boundaries of appropriate behavior for interacting with children and young people.
January 22, 2015 |
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Tuesday announced a $10-million fund-raising goal for its annual Catholic Charities Appeal, which supports the archdiocese's Catholic Social Services programs in the region. In each of the last two years, the appeal's goal of $10 million was met, officials said. More than 50,000 people donated last year. The appeal supports 80 charitable programs - including educational programs for children and youth with disabilities, soup kitchens for the homeless, senior centers and hospices - that provide services to more than 200,000 people a year, regardless of their faith, the archdiocese said.
January 15, 2015 |
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to announce next Tuesday this year's fund-raising goal for its annual Catholic Charities Appeal, which supports the archdiocese's Catholic Social Services programs in the region. In each of the last two years, the appeal's goal of $10 million was met, officials said. More than 50,000 poeple donated last year. In 2013, there were 73,806 gifts totaling $10.03 million. An official figure for 2014 was not available. The appeal supports 80 charitable programs - including educational programs for children and youth with disabilities, soup kitchens for the homeless, senior centers and hospices - that provide services to more than 200,000 people a year, regardless of their faith, the archdiocese said.