September 27, 2005
Last week?s grand jury report on sex crimes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia prompted many more letters than could be run on the editorial page. The following is a sampling of responses from readers. I am a Catholic priest serving here in Philadelphia. It used to be so good to be a priest. Now it feels like we have blood on our hands. I wonder how people will ever trust us again. They will not trust us unless we do something drastic - something much more drastic than saying we are dreadfully sorry for what some priests did 10, 20 or 30 years ago. What we need is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Catholic Church - similar to what was done some years ago in South Africa under Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
December 17, 2004 |
The Sea Inside begins with the sound of breathing: the soft, steady thrum of life. And it is one man's life - and his desire to end it - that is at the heart of this moving, hot-button-issue drama. Based on the real story of Ramon Sampedro, a Spanish sea merchant and poet who spent 30 years fighting the church and the state for the right to die, The Sea Inside transcends its melodramatic, movie-of-the-week elements thanks to a deft comic touch and the utterly convincing, charismatic performance of its star, Javier Bardem.
May 10, 2004
IN THE April 23 issue of the Daily News, there was a small blurb of a story about the Lutheran Church paying $37 million in a sexual assault lawsuit. The perpetrator was a Lutheran minister who was sentenced to a long prison term. The victims were small boys, making the minister a pedophile. This story appeared on Page 77. Had the minister been a Catholic priest, the story would have made the front page. The media claims that it does not bash the Catholic Church. Get real! Frank Flicker Philadelphia
March 17, 2004 |
In a pair of lawsuits, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and three Catholic priests who have died have been accused of concealing the sexual abuse of two boys. The abuse occurred between 1960 and 1964 at Cardinal Dougherty High School, and between 1970 and 1972 at St. Bridget's Church in the East Falls section of the city, according to suits filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court against the archdiocese and the priests' estates. In a written statement, archdiocese spokeswoman Catherine L. Rossi said the archdiocese has not had an opportunity to review the litigation, but noted that "the three priests named in the lawsuits are deceased and the allegations are reported to have occurred over 30 years ago. " Nicholas Siravo of the Wissinoming section of the city says he was abused while a student at Cardinal Dougherty High School.
January 9, 2004 |
A 35-year-old Delaware man filed a lawsuit yesterday alleging that a priest who was a Catholic school principal sexually abused him weekly for nine years when he was a schoolboy in Wilmington. The now retired priest, the Rev. James W. O'Neill, was reassigned from Salesianum High School to Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster soon after the first allegation was lodged in 1985. O'Neill has not been accused of any improprieties at Archbishop Wood, where he was principal from 1986 to 1991.
September 25, 2003 |
The Salvadoran worshipers at St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church lost their Spanish-speaking priest after just five months. The Rev. Lou Rojas didn't leave the Lindenwold parish in June because he wanted to. He had to. Rojas had been doing double duty at parishes 20 miles apart. And the other, in an Atlantic County town swollen with migrant farmworkers, needed him more. So the Camden Diocese has rotated a lineup of Spanish-speaking priests into St. Lawrence rather than allow yet another growing Latino community to go unserved.
May 4, 2003 |
At the height of the sex-abuse scandals surrounding the Catholic Church last summer, seven women were quietly "ordained" as priests on a boat in the Danube River between Austria and Germany. Six weeks later, the Vatican excommunicated the group of Catholics, which included the Revs. Ida Raming and Iris Muller, both German theologians. Meanwhile, many of the priests accused of sexual abuse remain in the church, advocates of female priests say, and the discrepancy angers many Catholics who support the ordination of women.
April 17, 2003 |
Police were questioning a man last night who they say could be one of the three robbers who have recently terrorized pedestrians in the Northern Liberties section of the city, and who may be responsible for an attack that left a 74-year-old Catholic priest hospitalized. The suspect - whose name was not released because charges had not been filed - was being questioned last night by East Detectives, police said. No further details would be released until this morning, police said.
August 28, 2002 |
It was 23 years ago when parents at St. Joseph's Church in Quincy, Mass., complained that the Rev. Robert V. Gale had sexually molested some of the parish altar boys. So, the Archdiocese of Boston reassigned Gale to St. Jude's in Waltham - where he was put in charge of the altar boys. Yesterday, Gale was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury, charged with four counts of raping one of those Waltham altar boys between 1980 and 1984, when the alleged victim was between 10 and 14 years old. Over four years, the boy was molested about twice a month, according to Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley.
July 26, 2002 |
Open City, shot in Rome by Roberto Rossellini in the first months following Italy's liberation by the Allies, is a landmark in the history of cinema, but never mind that - it's also a powerful tale that brings the epic turmoil of World War II down to human scale. Starring the sad-eyed and sultry Anna Magnani and the rugged Marcello Pagliero, this documentary-like drama, set in the middle of the war, tracks a wanted Resistance leader's desperate attempt to keep clear of the Nazis, and how the lives of a Catholic priest, a Resistance brethren whose girlfriend (Magnani)