July 19, 2011 |
When allegations of decades-old sexual abuse surfaced last year against a Denver-area priest, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput acted swiftly and abruptly. Chaput suspended the priest the same day the accusation was made. He identified him in a public statement, and turned the matter over to police - all before an internal investigation into the claim could be completed. "Prompt action is painful for the whole Church," the archbishop later wrote in an April 2010 column for the Denver Catholic Register defending his decision.
March 31, 1992 |
The young pastor was torn. Should he? Or shouldn't he? The attractive woman he was counseling confessed she had fallen in love with him. He confessed, to himself, that he felt the same way. She was married. But her husband beat her regularly. Should he tell her how he felt? The neophyte clergyman posed the question yesterday to a room full of ministers, priests, and religious and pastoral care workers. This time, the case was hypothetical. The young pastor was an image on a television screen.
June 23, 2012 |
Lawyers call a judge's speech to a deadlocked jury a "dynamite charge," the workingman's nickname for a bid to blast through an impasse. On Wednesday, the 12th day of jury deliberations in the 13th week of the child-endangerment and sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests, the dynamite sticks came out. It just wasn't clear who might get hurt. Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina's directive could dislodge a verdict in the landmark trial of a Catholic Church supervisor.
October 27, 2002 |
While Congress and the President march toward war, some religious leaders are grappling with what spiritual guidance to give to their congregations. When war drums rumble, how does a principled citizen reconcile the needs of the state - prosperity, strength, security - against the noblest virtues of religion: mercy, kindness, peace? Congress made its priorities clear this month, voting by a wide margin to authorize an American invasion of Iraq. And yet some national and local religious leaders believe that vote leaves certain moral questions unresolved.
January 23, 1999 |
On March 3, thousands of Philadelphia families could lose their welfare benefits because of reforms in the law. Area clergy are praying that won't come to pass, but they've also sent Gov. Ridge a letter recommending ways to avoid cutoffs. Delivered Thursday, the one-page missive is from the Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia, which represents about 700,000 people. Among the 10 signers are the bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and the Diocese of Pennsylvania - Episcopal Church.
March 1, 2012
Lawyers on Wednesday added two more people to the jury for the conspiracy and child sex-abuse trial of three current or former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests. After an eighth day of screening, prosecutors and defense attorneys had chosen six men and six women for the panel. Lawyers for both sides still need to pick 10 alternate jurors, who could be tapped if any of the original 12 were disqualified or forced to leave the case. That process could extend into next week.
June 20, 2012 |
An odd thing happened Monday during the 10th day of jury deliberations in the clergy sex abuse trial. Nothing. No questions from the jury, no readings of testimony, no high-decibel arguments between the lawyers and judge. Instead, for the first time in more than a week, the seven men and five women jurors appeared to work steadily — and silently — toward a verdict in the landmark case against two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests. They met for nearly six hours of closed-door talks but offered no clues to their progress.
January 9, 2003 |
The clergy abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church appear to have dragged the public's confidence in organized religion to its lowest level in six decades, according to a George H. Gallup International Institute poll released this week. Only 45 percent of Americans interviewed last year expressed "high" or "very high" confidence in organized religion, down from 60 percent in 2001, said pollster George H. Gallup Jr., whose father began the annual survey in 1941. What's more, only 52 percent of adult Americans interviewed last year rated the ethical standards of clergy as "high" or "very high," whereas 64 percent had given the clergy good ratings in 2001.
April 2, 2010 |
Despite an intensifying crisis over clergy sex abuse in Catholic Europe, with calls for Pope Benedict XVI to dismiss bishops or even resign as pontiff, a sex-abuse protest outside Philadelphia's Catholic cathedral Thursday drew only a few demonstrators. "If people are angry, it certainly didn't show in this," said protest organizer Marita Green, motioning toward the four other demonstrators. They held signs reading "Stop the Hiding" and "Hold Sexual Predators and their Enablers Accountable.
March 20, 1997 |
The setting was dramatic, the steps were tentative, the partners barely knew each other, and a major figure was uninvited. But the message for racially divided and violence-plagued Grays Ferry from black Protestant pastors and white Catholic priests was clear: "With the help of almighty God, may this good work bring peace and healing to all of us," declared the Rev. Steven Avinger, pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, 1208 S....