June 18, 2013 |
A pension fund for priests cited as a priority in a $200 million fund-raising campaign by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has fallen precariously short of money, and church officials want parishes and retired clergy to help cover the shortfall. In meetings this spring, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told priests the plan had been underfunded, poorly managed, and was spent on rising health-care costs for clergy, according to three priests who attended or were briefed on the talks. Chaput said the fund needed $90 million to be solvent but had less than $4.5 million, they said.
April 17, 2013 |
IN RECENT times, Washington, D.C., has increasingly become known for its relentless partisanship, even sometimes at the expense of addressing effectively some of our nation's most urgent problems. This past Wednesday, with Sens. Toomey and Manchin's compromise amendment on background checks for gun sales, a gust of fresh air blew in our nation's capital. We commend these two senators, Republican and Democrat, both gun owners with top ratings from the NRA, for their perseverance in working out a deal, and also for their creativity and their courage in the face of strong opposition from the powerful gun lobby that too often has prevented commonsense progress.
February 12, 2013 |
T HE REV. Terrence Griffith, who was reinstalled Sunday to a second term as the president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, doesn't hold back when he talks about the root of violence in urban America. Don't blame poverty, he said, adding, "I grew up poor, and so did lots of successful black men. " And don't point the finger at single-parent households, he said. "My mom was a single mom and lots of folks grew up in single parent homes and raised their kids to be successful.
January 11, 2013 |
Testimony is to begin Monday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court in the trial of a priest and a former parochial-school teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Northeast parish in the late 1990s. Judge Ellen Ceisler confirmed the start of testimony Wednesday after prosecution and defense lawyers completed picking a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates to hear the evidence against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, and Bernard Shero, 49. Jury selection began Monday and concluded Wednesday with two final jurors and six alternates.
January 8, 2013 |
It's been almost two years since a Philadelphia grand jury probe of Catholic clergy sex abuse of children resulted in charges against four priests and a teacher. On Monday - after last year's landmark, three-month trial ended in the first criminal conviction of a church administrator for covering up the crimes of deviate priests - the last two defendants, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former parochial schoolteacher Bernard Shero, are to go to trial. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, and Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler will begin winnowing a large group of candidates down to a jury of 12 plus several alternates.
September 19, 2012 |
Breaking with anonymity - but not loosening the tenacious hold of childhood sexual abuse - two men announced Tuesday that they had sued the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, church officials, and three priests. The emotional statements by Andrew Druding and Michael W. McDonnell highlighted a Center City news conference where their lawyers also announced six other lawsuits on behalf of seven victims purportedly abused as children by archdiocesan priests. "What you did didn't define me," said Druding.
August 14, 2012 |
A NUMBER of Philadelphia-area clergy came together Sunday night to speak out against Pennsylvania's controversial new voter-ID law, saying it will prevent thousands from casting their ballots. The Rev. William B. Moore of the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church in North Philadelphia said an 80-year-old parishioner of his is one of them. She was born in a South Carolina home, delivered by a midwife and never had a birth certificate. Without that, she can't get a photo ID in Pennsylvania, even though she has a Social Security card and voted in prior elections, he said.
July 26, 2012 |
Msgr. William J. Lynn was sentenced Tuesday to three to six years in state prison by a judge who said he turned a blind eye while "monsters in clerical garb" sexually abused children, devastating families and shaking the Catholic Church across Philadelphia and beyond. Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said she believed Lynn was once the kind and selfless parish priest that his supporters so passionately described. But as the aide whom Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua tapped to investigate clergy sex abuse, Lynn chose to protect the church over victims, she said.
July 26, 2012 |
On a balmy May day on the roof deck of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Ringo Roseman spoke with passion and verve about how Nathan Irish and Elisa Reape are happiest when making each other happy. Clad in a black tuxedo, he pronounced them husband and wife with the ease of a seasoned professional, and got roaring applause from the 80 or so family and friends watching the ceremony. Not bad for a first-timer. Roseman, 31, is not a priest or rabbi (he's a bar manager), but he did fill out a short form on the Universal Life Church Monastery website awarding him the designation of minister and allowing him to legally perform the ceremony in Philadelphia.