June 28, 2014 |
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity said Thursday that District Attorney Seth Williams should have dropped an investigation of five Philadelphia Democrats allegedly caught on tape taking bribes. Williams announced last week that he was taking the case to a grand jury. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane had dropped the investigation in 2013, calling it tainted by racism and overly reliant on an informant with a checkered past. The Rev. Terrence Griffith, president of the Black Clergy, said in an interview late Thursday that the way the investigation was conducted - using an informant and soliciting the alleged corruption - represents a major problem in the justice system.
May 10, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court agreed Thursday to resolve the contested key legal theory underpinning the landmark 2012 prosecution of the first Catholic Church official charged in the clergy child-sex-abuse scandal. The state's highest court will thus decide the future of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia official responsible for investigating and recommending punishment for priests accused of sexual and other misconduct. It could also dictate the standards for prosecutors to bring future charges against any church officials accused of covering up misconduct by clergy they supervise.
March 14, 2014 |
AS IT TRIES to move past the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced earlier this week that it will host its first Mass for survivors of abuse. The Mass for Healing, which will take place March 22 at Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, will be led by Archbishop Charles Chaput and focus on prayers for the victims, the healing of the church and all those affected by the abuse. The Archdiocese said some survivors have been invited and are expected to attend the 5:15 p.m. Mass, which will also be broadcast via a live stream on the Internet.
July 1, 2013 |
ATLANTA - Former President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world. The human-rights activist said Friday that religious authorities have perpetuated misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church's forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures' mutilating the genitals of young girls. Carter said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social, and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex-slave trade, and inequality in the workplace and classroom.
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.