January 10, 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.
July 25, 2012 |
Msgr. William J. Lynn was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison Tuesday 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 suppporters so passionately described. But as the aide Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua tapped to investigate clergy-sex abuse, Lynn instead chose to protect the church over victims, she said.
July 24, 2012 |
Several months ago, Kathy Schuck's 15-year-old daughter posed a question that seemed innocuous but that became a call to action. The gist of Ann Schuck's question: Why did girls and women seem to be less important than men in their church, St. Rose of Lima in North Wales? Kathy Schuck, 56, of Blue Bell, said she had long felt women were confined to secondary roles in the Roman Catholic Church, where she did not hear a message of inclusion. The hierarchy and exclusion of the voices of the lay members troubled her, she said.
June 26, 2012 |
"Abominable," "shameful" and "sad" were a few of the words the parishioners of St. Joseph Church in Downingtown used Sunday to describe the conviction of their former pastor, Msgr. William J. Lynn, of child endangerment in the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial in Philadelphia. On Friday, Lynn, 61, became the nation's first Catholic church supervisor convicted for covering up abuse by a priest. He faces up to seven years in prison. On the first Sunday after that dramatic outcome, cars packed St. Joseph's two parking lots as usual.
June 23, 2012 |
UPDATED 5:45 P.M. As the jury foreman read the verdict, Monsignor William J. Lynn turned very red, his family in the two rows behind him crying. Father James Brennan dropped his head to the table as if overcome with emotion, faced with a likely retrial. Lynn was found guilty of one count of child endangerment in the landmark clergy sex-abuse case. The foreman said the jury was hung after 13 days of deliberations on Brennan's charges. Lead prosecutor Patrick Blessington angrily declared he would seek the maximum seven year prison term for the monsignor, and, describing him as a flight risk, immediately moved to revoke the Lynn's bail.