June 15, 2012 |
Jurors in the clergy sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests ended their eighth day of deliberations Thursday with a new set of questions that suggested they may be shifting their focus from one defendant to the other. Convening for the first time since Tuesday, the panel of seven men and five women asked to see evidence related to the landmark child-endangerment and conspiracy case against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the archdiocese's former secretary for clergy.
June 12, 2012 |
Jurors in the landmark sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests resumed deliberations this afternoon after a three-day break. The panel last met on Thursday, when Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina agreed to jury's request to be excused all of Friday and Monday morning because of graduations and other family commitments. They also have requested to be off Wednesday if they had not reached verdicts against Msgr. William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan.
June 11, 2012 |
Clergy should express contrition As penance for his involvement in the murder of Thomas Beckett, Henry II, king of England, walked to Canterbury Cathedral in sackcloth and ashes and allowed himself to be publicly flogged by the monks. Why, then, could not Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia simply have made a public admission of errant priests, rather than lead an apparent cover-up of his reassigning them without any punishment, thereby exposing other innocent children to clergy abuse?
June 10, 2012
In a speech before 200 clergy, former mayor W. Wilson Goode encouraged the faith community to cast stigma aside and speak up on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS. Goode, who is now an ordained minister, made the remarks Saturday at a conference for clergy hosted by Philadelphia FIGHT, an AIDS service organization. The group's Second Annual Conference for Faith Leaders to Focus on HIV featured workshops on women and youth issues, fear in the church, and how to start an HIV/Aids ministry.
June 10, 2012 |
It was in a single gesture of holding hands that evangelist Darlene King first felt the stigma of her HIV diagnosis. The Germantown minister's eyes were closed and her fingers were entwined with those of other church women as they stood in a circle and prayed during a women's breakfast. King admitted her HIV status as she cried. When the minister opened her eyes, she said, the women who were standing beside her had stepped away. So King was heartened on Saturday as she sat in a room full of clergy who had come together to learn about how the faith community can cast aside stigma and enlist congregations in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
June 8, 2012 |
Jurors in the landmark sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests ended a week of deliberations Thursday with fresh signs they may be far from a verdict. Midway through a fifth day of deliberations, the jurors asked Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina if they could be excused for all of Friday and Monday morning, citing graduations and family commitments. They also requested to be off Wednesday if they had not reached verdicts against Msgr. William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan.
June 6, 2012 |
On their first full day of deliberations Monday, jurors in the landmark sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests weren't shy about asking questions. They asked for the definitions of attempted rape, and then rape itself. (They got them.) They wanted to know if they had to wait until reaching verdicts on both defendants before notifying the court staff. (They did.) And, in a question that stirred a spirited courtroom debate, they asked Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to clarify what they needed to conclude that there had been a conspiracy within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to endanger children.
June 5, 2012 |
Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday that Philadelphia will hold World Family Day in 2015, an event likely to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors that some observers are calling a sign of papal support for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as it struggles with a bruising clergy sex-abuse scandal. Benedict's presence - which would be the first papal visit to Philadelphia since John Paul II's phenomenally popular outdoor Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in October 1979 attracted one million people - could also serve as a much-needed energizer for Catholics, some said.
June 4, 2012 |
Barely four minutes into his closing argument Thursday, defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom uttered two words that seemed woven into the daily script of the clergy sex-abuse trial: "The cardinal. " Bergstrom went on to mention the cardinal - former Philadelphia Archbishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua - at least 18 more times in an hour. Some were passing references, but all were part of a bid to convince jurors that his client, Msgr. William J. Lynn, had the will but not the power to remove abusive priests.
May 31, 2012 |
Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the clergy sex-abuse trial met privately with the judge Wednesday before dispersing to prepare for their closing arguments. The summations, scheduled to begin Thursday morning, will cap a landmark 11-week trial that has included more than 60 witnesses and the introduction of nearly 2,000 documents, many culled from secret church archives on priest misconduct. Jurors could get the case as early as Friday. A day after testimony ended, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina summoned the lawyers to a back room to discuss the instructions she will give the jury before it begins deliberating the case against Msgr.