May 9, 2012 |
Weeks before prosecutors say he tried to rape a 14-year-old boy, the Rev. James J. Brennan called the clergy office at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. At the time, Brennan had just started a leave of absence to deal with "inner turmoil" he blamed in part on being sexually abused as a child. Brennan complained to Msgr. William J. Lynn, who ran the clergy office, that other priests had been gossiping that he really took the leave so he could "shack up" with one of his former students at Cardinal O'Hara High School.
May 6, 2012 |
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Friday that he had permanently removed five priests from active ministry for sexual abuse or misconduct with minors, and reinstated three others after an investigation could not substantiate similar claims against them. The decisions, which followed a 14-month review, marked one of the largest ousters of active priests in the archdiocese's history. It also validated a February 2011 grand jury report that accused local church leaders of ignoring evidence of clergy sex abuse and stirred new outrage among area Catholics.
May 5, 2012 |
Even when she finally spoke directly to church officials, the woman expressed doubt they would do anything about her cousin, the Rev. Nicholas V. Cudemo, who she said had molested her for years, beginning at age 10. On this day, Sept. 28, 1991, she told the church officials "he bragged about it. He said he was called downtown [to the archdiocese offices] several times and told about his lifestyle and that nothing has been done about it. " Nor, according to church memos recording his views, did Cudemo seem worried when he was called to the Archdiocesan Office for Clergy on Oct. 2, 1991, and confronted with sex-abuse allegations made by three female cousins and a half-dozen women who were not related.
April 19, 2012 |
THE BATTLE in Harrisburg over school vouchers has placed state Rep. James Roebuck Jr. in political peril to a newcomer with well-heeled campaign contributors. Roebuck, 67, who has represented West Philly's 188th District since 1985, says he is using his post as the ranking Democrat on the state House Education Committee to stymie legislation that would allow tax dollars to be used to pay for private-school tuition. He is being challenged in Tuesday's primary election by Fatimah Muhammad, 27, who favors the voucher plan and tells a compelling story about being homeless as a child and about how education improved her life.
April 17, 2012 |
His was the typical Philadelphia Catholic family, the witness said. Mom and Dad were regulars at Mass. He and his sister helped out at the rectory. And no one was held in higher esteem than a priest. "We were raised with the belief that a priest never did anything wrong," he told a Common Pleas Court jury. In that sense, the man, now 45, echoed other alleged abuse victims at the landmark conspiracy and child-sex abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.
April 13, 2012
CARDINAL ANTHONY J. Bevilacqua broke civil and church laws when he ordered aides in 1994 to shred a list that identified dozens of Philadelphia-area priests suspected of molesting children, an expert on canon law and clergy sex abuse testified on Thursday. "That was like obstructing justice cubed," the Rev. Thomas P. Doyle told a Common Pleas jury. "He's got a list of men who may have abused children, and he's going to shred it?" The assertion thrust the late cardinal squarely into the spotlight for the first time in the landmark child-sex-abuse and endangerment trial against his former secretary for clergy, Monsignor William J. Lynn.
April 5, 2012 |
For a lying, scheming criminal and junkie, he cleaned up well, and, under bruising cross-examination, more than held his own. If I had to score Round One of the most important testimony to date in the trial concerning sex abuse and conspiracy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I'd give it to the beleaguered - yet believable - 30-year-old victim staring at his alleged abuser in court. "Mark," as he was labeled in the 2011 grand jury report, is the Bucks County man charging a criminal breach of trust by the Rev. James J. Brennan, a priest and family friend he thought of as an uncle.
April 2, 2012 |
One priest, the Rev. John Cannon, sneaked into a cabin at night at a church-run camp, groped the boys in their beds, and forced them to do the same to him. Another, the Rev. Stanley Gana, had a stable of boys rotate through his rectory bedroom, once inviting two at the same time so neither thought he was playing favorites. In both cases, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia left the men in ministry for years after allegations against them first surfaced, a Philadelphia jury was told Monday.
April 1, 2012 |
Stalking. Groping. Gay bondage porn. A sexually graphic love letter to a grade-school boy. The topics discussed in a third-floor Philadelphia courtroom last week might unnerve most observers. That they emerged in testimony about priests - and at times, from priests - only amplified the uneasiness. After all, a prosecutor told jurors at the start of this landmark clergy sex-abuse trial in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, priests are viewed as God's agents on Earth. Though much of the evidence introduced against Msgr.
March 30, 2012 |
SHE WAS 13, the fifth of seven children in a devout Catholic family in Roslyn whose mother attended Mass once or twice daily. But the girl dreaded Sunday mornings. For her, Sundays meant a morning of groping by the Rev. Albert T. Kostelnick. The woman, now in her mid-50s, told a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury Thursday about how Kostelnick fondled her for two years as she served food in the rectory of St. John of the Cross Church, in Roslyn - and then did the same to two of her sisters who followed her into the job. "I didn't know what to do," she told the jury.