August 11, 2013 |
Pennsylvania's Superior Court has set Sept. 17 for oral arguments on the appeal by Msgr. William J. Lynn, convicted last year of child endangerment for his role supervising Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. A letter setting the date was filed Monday by the intermediate court for criminal and civil appeals. The hearing will be in Philadelphia before a three-judge panel. Lynn's conviction was a landmark: He became the first church official criminally charged for his role supervising Catholic priests accused of child sexual abuse.
July 30, 2013 |
A recent decision by a federal judge not to dismiss a lawsuit against the Diocese of Camden for allegedly concealing the history of a priest accused of molesting three young girls has been hailed as a significant legal advance for abuse victims. U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in late June denied a diocese request to dismiss the case. Part of the diocese's argument was that the statute of limitations had long expired. Hillman instead ruled that the case brought by Lisa Shanahan, 44, warrants consideration because New Jersey law has exceptions for the statute of limitations that typically expires when a child-abuse victim turns 20. Victim advocates say the decision is one of two in Camden federal court that show alleged victims of sexual assault are starting to win legal challenges previously lost because of New Jersey's narrow window for suing.
July 26, 2013 |
WILMINGTON - City police arrested a man Wednesday who they said stole a priest's car at gunpoint outside the church where he was staying. The Rev. Paul Williams said that he was moving his car outside St. Paul's Catholic Church Wednesday morning when a man pointed a gun at him. Williams was not wearing his Franciscan habit when he was accosted. Williams, 62, said he thought he man was going to shoot him. The gunman drove off in his car. Police said two officers spotted Williams' car Wednesday afternoon.
July 19, 2013 |
THE ARCHDIOCESE of Philadelphia is officially condemning tomorrow night's appearance by the Rev. Helmut Schüller at Chestnut Hill College. Schüller's reformist views, which include the ordination of women and married men, the permission of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive sacraments and an end to celibacy for priests, "diverge very seriously from Catholic belief and practice," Archdiocese spokesman Kenneth Gavin said. "To avoid the furtherance of any confusion about Catholic teaching, he may not speak at any parish or Diocesan-related facility in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," Gavin said.
July 3, 2013 |
MILWAUKEE - As more victims of clergy sex abuse came forward, then-Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan developed a plan to pay some abusers to leave the priesthood after writing to Vatican officials with increasing concern, warning them about the potential for scandal if they did not defrock problem priests, according to documents released Monday. Dolan's correspondence with Vatican officials and priests accused of sexual abuse was included in about 6,000 pages of documents the Archdiocese of Milwaukee released Monday as part of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court with clergy sex abuse victims suing it for fraud.
June 19, 2013 |
For anyone with a smartphone or tablet, it is the most fundamental of gestures. A simple swipe or "pull" of the finger, and the screen is "refreshed" - revealing the presence of new e-mails, tweets, messages, whatever. The brainchild of some vast corporation? Nope. Meet Loren Brichter, a low-key 28-year-old who lives in Bella Vista. "Pull-to-refresh" was a feature of an app that he created in 2008, which allowed people to use Twitter with their iPhones. Twitter bought him out in 2010, and after working there for a year or two, he now has created another company.
June 17, 2013 |
The other day, two-time U.S. Open champion Billy Casper (1959, 1966) was about to give a little talk at Merion Golf Club about how the game has changed when he was given a message: Your former caddie is outside. Casper gave the thumbs-up, but they would have probably let the man into the session anyway. The former caddie is now the Rev. James Sherlock. Although it's been 55 years, the pastor of St. Colman Church, barely a 1-iron away in Ardmore, recalls most every detail of when he caddied for Casper in the 1958 PGA Championship over at Llanerch Country Club off West Chester Pike.
June 14, 2013 |
Even as they professed their innocence, a Catholic priest and an ex-parochial schoolteacher got long prison terms Wednesday in the serial sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy in the late 1990s. Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler exceeded sentencing guidelines in handing out punishment to the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, and Bernard Shero, 50, saying their crimes called for long terms. She sentenced Engelhardt to six to 12 years in prison and Shero to eight to 16. The sentences stunned the standing-room-only crowd that filled her courtroom.
June 13, 2013 |
THEY'D BEEN convicted and stood before their judge yesterday for sentencing. And still, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero - a Catholic priest and former parochial- school teacher convicted in January of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy - avowed their innocence. "I denied even knowing the accuser," said Engelhardt, 66, remembering his arrest. "Even after he appeared in this courthouse, I have no recollection of him. " Shero, 50, said he was equally mystified by the student's claims, and Shero's mother told Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler that Shero's thick eyeglasses and awkward appearance made him an easy target for troublemakers.
June 4, 2013 |
Understanding Father Andrew Greeley, the priest, sociologist, and novelist who died last week at 85, is essential to understanding the last half-century of American Catholic history and the glorious contradictions of politics. He was a liberal whose impatience with actual liberals was legendary. Yet this resolute Irishman, who once used the phrase "marginal but not alienated" as an apt sociological description of himself, was bolder than so many others in the positions he staked out. Not one for understatement, Greeley titled one of his last books: A Stupid, Unjust and Criminal War: Iraq 2001-2007 . Did I mention books?