ST. LOUIS -- As Catholic sisters from across the country were sequestered in meeting rooms Wednesday to discuss broad issues of the place of women and men in the church, specifically their relationships with bishops following a Vatican rebuke, five people stood outside the building.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- A Massachusetts man who was abused in the 1980s by Alfred F. Graves, a former priest of the Springfield Diocese, agreed to a $500,000 settlement with retired Springfield Bishops Joseph F. Maguire and Thomas L. Dupre July 27.
The agreement, worked out late July 26, ended a dramatic civil trial that featured emotional testimony by the abuse victim, Andrew Nicastro, now 41, his family members and two priests who testified to the harm caused by Graves from 1982 to 1985.
Nicastro, of Williamstown, alleged the bishops had been negligent during their respective tenures as head of the diocese by returning the former priest to ministry with insufficient supervision knowing he had a history of abusing boys. He filed suit in 2009.
Bishop Maguire, now 92, was named coadjutor for Springfield in 1976, was installed in 1977 and retired in 1991. His successor, Bishop John A. Marshall, died in 1994. Bishop Dupre, now 78, was appointed to succeed him and was installed in 1995. Citing health reasons, he resigned in 2004.
"The testimony was compelling," John Stobierski, Nicastro's principal attorney, said after the trial.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- The priest whose arrest last year led to the first criminal charges against a Catholic bishop in the church's decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of possession and production of child pornography.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- When the U.S. bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002 to put an end to the sexual abuse of children by priests and others in the church, they committed to using "adequate screening and evaluative techniques in deciding the fitness of candidates for ordination."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The priest whose arrest for possession of child pornography led to the first criminal charges against a Catholic bishop in the church's decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis is expected to plead guilty in federal court Thursday to at least some of the charges against him, according to court records.
The meeting agenda of the largest advocacy group for victims of clergy sex abuse was filled with updates on the group’s legal matters, but for many in attendance, the gathering also offered hope for healing and an opportunity to be understood.
The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held its annual conference July 27-29 in Chicago. The more than 200 who attended heard updates on a Missouri court’s order to release documents to lawyers representing accused priests; the group’s case before an international criminal court; and the recent abuse trials in Pennsylvania.
SNAP has appealed the Missouri court order to the state’s Supreme Court and expected a decision from the high court as the conference began, but nothing emerged. Barbara Blaine, the group's founder and president, said that while the order has spread fear, victims have also expressed relief that the group’s leadership is intent on fighting to keep members’ information private.
“I think that has meant a great deal to a lot of people,” Blaine said.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The leading advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to quash a local judge's ruling for the group to grant access to more than 23 years of internal documents to attorneys who represent accused priests in the state, saying the order violates the confidentiality of abuse victims.
Hundreds of plaintiffs involved in a historic sex abuse settlement more than five years ago with the Los Angeles archdiocese may be coming to the end of a long struggle to gain access to thousands of pages of documentation detailing the conduct of church officials in handling the scandal.
For failing to protect children from a known predator priest, Msgr. William J. Lynn will spend three to six years in prison.
Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina read the former secretary of clergy for the Philadelphia archdiocese her sentence July 24 before a standing-room-only courtroom.
"You knew full well what was right, Msgr. Lynn, but you chose wrong," Sarmina said, according to The Associated Press.
Other courtroom reports quoted the judge as telling Lynn, 61, he "helped many but also failed many," and "enabled monsters in clerical garb … to destroy the souls of children."
When given the chance to speak, Lynn said he did his best to protect children, but acknowledged that his best wasn't good enough.
Lynn's lawyers have stated they will appeal his case. A hearing to release the convicted priest on bail during the appeal process was postponed until Aug. 6.
Present in the courtroom were many from Lynn's family and support circle, several of whom took the stand as character witnesses for the monsignor. Just as many stood beside the victim of Edward Avery, a defrocked priest who molested the 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.
Mission Management: The Spokane, Wash., diocese recently announced that a new settlement had been reached with respect to current, pending claims of sexual abuse. The settlement culminates almost a decade of complex litigation and a 2004 bankruptcy filing that cost the diocese $48 million.