BishopAccountability.org
Pope's Assistance Sought by Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse in San Francisco

By Michael J. Kinslow
IndyBay.org
August 19, 2008
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/08/19/18527835.php

A survivor of repeated acts of molestation by the Roman Catholic Monsignor Charles Durkin has today sought the intervention of Pope Benedict XVI and the Apostolic Nuncio to cause William Joseph Cardinal Levada to provide sworn testimony. The testimony would involve the policies and practices Cardinal Levada used in dealing with problem priests when he was Archbishop of San Francisco, as well as his specific memories of Msgr. Durkin and those priests with whom Durkin worked and associated.

At issue in the case are repeated acts of molestation that the survivor alleges occurred during 1994 through1996 at Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco. The child was allegedly abused by Msgr. Durkin while he was preparing for Mass as an altar server at the church. The survivor has sought the Pope's assistance because Cardinal Leveda, who supervised Msgr. Durkin for more than a decade, was reassigned to the Vatican.

August 19, 2008

POPE'S ASSISTANCE SOUGHT BY SURVIVOR OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE IN SAN FRANCISCO

A survivor of repeated acts of molestation by the Roman Catholic Monsignor Charles Durkin has today sought the intervention of Pope Benedict XVI and the Apostolic Nuncio to cause William Joseph Cardinal Levada to provide sworn testimony. The testimony would involve the policies and practices Cardinal Levada used in dealing with problem priests when he was Archbishop of San Francisco, as well as his specific memories of Msgr. Durkin and those priests with whom Durkin worked and associated.

At issue in the case are repeated acts of molestation that the survivor alleges occurred during 1994 through1996 at Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco. The child was allegedly abused by Msgr. Durkin while he was preparing for Mass as an altar server at the church. The survivor has sought the Pope's assistance because Cardinal Leveda, who supervised Msgr. Durkin for more than a decade, was reassigned to the Vatican.

"This request is wholly consistent with the pastoral actions and public statements, made by the Pope toward victims of childhood sexual abuse," stated the survivor's attorney, Michael J. Kinslow of the law firm of Zalkin & Zimmer, L.L.P. He added that, "The Holy Father's leadership is essential to bringing peace both to the Church and to the souls of those suffering as a result of the scourge of abuse." " "Hopefully the Pope will respond to our request in a manner consistent with his public statements," concluded Kinslow.

According to press reports, Msgr. Durkin retired from Star of the Sea in San Francisco in April of 2002. That was a month after the San Francisco district attorney's office requested church records related to allegations of abuse. At the time of his retirement, Durkin was the subject of another sexual abuse allegation.

Msgr. Durkin was ordained for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 11, 1955. He served as a priest at the following parishes: Star of the Sea; St. Sebastian; St. Patrick; Church of the Epiphany; Our Lady of Mount Carmel; All Souls; Saint Elizabeth Church; and ,once again at Star of the Sea, where he remained until retirement in 2002 amid an abuse allegation. Msgr. Durkin died in 2006.


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