Stallings, in TV Show, Denies Sex Allegation

By Bill Dedman
Washington Post
September 7, 1989

The Rev. George A. Stallings Jr., the dissident Catholic priest, went on national television yesterday to say that he is innocent of the allegation that he had sex with a 16-year-old altar boy.

"Read my lips: I am innocent," Stallings said on CNN's "Larry King Live."

Stallings went on to say, "What else do you want to know?" but declined to answer questions. He would not say if he has ever had sex with a minor or any man. He also would not state his views on pedophilia or the vow of celibacy.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the former altar boy, now 28, swore in a signed statement that he repeatedly had sexual relations with the priest in the rectory of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Southeast Washington in a three- to four-month period in 1977.

The man, whom The Post agreed not to identify, said he broke off the relationship and never reported it to authorities.

The Post also reported that the Archdiocese of Washington had received a separate complaint three years ago but had not been able to substantiate it. This summer, The Post reported, Cardinal James A. Hickey confronted Stallings about his lifestyle and asked him to seek treatment at a church-owned facility specializing in treating pedophilia.

Soon after the meeting with Hickey, Stallings defied church authorities by founding the Imani Temple, an independent black Catholic congregation. He said he was prompted by racism in the church.

On CNN, Stallings confirmed that Hickey asked him to go to the treatment center, but not for pedophilia. Stallings said he would not discuss the reason. "Cardinal Hickey ought to tell the truth in this matter," Stallings said. "If he is a man of God, he will do that."

Earlier yesterday, Stallings said on a Boston television show, "If I were an altar boy, I would want to say that I slept with Father Stallings . . . . Obviously there's somebody out there who has some intention of trying to associate themselves with . . . somebody famous . . . . And obviously somebody's paid somebody to make some kind of false statement which in no way will discredit the movement."

He predicted that three or four times as many people will come to Imani Temple to show support for him in the face of the allegation.


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