Suit Claims State Priest Improper

Birmingham News [Alabama]
March 8, 1995

Mobile (AP) - A second priest in the Mobile Catholic diocese has been accused of improper physical contact with a teenager.

A lawsuit alleges that Monsignor Cordell Lang engaged in the contact five years ago while he was a counselor at the church's McGill-Toolen High School, Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb said in a statement. Lipscomb said his instruction that Lang discontinue priestly duties as an associate pastor to St. Mary's Parish followed a policy recommended by the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

The archbishop's statement Monday noted Lang's "15-year record of unblemished service, often given at great personal sacrifice as a consequence of his physical disability."

Lang, 49, has multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Lipscomb did not elaborate on the allegation of "improper physical contact" alleged in the suit filed in Mobile County Circuit Court by Birmingham attorney Archie Lamb.

Lamb said he represents a former McGill student now in college. Lamb said others have complained to him but he has not decided whether to file additional lawsuits.

"The law in this area is extremely difficult for victims of sexual abuse when they are minors," Lamb said.

It's the second lawsuit against the Mobile archdiocese since last September alleging improper physical conduct by a priest.


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