Former Bronx priest continues battle with New York Diocese over sexual misconduct defamation

Irish Central

Irish Voice Reporter

Published Saturday, September 29, 2012

A former Bronx priest is suing the New York Archdiocese for libel in a landmark lawsuit, claiming sex allegations brought against him were false.

A once influential Catholic monsignor, Charles Kavanagh, was defrocked from the priesthood in 2010 for the sexual abuse of a minor, after he was convicted in a 2006 canonical trial. An appeal to a second church tribunal also found him guilty in 2010.

Last Wednesday, lawyers for Kavanagh, now 75, filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan, after the priest’s accuser, Daniel Donohue, told a federal judge last April that he had not been truthful about his allegations.

“No one has ever handled a case of this nature,” Kavanagh’s attorney, John Dearie, told the Irish Voice.

“The significance of this is that the person who made the allegations 30 plus years ago has retracted it, apologized to the person and has asked that the archdiocese reconsider their decision to remove him from his ministry,” Dearie said.

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