EDITORIAL: Catholic Church leaders must be accountable for abuse

The Mercury

In the last month, convictions of two priests who were found guilty of charges related to child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been upheld by higher courts.

In 2013, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church in northeast Philadelphia from 1998 to 1999 while the priest was in residence there.

Engelhardt denied the allegations and appealed the verdict, but died last November of an apparent heart condition while in the second year of a six-to-12-year sentence at the Coal Township Prison in Northumberland County.

State law required that the priest’s appeal be continued. On March 25, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed Engelhardt’s convictions of endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor and indecent assault.

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