Priest alleging seminary abuse leads church reform demonstration

National Catholic Reporter

August 30, 2018

By Peter Feuerherd

At event, Cardinal Tobin says he was previously unaware of allegations against McCarrick

Newark NJ – On the day after it was announced that his alleged assailant was relieved of parish duties, Fr. Desmond Rossi led an Aug. 29 prayer demonstration in front of the Sacred Heart Basilica Cathedral here, calling upon the church to reform in the aftermath of the sex abuse crisis.

Among the dozen or so attendees was Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, who told the group, “We have to smash the structures and culture that make abuse [in the church] possible.”

Rossi, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, New York, returned to the Newark Archdiocese to call for an overhaul of how the church deals with sex abuse. Last month he announced that he was sexually assaulted by two fellow seminarians in 1988 while serving in the archdiocese.

One of his alleged assailants is deceased; the other, Fr. James Weiner, was to be installed in September as pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Westwood, New Jersey, where he has been serving as administrator for the past eight months. While an archdiocesan review board concluded that the charges were credible but unsubstantiated, Tobin agreed to reopen the case and Weiner was relieved of his duties.

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