Church in Crisis
James Griffith

Louisville Courier-Journal
September 29, 2002

[See the main page of this special section on the Church in Crisis.]

A former deacon, Griffith is named in one lawsuit. He pleaded guilty in 1988 to indecent or immoral practices and first-degree sexual abuse for molesting another man who had been a student at St. Raphael Catholic School between 1974 and 1977. He was sentenced to five years' supervised probation. Griffith, a Passionist brother, lives at one of the order's residences in Chicago and has long been removed from public ministry, according to a spokesman for the order. He declined to return phone calls when the suit was filed. The victim of Griffith's crime also sued the archdiocese, in 1988, but the archdiocese won a ruling from the Kentucky Court of Appeals that post-traumatic memory disorder doesn't constitute grounds for extending the statute of limitations. That suit was dismissed.

PLAINTIFF: [Name redacted by]
AGE: 40
ADDRESS: [Name of town redacted]
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1972-74. St. Raphael Boy Scout troop trips
ACCUSATION: Sexual abuse
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: [Name redacted], who wasn't Catholic, said he knew Griffith, a deacon and Boy Scout leader, as a member of a troop that met at St. Raphael.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? [Name redacted] said he told a friend. He said he also told his parents several years later.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "The church beats its breast saying how sorry we are, but in private, they have tried to preserve their power and assets. It's time for it to stop."


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