|Cardinal Kin Shock
Perv Priest Abused Me: O'Connor Nephew
By Dan Mangan and Cathy Burke
New York Post
June 18, 2009
A nephew of the late John Cardinal O'Connor was abused by a perverted priest who targeted him when he was a teen attending a Catholic high school, an explosive new lawsuit claims.
Richard Green says his nightmare unfolded when he was a 14-year-old freshman at the Philadelphia school.
The suit charges the abuse continued even as school and church officials engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" to cover up the sick history of the Rev. John M. McDevitt, a religion teacher.
Worse, McDevitt used Green's close relationship to O'Connor "to get power over him," forcing the teen into accepting his tutoring, lawyer J. Michael Reck said.
"Father McDevitt told him, 'You need tutoring, and if you don't, your life will be hell,' " he said yesterday. For six months in 1990 and 1991, Green's life became just that, according to the lawsuit he filed in Delaware.
"During that time, the abuse was a regular occurrence, multiple times a week, most of it in the classroom," Reck said.
The abuse included both oral and anal sex, according to the suit.
At a news conference this morning, Reck said he hoped O'Connor had no knowledge of the abuse -- but didn't know with certainty.
"I doubt that he did," said Reck.
He said he didn't know if Green, who is now 32, ever tried to tell his famed uncle about the alleged abuse at Father Judge HS for Boys.
But, Reck said, "He has approached the church hierarchy for help -- and, to be honest, hasn't received much."
O'Connor was New York's beloved archbishop from 1984 until his death in 2000; McDevitt died in 1999.
"I think this situation shows no child is safe from these priests," Reck said. "If the nephew of Cardinal O'Connor can be abused, no one is safe."
Green was able to file his claim because of a Delaware law allowing childhood sex-abuse victims barred by the statute of limitations to sue for a limited time.
Queens Democratic Assemblywoman Margaret Markey is sponsoring similar legislation in New York.
Reck said the suit asks for unspecified monetary damages, changes in the way the church handles pedophile priests, and the release of documents detailing who abusive priests are and how their cases have been handled.
Church officials in Wilmington and Philadelphia, along with the order that ran the school, "created and implemented a "conspiracy of silence," to hide McDevitt's prior record of sexually abusing minors and his "propensity to commit such acts," the suit charges.
The Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, which ran Father Judge HS, was also named as a defendant.
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