Parishioners Rally in Support of Accused Pastor

November 17, 2009,0,6881341.story

[with video]

Parishioners at Saint Mark's Catholic Church on the west side rallied in support of a former pastor, who's accused of sexually abusing two boys about 25-years ago when they were in junior high school.

The Reverend Edward Maloney was removed from ministry after Cardinal Francis George and an archdiocesan review board determined there was credible evidence supporting the allegations.

Mirian Dabila, a supporter of Maloney who turned out for the rally, said he married many of the parishioners at Saint Mark's, taught religion to many of them, and said the allegations cannot be true.

However, Barbara Blaine from the group "SNAP" or Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, was outside the church and critical of Cardinal George for not attending.

She said he should have been at the rally tonight, to explain and defend to parishioners why he thought there was credible evidence in the charges recently brought about by the two victims who are now adults.

The archdiocesan case against Maloney has been forwarded to the Vatican, which could remove him from the priesthood.

Maloney, who retired in 1999, maintains his innocence.


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