Arizona "John Doe" behind Latest Priest-abuse Lawsuit against Archdiocese of Philadelphia

By Ray Stern
Phoenix New Times
March 21, 2011

A former altar boy who now lives in Arizona has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, claiming church leaders ignored complaints of a pervert priest.

It's the fourth lawsuit against the archdiocese since a grand jury report came out last month that sparked the indictment of three priests.

"John Doe" alleges in the new lawsuit that he was sexually abused at Philadephia's Our Lady of Calvary from 1988 to 1991, and that "the offending priest continued to work around children despite repeated complaints to the archdiocese," according to an ABC News report from Philly.

The case reminds us of the foul history of our own diocese here in Phoenix. Numerous children were abused by priests under the leadership of Bishop Thomas O'Brien, who responded to complaints by merely transferring the suspected diddlers to different churches. (This ethical genius later struck a pedestrian while driving home from mass and left the scene, leaving the man to die on the curb.)

Fresh lawsuits like the one from "John Doe" sure don't help the Catholic Church's image.

But the church does a lot of good in the world, too. For instance, it recently pledged about $14 million for a helpline and counseling services for victims of child abuse in Ireland committed by priests and nuns.


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