Bishop Accountability

Egan Resources – June 2002

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Abuse Scandal Spreads Ripples over Functions of the Church

By Daniel J. Wakin
New York Times
June 6, 2002

The priest sex abuse scandal has taken its toll on the men who run the Archdiocese of New York, which tends to 2.4 million Roman Catholics but also runs a school system, a hospital network and a bevy of social services.

Its chief fund-raiser, who is also the pastor at St. Raymond's Church, a large and busy parish in the Bronx, has been suspended at a critical moment in the yearly fund drive, which is $1.5 million in pledges below its $15 million goal despite an extension of several weeks.

The monsignor who runs the school system has been assigned to fill in at St. Raymond's during a bitter dispute with teachers three weeks before the Regents exams.

The priest who handled annulments in the Poughkeepsie office was suspended in early April, and the office is temporarily closed.

And another influential priest, who runs the office for parish councils and other lay affairs, has taken an indefinite personal leave without any official explanation by the archdiocese.

The turmoil is a reminder that the Catholic Church plays a powerful institutional role in society, and that the scandal's weight is not felt just in the pews of a wounded parish or the spirits of victims and their families. The consequences of sex abuse allegations, and the practice of immediately removing an accused priest, are rippling through a bureaucracy that envelops 414 parishes in 10 counties.

Officials of the archdiocese say the changes have been emotionally wearing, but assert that operations are not suffering.

"The work is still going on," said Joseph Zwilling, the archdiocese spokesman. "We have a good staff in place, who are continuing to pick up the slack if any exists thus far, and the work is being carried on."

So far, timing has been kind to the archdiocese. With the onset of summer, schools are closing and fund-raising is winding down. But at least one pastor and former official at Ten-Eleven, as the archdiocese headquarters at 1011 1st Avenue is called, is concerned about the power vacuum. "You need to make sure that people are put into those positions," the priest said. "I guess the cardinal is waiting until such a time to determine that these men are not going be able to come back and function."

Even now, inevitably, officials are cutting corners.

Msgr. Thomas Bergin, the vicar for education, said that since being appointed two weeks ago to run St. Raymond's parish in the Bronx, he has had to delegate duties to his staff at Ten-Eleven, and his new job has crowded out his attendance at graduations, board meetings and receptions.

Monsignor Bergin took over for Msgr. Charles M. Kavanagh, the pastor at St. Raymond's and the archdiocese's vicar for development. Cardinal Edward M. Egan suspended Monsignor Kavanagh after a former high school student accused the monsignor of an inappropriate relationship while the cleric was rector of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in the early 1980's. Monsignor Kavanagh has denied any impropriety.

Monsignor Bergin, who is also president of the Cathedral High School for girls, said it was unlikely he could continue as vicar for education. "Realistically, can I give quality time to all three jobs?" he said yesterday. "No. This is where I am and this is going to have to take the major part of my time. I can wind down as vicar for education, as president of Cathedral, but as of today there is no indication of what can happen."

As vicar, he oversees 289 elementary and secondary schools, serving more than 111,500 students, many of them from poor non-Catholic families that find them a haven from undisciplined, low-ranking public schools.

Meanwhile, teachers of the Lay Faculty Association decided to picket Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, to protest the lack of a contract since August, said the union's leader, Henry Kielkucki. The union represents about 350 of the 450 teachers at Catholic high schools in the archdiocese, and carried out a 17-day strike that ended Jan. 2. Parents are on edge now, because their children are preparing to take Regents exams next week.

Mr. Kielkucki said he was delighted by the prospect of Monsignor Bergin's departure from running the school system.

"He is a major, major voice in what teachers do, what we get, what we don't get," Mr. Kielkucki said. "He was absolutely, probably the toughest person I dealt with in negotiations. He absolutely did not give an inch in solving the teachers' problems." He added: "If he was out of the negotiating process, it would be one of the greatest days in the history of the union."

Monsignor Kavanagh's suspension was of concern for other reasons. For eight years, he has been vicar for development, the archdiocese's main ambassador to Catholic wealth. With him went a golden Rolodex. Even if he is completely cleared, some priests said his damaged reputation would make it difficult for him to return to his old job.

His removal came during the annual Cardinal's Appeal, which was extended by several weeks to the end of the month, after the first phase, aimed at larger donors, took longer than expected, Mr. Zwilling said.

Monsignor Kavanagh's departure, however, did not halt the flow of pledges from the pews, Mr. Zwilling said. He said $2 million in pledges came in over the past week, and while the actual cash received is several million dollars less than the pledges, "we fully expect that the goal will be reached this year."

The development office is an important part of fund-raising for the archdiocese's hospitals and nursing homes and for Catholic Charities, a federation of 130 agencies that help hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.

The reason for the departure of another archdiocese official, the Rev. Robert J. Aufieri, remains a mystery. He was the director of the Archdiocesan Office for Parish Councils and had responsibility for several areas covered by offices that Cardinal Egan closed last year, including the liturgical commission and youth ministry. Another priest has taken on some of his duties.

Yesterday, Mr. Zwilling said he could not say where Father Aufieri was or why he took an indefinite personal leave.

"Father Aufieri had a very responsible job in the archdiocese and was very well thought of," he said, then corrected his verb tense: "Is."

Pope Selects Cardinal Egan to Serve on Top Vatican Court

By Daniel J. Wakin
New York Times
June 8, 2002

Pope John Paul II has named Cardinal Edward M. Egan to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Roman Catholic Church's highest court, a sign of the Vatican's confidence in him even as his diocese is embroiled in the priest sex-abuse scandal.

The appointment is also a recognition of the cardinal's expertise in church law. Cardinal Egan, a canon lawyer who will remain the archbishop of New York, was one of five new cardinals placed on what functions as the church's supreme court. Among its duties, the court hears appeals on procedural grounds of decisions by the lower court, the Roman Rota, including the removal of priests from the priesthood.

Such removals, called laicizations, could become more common after next week. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet to consider new guidelines on dealing with priests who sexually abuse minors. The proposed guidelines call for the laicization of any priest who has committed more than one act of abuse of a minor in the past.

The Archdiocese of New York has suspended at least nine priests who have been accused of abuse, though their final status is still undetermined. Cardinal Egan has come under criticism for how he handled abuse allegations before coming to New York while he was bishop of Bridgeport, but church experts said the appointment showed he still had the confidence and support of the pope.

"It's an honor, very definitely, to be named," said the Rev. Arthur Espelage, executive coordinator of the Canon Law Society of America. "He has been under the gun, I read in the papers. But yes, I think Cardinal Egan has the credentials and the experience in the canonical world to take a place at the table and do credible work."

Cardinal Egan learned of the appointment, which was announced by the Vatican on Thursday, a month ago. But it was likely that Vatican officials had been thinking of him in the position last year, after he and the latest group of cardinals were named and before the scandal emerged, said Msgr. David M. O'Connell, the president of the Catholic University of America.

"It's conceivable that if some pressing matter would argue against his appointment, that would have been brought to the attention of the Roman authorities," Monsignor O'Connell said. The appointment is also important because it puts an American voice on the court, he said.

Cardinal Egan has a doctorate in canon law and served as a judge on the Rota for 12 years. He helped prepare a revision of the church's law code, and briefed the pope on it.

Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the archdiocese, said that the added duty would not mean more trips to Rome for the cardinal. "Much of the work can be done via the work being sent to him, and he can review it and render an opinion," Mr. Zwilling said.

Along with hearing appeals on procedural grounds in lower court cases, the Signatura also makes judgments on administrative matters, like whether a bishop acted properly in removing a pastor from a parish or in closing parishes, Father Espelage said. It does not have authority over doctrine, liturgy or canonizations.

The other cardinals whom John Paul named to the high court are prominent, including Jozef Glemp, the primate of Warsaw; Agostino Cacciavillan, a former Vatican representative to the United States and now president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, which manages Vatican finances and investments; Sergio Sebastiani, a former Rota judge and now president of economic affairs for the Vatican; and Walter Kasper, an influential theologian.

Priest's Defenders See Affection Where an Accuser Sees Abuse

By Daniel J. Wakin
New York Times
June 11, 2002

Danny Donohue was captain of the basketball team, a top student and hard-praying seminarian on a fast path to the priesthood. Charlie Kavanagh was everybody's favorite priest, a stand-out athlete himself who inspired dozens of students as a teacher and later rector at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary.

A friendship and spiritual bond blossomed 25 years ago. But something went wrong. Mr. Donohue says the closeness became sexually twisted. He dropped out of seminary college, his faith shattered. Last month, amid a continuing nationwide scandal over sexual abuse by priests, Mr. Donohue accused Monsignor Kavanagh of sexual abuse. He was suspended May 24 as pastor of St. Raymond's Church in the Bronx and as the vicar for development, or fund-raiser in chief, for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

The Kavanagh case has emerged as just the sort of complicated, ambiguous situation that does not fit into the proposed national policy on sexual abuse by priests that American bishops plan to discuss this week in Dallas. The draft guidelines call for any priest who has committed more than one act of sexual abuse of a minor to be removed from the priesthood, though a one-time offender can remain. But the guidelines do not explain what such an act might be. Nor do they address less explicitly sexual but nevertheless physical relationships between priests and minors.

In his accusation, Mr. Donohue said that during his junior and senior years at the seminary, starting when he was 16, Monsignor Kavanagh lay on top of him and rubbed against him in a sexual manner at least twice. He also hugged him at length, he said, and they held each other's hands in their laps during prayer. The monsignor has not commented publicly but has denied any improper behavior through a spokesman.

Beyond Mr. Donohue's statements, there is little evidence of sexual abuse, although he says Monsignor Kavanagh, now 65, made damning acknowledgments in a 1984 letter to the Donohue family. Mr. Donohue, now 37, has declined to release the letter.

Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, acknowledged that the proposed policy did not address such murky situations.

He said that although he was not familiar with the substance of the Kavanagh case, "that has been historically one of the problems -- when you have people convinced that something awful happened to them but at the same time it is hard to demonstrate objectively that is the case."

At their meeting, he said, the bishops may discuss how to define an act of sexual abuse. The criminal code could provide definitions, he said.

Something else sets the Kavanagh case apart. Supporters have coalesced around both accuser and accused, to a greater degree than is usual in these cases. Both men are held in high regard. Monsignor Kavanagh is prominent in monied circles and had long served at St. Raymond's. The Donohue family, with nine children, one a professor of theology, and parents who have dedicated themselves to their church, is well-respected, too.

As the supporters come forward, it becomes clearer just how great the distance is between the legalistic language of guidelines and policies and the reality of whatever happened between the two men during Mr. Donohue's high school years, from 1978 to 1982, and for two years after that.

During that time, Father Kavanagh heard Mr. Donohue's confessions, advised him spiritually, and was his rector and best friend, Mr. Donohue said.

Fellow students remember their closeness. But some said Mr. Donohue was misinterpreting a physical intimacy that was typical of the school. "It was a very affectionate upbringing," said Michael P. Lyons, who graduated in 1973. Instead of the handshake of peace after daily Mass, the students and teachers would hug one another, he said.

Monsignor Kavanagh took a paternal interest in boys at the seminary as a mentor. "Dan became a son that Charlie never had," said Mr. Lyons, 46, who owns a modeling and talent agency in New York.

He scoffed at the notion that Monsignor Kavanagh did anything improper, and described him as charismatic. "He made you feel that you were part of his life as a priest," he said. Mr. Donohue is "just jumping on the bandwagon and thinking he's going to get some money out of a lawsuit."

That is not the Danny Donohue that other classmates knew.

"He was a star," said Matthew Ball, 39, a hospital grant writer in Manhattan. "Everybody wanted to be Dan Donohue, an athlete, a scholar, a good-looking guy. Dan was more pious than anybody you could find." Mr. Ball agreed that the relationship was like that of a father and son, but said he believed that it had turned sexual. "This is incest for Kavanagh," he said.

Mr. Ball and another classmate, Larry Ryan, both said that in the past, Mr. Donohue confided in them, in general terms, about his troubled relationship with the priest.

Mr. Lyons said he had spoken with about 15 former students at Cathedral Preparatory who support Monsignor Kavanagh. He said he met with officials at the archdiocese on June 3. "They were very supportive," he said. People familiar with the meeting said Cardinal Edward M. Egan attended, showed keen interest in the discussion and asked for prayers for Monsignor Kavanagh.

Like other Kavanagh supporters, Mr. Lyons said the monsignor's suspension was a sign that he was being considered guilty without a fair hearing. The guidelines call for a diocese to relieve a priest of his duties "when the investigation of a complaint against a cleric so indicates."

Mr. Lyons said, "You could say 'Boo' and a priest is going to be out. It's almost like a lynch mob."

The Kavanagh case was the object of muted discussion Friday night at the annual gathering of Cathedral Preparatory alumni at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers. Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell celebrated the Mass. At the end, he asked for prayers for Monsignor Kavanagh but not for Mr. Donohue, disturbing the former student's supporters.

One alumnus, the Rev. Fernando Hernandez, praised the men as a model priest and a model student. "You're placed in the middle," he said. "Here you have two good people, and you just kind of pray over it."

Past Adviser to Cardinal O'Connor Resigns After Admitting to Affairs

By Daniel J. Wakin
New York Times
June 12, 2002

A bishop who was a confidant of Cardinal John O'Connor has resigned as a pastor and auxiliary bishop after admitting having had sexual affairs with women over the course of several years, the Archdiocese of New York said yesterday.

[Photo Captions: James F. McCarthy; Msgr. James F. McCarthy, right, in 1995 with Cardinal John O'Connor, during preparations for a visit to Central Park by Pope John Paul II. Photos by Marilynn K. Yee.]

The bishop, James F. McCarthy, 59, told church officials about the affairs after he was confronted with a letter that the archdiocese received on Saturday, said Joseph Zwilling, the archdiocese spokesman. The bishop stepped down as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Shrub Oak, N.Y., and as auxiliary bishop in charge of northern Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties.

None of the women were minors, and there is no accusation that the bishop did anything illegal. But it is likely that the scandal over the sexual abuse of children by priests played some role in the bishop's departure. It would have been difficult to ignore such a letter given the scrutiny focused on the archdiocese, or to have accepted anything less than his resignation.

"We felt we had to move quickly because of the role he has as a bishop and because the bishops' conference is coming up starting tomorrow and because he did admit to doing this," said one archdiocese official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

American bishops are gathering in Dallas to discuss new guidelines about how to deal with child-abusing priests and the outrage generated by the reassignment of some by bishops who were aware of the abuse but did not take action against the priests.

Bishop McCarthy's swift departure raised eyebrows among victims' advocates, who noted that some priests who sexually abused children were never forced to resign.

"It is ironic," said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. "Obviously, that's the kind of response we want when we find out about allegations of priests who have abused children as well." The proposed guidelines in Dallas call for immediate suspension of offenders who have committed more than one act of past abuse.

Cardinal Edward M. Egan has ordered Bishop McCarthy not to act as a priest. But whether there will be an effort to remove him formally from the priesthood has not been decided, Mr. Zwilling said. The pope would need to approve his resignation as bishop.

In a statement, the bishop acknowledged a sexual relationship with a woman that began when she was 21, which church authorities said took place roughly 20 years ago. Bishop McCarthy also acknowledged "improper sexual contact with other women."

He said he struggled to live a celibate life. "To my humiliation and shame, I was not always successful," he said. "I have grievously sinned and long ago asked for the Lord's forgiveness." He also apologized to fellow priests, parishioners, family and friends, and to the women. He added that he would do penance with a period of contemplation in retreat.

Mr. Zwilling declined to release the contents of the accusatory letter or say who sent it.

A bishop who knows Bishop McCarthy well said it was from the woman mentioned in the statement. At the time, Bishop McCarthy was a priest in his 30's at St. Benedict's in the Bronx. The bishop described Bishop McCarthy as crushed.

In a statement, Cardinal Egan expressed concern for all involved, "in particular any women and their families who may have been hurt and Bishop McCarthy as well."

He said people should pray "that we will see a return to holiness and sanctity on the part of all clergy."

Some parishioners at St. Elizabeth expressed strong support for their fallen pastor. "It's not fair," said Sarah Koshofer, 54. "We don't want him to leave. I just don't understand -- he's done so much good."

One church expert said the resignation should prod American Catholics to examine celibacy and the heterosexual practices of priests.

"It confronts the broader and richer picture of the human nature of the priesthood, the assertion of a need for not so much sexual expression, but deep personal relationships," said Eugene Kennedy, a former priest and an emeritus professor of psychology at Loyola University of America. Mr. Kennedy said he has known and admired Bishop McCarthy for many years. "I'm not surprised to find out that he is capable of being loved by a woman and loving a woman," he said. "It's not a crime, and I'm not sure it's a sin."

Bishop McCarthy was well liked and known for his ease at dealing with people. He was born and raised in White Plains, attended Archbishop Stepinac High School and was ordained in 1968. He became Cardinal O'Connor's secretary in 1984. He was ordained a bishop in 1999.

Bishop McCarthy became a trusted adviser and gatekeeper, and accompanied the cardinal on his frequent trips to Rome. After Bishop McCarthy left the job, Cardinal O'Connor recounted how he once went to see the pope without him.

"And the Holy Father looked around and said, 'Where's Jim?' " the cardinal said.

Scandals in the Church: The Policy
Extent of Priests' Accountability Debated

By Daniel J. Wakin
New York Times
June 14, 2002

Dallas - As the American bishops struggled to create a national policy to protect children from sexually abusive priests, New York's influential cardinal, Edward M. Egan, suggested today that bishops could still follow their own path.

"We're here today to share ideas, to think through, to understand, to help each other how we should proceed," Cardinal Egan said.

Noting the fundamental independence of dioceses within the structure of the church, he said, "A national policy is one thing, but a local policy is the determining policy."

When asked if that meant a bishop was free to depart from what guidelines are established at the annual bishops' conference here, Cardinal Egan said: "Let's see how this works out."

The bishops were in closed session through the evening, and were to vote on the guidelines tomorrow.

"We're here now to develop a national policy, there's no question about it," he added. "We're here also to share our understanding."

Cardinal Egan, a canon lawyer recently appointed to the Vatican's supreme court, said it was the New York Archdiocese's policy to remove a priest from ministry after only one clear act of sexual abuse.

A major concern expressed by victims of sexual abuse and other lay Catholics here has been how to hold bishops accountable for such policies in the future.

The draft charter on protecting minors that the bishops are considering here calls for the creation of a national office of child safety and a review board that would ensure that all the American bishops adhere to the same national policies.

While some victims of abuse said those measures were not enough, several bishops, including Cardinal Egan, suggested that they themselves should be entrusted with protecting children, and that public opinion would keep them honest.

"Let's say we didn't act purposefully," Cardinal Egan said. "I think the members of the community would be such you'd be held accountable."

In a new suggestion floated at the conference, some bishops proposed setting up review boards in provinces -- broad regions that include several dioceses and an archdiocese -- to look at whether each diocese is following the policy.

"That in itself is a tremendous mechanism for accountability," said Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St. Paul-Minneapolis and chairman of the ad hoc committee on sex abuse.

A strong proponent of a national policy is Bishop John J. Myers of Newark, who is on the ad hoc committee on sex abuse and helped draft the charter. He said a national audit of dioceses made public "is raising the bar very high, and will ensure that the bishops be accountable."

He also suggested that archbishops who find that bishops in their regions are lax in policing abusive priests could report them to the authorities in the Vatican.

Other bishops said the equivalent of peer pressure could be a powerful check.

Bishop William S. Skylstad, the conference vice president, said anger among bishops over Cardinal Bernard F. Law's handling of abusive priests in Boston and the action of some other bishops has created a sense of solidarity. "We cannot let each other down," he said, and, at the same time: "They're not going to let one another off the hook. There's just too much at stake now."

Mark Serrano, an activist with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said, "Embarrassment is not an incentive for doing the right thing morally." Mr. Serrano suggested that lay members be given greater power to scrutinize bishops at the diocesan level.

Bishops are strongly independent, and answer directly to the pope. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is the body meeting here, can establish policies, but they are not binding.

Some measures being discussed, such as special conditions on formally removing men from the priesthood, or laicizing them, for molesting minors must be sent to Rome for the Vatican approval to make them binding.

But it still would be up to bishops to act on laicizing a priest.

Speakers at the meeting today made it clear how difficult the hurdle is for bishops to overcome in assuring the faithful that after the meeting is over and guidelines are put in place -- as they were during the last such scandal 10 years ago -- they will not be forgotten.

"This is difficult for some of you to hear, and some of you will refuse, even now, to listen to it," R. Scott Appleby, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, told the rows of bishops sitting at long tables. Catholics of all sorts, liberal, moderate and conservative, agree on the cause of the scandal: "a betrayal of fidelity enabled by the arrogance that comes with unchecked power," he said. "In the current climate it will not be enough to say no bishop would refuse to implement the new policies. Each bishop must be held directly accountable."

Victims' advocates took note that it was the bishops themselves appointing the people who would scrutinize them. Even if the auditors are well-intentioned, "They're not any more infallible than bishops," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, the editor of the Catholic weekly America.

Bishops around the country have set up their own review boards. One, William Murphy of Rockville Center, N.Y., said the board considered cases without his involvement and dealt directly with law enforcement officials.

"I'm doing my best to be accountable," he said. "If this office is set up correctly," he said of the youth protection office, "that's a real step forward." But he acknowledged, "I don't know if that will satisfy people."

He described being deeply moved by the stories of four victims of priest sex abuse, who addressed the bishops this morning.

"I really want to pray," he said, his voice breaking and his eyes rimming with tears. "I hope I haven't done anything wrong. I don't believe I've done anything wrong. I pray I haven't."

Bishops apologize for handling of priests' sexual abuse cases
'We need to pick up the pieces,' N.Y. cardinal tells his parishioners

Associated Press, carried in Baltimore Sun and reprinted in Hartford Courant
June 17, 2002,0,3807108.story

NEW YORK - The Roman Catholic church needs to pick up the pieces, Cardinal Edward Egan told parishioners yesterday as bishops returned to their pulpits after passing a new mandate on dealing with pedophile priests.

Egan and other church leaders apologized to worshippers yesterday for the clergy's handling of one the worst scandals in U.S. church history.

"This is a harsh day. These are terrible times. And we are all outraged, scandalized," Egan told parishioners at St. Charles Parish on Staten Island. "We need to pick up the pieces, and we will."

The national guidelines, adopted Friday at a landmark bishops conference in Dallas, require church officials to report any allegation of a minor being abused by clergy and give the rank-and-file an unprecedented role in policing the church.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia said the Dallas meeting was "the most painful and difficult" of his 33 years as a priest.

"Painful though it is, I still support" the policy, Bevilacqua said during Mass at St. Denis Parish in Havertown, Pa. "I have to balance my great love for all priests with the common good of the church. That has to be the highest priority."

One aspect of the policy drawing criticism is that while past abusers will be stripped of duties, they will be allowed to remain in the priesthood.

Victim-rights groups have argued that formal defrocking is the only acceptable punishment for abusive priests.

Vatican officials, however, have questioned whether the plan to remove abusive priests from church work may go too far, said Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He said many in the Holy See do not understand the U.S. legal system and think that church penance is enough.

Gregory said he still is "as confident as I can be" that the Vatican will approve the policy. The process, which could take months, is necessary before the policy can become church law in the United States.

"They know the seriousness of the matter," Gregory said on NBC's Meet the Press. "They have expressed their overwhelming desire to assist us."

Many bishops returning from the conference said their dioceses had adopted sexual abuse guidelines similar to the national mandate.

New Mexico Archbishop Michael Sheehan said on Saturday that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe had served as model for the national policy. He expelled 20 priests after he took over the archdiocese in 1993 amid a sexual scandal there.

"We had here a microcosm in New Mexico of what has taken place recently in the country," he said.

In Boston, the epicenter of the turmoil rocking the church, Cardinal Bernard Law did not appear at Holy Cross Cathedral, as he had not returned from Dallas and customarily spends the summer visiting parishes.

The homily was instead delivered by a priest, the Monsignor William H. Roche, who did not discuss the bishops' meeting or the sexual abuse scandal. Outside, protesters gathered as they have done since the scandal broke in January.

Stephen Lewis, 45, of Lynn, Mass., held a sign that read "Bishops Balk, Bishops Walk." Lewis said he was abused by a priest when he was an 11-year-old altar boy.


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