News Story of the Day
Religious institutions have constitutional protections, but they are not above the law. Unfortunately, that has not stopped the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups from arguing that the First Amendment shields them from civil lawsuits for negligent supervision and retention of employees who sexually abuse children.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, has played a critical role in making public the horrific crimes of pedophile priests and holding the Roman Catholic Church accountable for the crimes. Now the church is using a tactic that could cripple SNAP by embroiling it in costly litigation in which it is not a party.
Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Churchand priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.
Since 1985, at least 32 Roman Catholic priests have left the United States for foreign countries while facing criminal charges or a police investigation over allegations that they sexually assaulted or abused minors, according to federal warrants, news reports and law enforcement sources.
HOUSTON—A former United Methodist Minister is named in a multi-million dollar civil suit filed by a woman who claims that she was sexually abused for years while senior church members failed to take any action to prevent it.
On January 2, David Clohessy -- director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) -- sat down with lawyers representing Catholic priests.
It was not to chat over tea.
ALBANY -— Fourteen district attorneys whose counties are within the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese have called on Bishop Howard J. Hubbard to reshape the diocese's handling of sexual abuse complaints against clergy and other employees.
The discovery of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua's 1994 order to shred a memo about 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of molesting children is no reason to dismiss the case against one of his key aides, a judge ruled Monday.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A former Marianist cleric at the Chaminade College Preparatory School was so well-known for his inappropriate behavior toward showering students that they had a name for it: the "Meinhardt treatment," according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
Mary McCarthy Stanton, who said she was molested and raped by a priest in the 1960's, felt compelled to speak out after seeing recent TV coverage of the death of former Santa Fe Archbishop Robert Sanchez.