Coverage of priest scandals

Archived coverage of priests implicated in sex-abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope is immune from lawsuit in sex abuse case, U.S. says

Rome // The U.S. Justice Department has told a Texas court that a lawsuit accusing Pope Benedict XVI of conspiring to cover up the sexual molestation of three boys by a seminarian should be dismissed because the pontiff enjoys immunity as head of state of the Holy See.  Read more ...

Baltimore

Stokes decries decision not to retry Blackwell

Dontee Stokes said yesterday that because a former West Baltimore priest - whom he accused of molesting him and later shot - will not face a retrial, "There is no safe haven within the system" for sexual assault victims.  Read more ...

Case against ex-priest dropped

Defrocked West Baltimore priest Maurice Blackwell will not face a new trial on charges that he sexually assaulted a onetime choirboy who later shot him, the state's attorney's office said yesterday, bringing to a definitive end a contentious case that dates to 1993.  Read more ...

Bishops renew policy to oust abusive clergy

CHICAGO - The nation's Roman Catholic bishops renewed their pledge to remove sexually abusive clerics from ministry in a near-unanimous vote yesterday to accept a revised version of their policies regarding abuse.  Read more ...

Ex-priest accused of sexual abuse by former student

A former Roman Catholic priest who was accused in January of sexually abusing a former Calvert Hall College student has been charged in Baltimore County, according to charging documents.  Read more ...

Sex abuse scandal dominates meeting of U.S. Catholic bishops

CHICAGO - A board set up by U.S. Catholic bishops to examine the church's sexual abuse crisis recommended a sweeping study yesterday to provide a better understanding of why priests abused minors.  Read more ...

Zero tolerance policy on sex abuse is on agenda for Catholic bishops

With financial settlements in the church's sexual abuse scandal costing more than $1 billion, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are expected this week to retain their zero tolerance policy - permanently dismissing priests from the ministry for any act of abuse against children.  Read more ...

Kentucky diocese agrees to $120 million settlement

COVINGTON, Ky. - Marking the largest settlement yet in the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis, the Covington Diocese said yesterday that it had agreed to pay up to $120 million to alleged victims of child molestation.  Read more ...

Diocese reportedly tried to hide abuse

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange scripted public statements to hide sexual misconduct cases involving a priest and a choir teacher, according to a newspaper account of sealed documents that were accidentally released.  Read more ...

Pope, U.S. cardinal discuss abuse scandal

With his papacy just minutes old and the faithful in St. Peter's Square still unaware of his selection, Pope Benedict XVI greeted Chicago Cardinal Francis George in English and told him he was focused on the issue that has engrossed the church's American leadership for three years - sexual abuse by priests.  Read more ...

Annapolis

Stokes urges more time to file sex abuse claims

The Baltimore man who shot the now-defrocked priest who molested him as a child urged lawmakers yesterday to extend the statute of limitations for civil actions arising from sexual offenses against minors to 28 years, from seven years.  Read more ...

Blackwell asks new trial on abuse charges

Claiming "a circus-like atmosphere where it was impossible for the defendant to receive a fair trial," the attorney for a defrocked Baltimore priest convicted last week of molesting a former parishioner at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in West Baltimore filed a sweeping motion yesterday seeking a new trial.  Read more ...

Blackwell is convicted of molesting teen Stokes

Maurice Blackwell, the former priest of St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in West Baltimore, was convicted yesterday of molesting a parish choirboy, who years later shot him.  Read more ...

Jury seemed hopelessly split, but doubts vanished overnight

Juror No. 5 retired to his Northeast Baltimore home Wednesday evening, certain that defrocked priest Maurice Blackwell would never be found guilty of sexually abusing a former parish choirboy. He and the 11 other jurors had argued, sometimes heatedly, for five hours and appeared hopelessly split.  Read more ...

Dontee Stokes

'Thank God ... This is over'

As Dontee Stokes strode slowly down the courthouse steps yesterday, a smile spread across his face, just as his longtime attorney flashed a thumbs-up sign.  Read more ...

Survivors hail Stokes as a hero for abuse victims

Clergy abuse survivor groups hailed Dontee Stokes yesterday as a hero whose victory in court against his former priest would serve as a beacon for other victims.  Read more ...

Blackwell jury struggles to reach a verdict

After more than five hours of deliberation, jurors in the sexual child abuse case of a defrocked Baltimore priest sent the judge a note yesterday saying they could not agree on a decision - raising the possibility of a hung jury and mistrial.  Read more ...

Jury chosen for sex-abuse trial of defrocked priest Blackwell

With 16 men and women selected yesterday as jurors and alternates, opening statements in the trial of a defrocked Baltimore priest accused of molesting a young parishioner who later shot him are expected to begin this morning.  Read more ...

Defrocked priest proclaims his innocence

Delivering his message with the same impassioned oratory he once used from the pulpit, Maurice Blackwell, a former priest, defended himself publicly yesterday for the first time.  Read more ...

A feeling of peace as trial approaches

Here in a barber chair in a Baltimore shop near Charles Village called Conscious Heads, with one of his closest friends hovering above him with a pair of clippers, Dontee Stokes says he feels peace.  Read more ...

Blackwell's abuse trial postponed for 6th time

The sexual child abuse trial of recently defrocked Baltimore priest Maurice Blackwell was postponed for the sixth time yesterday after his defense attorney and the prosecutor told the judge that they were not ready to begin.  Read more ...

Stokes pleads guilty to handgun violations

More than two years after shooting his former priest, Dontee D. Stokes' legal saga ended yesterday as the West Baltimore barber pleaded guilty to handgun violations and was sentenced to 18 months he has already served on home detention.  Read more ...

U.S. bishops endorse 2nd sex-abuse audit

Accused of backsliding in their commitment to protect children from pedophile priests, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops voted overwhelmingly yesterday to begin a second round of audits to ensure that dioceses comply with provisions to prevent sexual abuse.  Read more ...

Priest's sex abuse trial to go forward

Baltimore prosecutors can proceed with sexual child abuse counts against Maurice J. Blackwell, the priest accused of sodomizing Dontee Stokes more than 15 years ago, according to a judge's ruling issued yesterday.  Read more ...

Former pastor is accused of abusing boy in early 1990s

A Baltimore County priest who resigned in 2002 after filing a false carjacking report to cover up a night with a male prostitute has been accused of sexually abusing a boy while he was pastor of St. Clement I Roman Catholic Church in Lansdowne, the Archdiocese Of Baltimore announced yesterday.  Read more ...

Priest gains a victory in court

The Rev. Maurice Blackwell won a significant victory in his sexual assault case yesterday when half of the counts against him were thrown out by a Baltimore judge, who will soon decide whether to dismiss the entire case against the priest or proceed with part of it.  Read more ...

Priest seeks lesser charges' dismissal

Lawyers for the Rev. Maurice Blackwell, the priest charged with sexually assaulting Dontee Stokes more than 15 years ago, filed motions yesterday asking that the majority of the charges against the clergyman be dropped because they are too old to prosecute.  Read more ...

Catholics express anger, relief after release of abuse reports

BOSTON - Roman Catholics confronted the problem of clergy sex abuse from pulpits, at protests and in parishes yesterday, two days after the release of reports outlining the scandal's scope and the church's failure to protect children.  Read more ...

Stokes retrial set on gun charges

Dontee D. Stokes, the city barber who was acquitted of shooting a priest he said molested him, will be retried on related handgun charges that were thrown out last week by the state's highest court, prosecutors said yesterday.  Read more ...

Stokes gun case voided

Baltimore barber Dontee Stokes, who was acquitted in 2002 of shooting a priest he said had molested him, was given another reprieve yesterday: The state's highest court threw out a handgun charge for which he was convicted in connection with wounding the clergyman.  Read more ...

4,450 priests accused of abuse, draft says

NEW YORK - A draft of the national survey of sex abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests has been viewed by CNN, which reported yesterday that 4,450 clergymen have been accused of molesting minors since 1950.  Read more ...

Bishops lauded for child safety

WASHINGTON - The vast majority of Roman Catholic bishops have complied with orders to implement safeguards designed to protect children from sexual abuse, according to an audit released yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Read more ...

Slain ex-priest opened floodgates in Catholic Church abuse scandal

BOSTON - Long before the public became aware of former priest John Geoghan, clergy sex abuse had cast a shadow over the Roman Catholic Church with claims of molestation and rape, multimillion-dollar settlements and exhaustive publicity.  Read more ...

Catholic bishop calls for healing church rift

WASHINGTON - In a speech stressing hope and conciliation, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged his colleagues yesterday to re-establish a sense of Christian community in the beleaguered church.  Read more ...

Boston Archdiocese paid $21 million to settle sex abuse cases

BOSTON - As alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse began considering the Boston Archdiocese's offer to settle 542 lawsuits, records were released publicly yesterday showing that the archdiocese paid at least $21.2 million in settlements to 149 people from 1994 to 2001.  Read more ...

Boston Archdiocese to pay $85 million

BOSTON - The Boston Archdiocese agreed yesterday to pay $85 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits from people who say Roman Catholic priests abused them, the largest known payout by a U.S. diocese to settle molestation charges.  Read more ...

Catholic lay group notes progress in sex abuse review

CHICAGO - Having survived the fiery resignation of their first leader last month after he likened some bishops to the Mafia, a national panel of prominent lay Roman Catholics said yesterday it had made progress in investigating the priest sex abuse scandal that has wreaked havoc on the church.  Read more ...

Mass. official estimates 1,000 molested by priests and staffs

BOSTON - The number of sexual abuse victims in the Boston archdiocese over the past six decades "likely exceeds 1,000" molested by more than 250 clergy and other church workers, the attorney general of Massachusetts concluded in a scathing report yesterday.  Read more ...

Archdiocese settles teacher sex-abuse lawsuit

A lawsuit that alleged a Baltimore Catholic elementary school teacher fondled five girls has been settled, with families of the five victims to receive $425,000 from the Archdiocese Of Baltimore.  Read more ...

Blackwell case viable but difficult, experts say

When the strange tale of a Baltimore priest and the man he is accused of raping goes to court this year, it will be boiled down to its essence - the word of the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell vs. former parishioner Dontee D. Stokes.  Read more ...

Judge allows Blackwell to stay out of jail

The Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell was spared yesterday the indignity of going to jail before his sexual assault trial, partly because of injuries suffered last year when he was shot by the Baltimore man he is accused of raping as a teen-ager.  Read more ...

Priest charged in sex abuse of Stokes as teen

The Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell was indicted yesterday on child sexual abuse charges, nearly a year after the Baltimore clergyman was thrust into the national spotlight for being shot by his alleged victim, a former parishioner whom he had baptized as a baby.  Read more ...

Stokes testifies before grand jury weighing indictment of Blackwell

Dontee D. Stokes, the Baltimore man who shot a priest he says molested him as a teen-ager, testified to a grand jury yesterday in an effort to help indict the suspended clergyman on charges of child sex abuse.  Read more ...

Stokes lawyer asks to help prosecute Blackwell case

Warren A. Brown, the loquacious litigator and City Council hopeful, grabbed air time on 60 Minutes and space in major American newspapers last year in his successful defense of Dontee D. Stokes, the Baltimore man who shot a priest Stokes said had molested him as a teen-ager.  Read more ...

Abusive priests were protected, grand jury reports

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. - The Diocese of Rockville Centre repeatedly protected priests accused of sexual abuse by transferring them to other parishes, according to a grand jury report released yesterday.  Read more ...

Despite scandal, Catholics give more

Despite a year of scandalous revelations involving the sexual abuse of children by priests, many Roman Catholics across the country are increasing their financial support of the church.  Read more ...

Priest sentenced for sex abuse

ROCKVILLE - A Georgia priest was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday for sexually abusing two brothers while he was a student at a Washington seminary in the early 1970s.  Read more ...

Blackwell's refusal to testify in shooting costs him $15,000

When the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell recently hobbled into Dontee Stokes' attempted-murder trial in a Baltimore courtroom and refused to testify against the man who shot him, it cost the priest more than public censure.  Read more ...

N.H. demonstrators insist that bishop hand in resignation

MANCHESTER, N.H. - More than 200 Roman Catholics and alleged victims of priest sexual abuse gathered outside St. Joseph Cathedral yesterday and called for Bishop John B. McCormack's resignation.  Read more ...

Deal gets Stokes home detention on gun charges in priest shooting

Lawyers brokered a deal yesterday that ensures Dontee D. Stokes, the West Baltimore man who admits to shooting a Roman Catholic priest during an "out-of-body" experience, will not spend a day in prison and will be allowed to serve a modest sentence on home detention.  Read more ...

Stokes feels 'sense of responsibility'

Dontee Stokes made national news in May when he took the Catholic church's sex scandal to a new level by shooting and wounding his alleged abuser, the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell.  Read more ...

Priest advised to put abuse apology in file

BOSTON - A priest who admitted molesting teen-age boys while they slept was advised by a church review board in the 1990s to put an apology in his personnel file for use in case more victims came forward.  Read more ...

Stokes found not guilty

Dontee D. Stokes, who admitted shooting a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting him nearly a decade ago, was acquitted last night of attempted murder in a Baltimore trial that drew national attention amid the church's unfolding sex scandal.  Read more ...

Cheers and tears after Stokes verdicts

Under the glare of television lights, minutes after hearing the jury's verdict, about two dozen of Dontee D. Stokes' relatives stood on the East Courthouse steps last night clapping and cheering wildly as he emerged with his attorney.  Read more ...

Vatican approves sex abuse policy

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops won Vatican approval yesterday for their revised sex abuse policy, requiring every diocese to bar priests who molest children from working in the church.  Read more ...

Outraged Catholic laity urges accountability from the pulpit

From the lawsuits that forced the most damaging revelations of sexual abuse in Boston, to an Irish Catholic judge who made them public, to the uprisings of laity and priests demanding his resignation, the forces that finally brought down Cardinal Bernard F. Law were quintessentially American.  Read more ...

Stokes trial jury selection to begin

There is little dispute about the shooting. Dontee Stokes fired a .357-caliber Magnum three times from close range, hitting a priest he says raped him more than a decade ago.  Read more ...

Despite concerns, priest was reassigned

BOSTON - A Roman Catholic priest whose personnel file contained a warning from a church official that he "fools around with kids" was assigned to several parishes, then was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, according to records released yesterday.  Read more ...

Documents show wide range of priest abuses

BOSTON - For more than 40 years, Roman Catholic Church officials here overlooked abuse ranging from the molestation of girls studying to become nuns, to drug use by priests with parish youth, to homosexual rape, according to thousands of pages of confidential archdiocese documents made public yesterday.  Read more ...

Archdiocese suspends St. Dominic priest amid allegations of sex abuse 30 years ago

Baltimore Archdiocese officials have removed a Roman Catholic priest from a Northeast Baltimore parish after he was recently accused of molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.  Read more ...

Judge orders archdiocese in Boston to release files

BOSTON - Sharply criticizing the Boston Archdiocese, a judge ordered the public release yesterday of about 11,000 internal church documents related to 65 priests accused of molesting children over the past three decades.  Read more ...

Carroll office may help with case

When Carroll County prosecutors pressed charges against a teacher accused of having sex with high school boys, the woman ended up in jail.  Read more ...

City finishes investigation of priest accused of abuse

Baltimore authorities have wrapped up a five-month investigation into Roman Catholic priest Maurice J. Blackwell, and are asking for help from the Carroll County state's attorney's office in assessing -- and possibly prosecuting -- allegations that the priest sexually abused a teen-ager more than a decade ago.  Read more ...

U.S. bishops OK revised sex-abuse document

WASHINGTON -- Hoping to put 10 months of scandal behind them, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved yesterday a revised sexual-abuse policy that they pledge will keep any priest who has molested a child from ever serving in the ministry.  Read more ...

Bishops to revisit policy on sex abuse

Five months after approving what many hailed as a groundbreaking policy on sexual abuse by clergy, U.S. Catholic bishops are gathering today in Washington to consider revisions that some call mere fine-tuning - but that critics say will water the policy down.  Read more ...

Vatican balks at policy on sex abuse

The Vatican has rejected at least part of a proposed policy on child sexual abuse adopted by the U.S. Catholic bishops in June because it conflicts with the rights of priests protected by church law, according to church sources.  Read more ...

Man found competent to stand trial in shooting of priest

Dontee D. Stokes, who is accused of shooting a city priest over alleged sexual abuse, has been found competent to stand trial by state psychiatrists, Stokes' lawyer said yesterday.  Read more ...

Suspended priest admits molesting two youths

A suspended Carroll County priest admitted yesterday in court that he molested two boys two decades ago while he was associate pastor of a Westminster parish.  Read more ...

Priests upset by release of abuse list

Baltimore priests responded with sadness and anger yesterday after the release of a detailed account of Roman Catholic clergy accused of child sexual abuse over the past seven decades, expressing concern that the church is trying to quell scandal at the expense of their rights.  Read more ...

Archdiocese's list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse

The following is a list of priests and brothers who have served in the Archdiocese Of Baltimore and have been accused of child sexual abuse, according to church officials.  Read more ...

Keeler letter reveals abuse

Calling the sexual abuse of children by clergy "the spiritual equivalent of murder," Cardinal William H. Keeler has disclosed that more than 80 priests have been accused of molesting minors in the Baltimore archdiocese over the past seven decades.  Read more ...

Vatican studying U.S. policy on abuse

ROME - The Vatican will make its position known next month on the new U.S. bishops' strategy to eradicate sex abuse among clergy, a policy expected to raise objections at the Holy See.  Read more ...

Suspended city priest resigns his position

A priest who was suspended from his duties in July after being accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy has resigned, the Archdiocese Of Baltimore announced yesterday.  Read more ...

Settlement with alleged abuse victims OK'd

BOSTON - A $10 million settlement between the Boston Archdiocese and 86 alleged victims of child-molesting priest John Geoghan won final approval yesterday, six months after the church backed out of a much costlier agreement.  Read more ...

Sex abuse settlement is short of tentative

BOSTON - A proposed $10 million settlement for alleged sex abuse victims of defrocked priest John Geoghan is being closely watched as a possible model for resolution of hundreds of similar claims.  Read more ...

Keeler urges action to prevent abuse

Calling the last six months of the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal "a painful and purifying time," Cardinal William H. Keeler told more than 1,000 parish and parochial school leaders yesterday that they must do all they can to protect children from sexual predators.  Read more ...

Transcripts of cardinal's testimony released

BOSTON - Cardinal Bernard Law said he promoted a now-indicted priest without looking at his personnel file, which included complaints of sexual abuse dating to 1966, according to transcripts of testimony released yesterday.  Read more ...

Amid church discord, bishops pray and repent

As the nation's Roman Catholic bishops take time out starting today to pray, fast and repent for the clerical sex abuse scandals, there's growing acrimony over whether the reform policy they approved in June is too harsh or too lenient.  Read more ...

Religious orders set to adopt milder stance on sex abusers

PHILADELPHIA - While the U.S. bishops have adopted a get-tough "one-strike-and-you're- out" policy toward clergy who sexually abuse minors, the leaders of the Roman Catholic religious orders representing a third of the nation's priests say they will not force offenders from their fold.  Read more ...

Man says Blackwell raped him in mid-'70s

A Florida man came forward yesterday and said he was repeatedly raped as a teen-ager by the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell at the rectory of St. Bernardine Roman Catholic Church in West Baltimore, where, the man said, he and as many as 10 other youths would routinely spend the night.  Read more ...

Stokes gets temporary release for funeral

Dontee D. Stokes, accused of shooting a Baltimore priest over alleged sexual abuse that occurred years ago, has been granted a temporary release from house arrest to attend his grandfather's funeral Friday, his lawyer confirmed last night.  Read more ...

Baltimore psychiatrist joins priest abuse panel

The nation's Catholic bishops named a Baltimore psychiatrist and seven other lay church members to a national board to oversee newly adopted policies for protecting children from sexual abuse by priests and other church employees.  Read more ...

Baltimore judge rejects Stokes' lawyer's attempt to be removed from case

A Baltimore judge rejected yesterday a request by attorney Warren A. Brown to relinquish one of his more noted cases - that involving Dontee Stokes, the man charged with shooting a city priest two months ago.  Read more ...

Inactive city priest charged with sexual abuse

An inactive Baltimore priest has been charged with molesting a teen-age boy at the Catonsville parish he served in the 1970s, police said.  Read more ...

Ousted priest did not face Md. charges

A priest ousted from his Roman Catholic church in Connecticut because he was found to have sexually abused boys while working as a pastor in Baltimore was never charged here with a crime, even though he confessed, a police report shows.  Read more ...

Priest subject of abuse claim

A pastor at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church has been suspended from his priestly duties while Baltimore police investigate a claim that he sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in April at the historic East Baltimore church, an archdiocese spokesman said yesterday.  Read more ...

Stokes’ claims to get review

Baltimore prosecutors have opened an investigation into the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell after a renewed allegation that the clergyman sexually molested Dontee Stokes, the man accused of shooting him last month.  Read more ...

Kentucky priest indicted in sexual misconduct

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A retired Roman Catholic priest was indicted yesterday on 42 counts of sexual misconduct after dozens of victims came forward saying they were abused as children.  Read more ...

Dozens picket archdiocese over priest's resignation

About 70 people stood peacefully outside the Archdiocese Of Baltimore's headquarters at Mulberry and Cathedral streets yesterday. Though they weren't chanting or making impassioned speeches, their signs conveyed a clear message:  Read more ...

Lawyer for priest shooting suspect heckles prosecutors

A lawyer for the man accused of shooting a Baltimore priest launched a shouting tirade yesterday outside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, saying the city state's attorney is not investigating allegations that his client was molested by the priest.  Read more ...

Parishioners ask officials to give priest another chance

Voicing anger, frustration and disappointment over the forced resignation of their pastor, more than 400 parishioners filled the pews of Holy Cross Church in Federal Hill last night to urge church officials to give the Rev. Thomas R. Malia a second chance.  Read more ...

Priest is bid a tearful goodbye at Holy Cross

One by one, as they poured out of Mass at Holy Cross Church in Federal Hill last night, parishioners said goodbye to their beloved pastor, the Rev. Thomas R. Malia, forced to resign for knowingly hiring a convicted sex offender as a music director.  Read more ...

Boston grand jury weighs charging Cardinal Law

BOSTON - A grand jury is looking into whether there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Cardinal Bernard Law and other church leaders in the sex scandal that has engulfed the Boston Archdiocese, a law enforcement source said yesterday.  Read more ...

Bishops apologize for handling of priests' sexual abuse cases

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.  Read more ...

Keeler pledges help for victims of abuse

Cardinal William H. Keeler returned to Baltimore last night, a day after the nation's Catholic bishops approved a tough new sexual-abuse policy, pledging to reach out to victims who were molested by priests or other church workers.  Read more ...

U.S. bishops scolded over abuse

DALLAS - The elected leader of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops told them yesterday that the church's leadership is largely to blame for the sexual abuse scandal roiling American parishes - a crisis he called "perhaps the gravest we have faced."  Read more ...

Abuse allegations against 24 priests are investigated

ST. LOUIS - A grand jury is investigating allegations of sexual abuse against 24 Catholic priests as part of a probe that began with the arrest of a defrocked clergyman in March, a prosecutor said.  Read more ...

Victims share stories of abuse by priests

DALLAS - As the nation's Catholic bishops gather today to decide how tough they should get with clergy who sexually molest children, a grieving mother hopes they will consider the pain endured by victims like her son.  Read more ...

Stokes indicted in priest's shooting

A Baltimore grand jury indicted Dontee D. Stokes yesterday on nine criminal counts in the shooting last month of the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell, who was accused of fondling Stokes in 1993.  Read more ...

City priest put on leave

A 67-year-old priest has been placed on leave from his Northeast Baltimore parish amid an allegation he sexually abused a teen-ager three decades ago, the Archdiocese Of Baltimore announced yesterday.  Read more ...

Clergy sex-abuse suits reach 300 in 16 states

At least 300 civil lawsuits alleging clerical sex abuse have been filed in 16 states since January, when the case of a pedophile priest in Boston spurred claims against Roman Catholic dioceses across America, a nationwide review has found.  Read more ...

Carroll priest indicted on abuse charges

A suspended Carroll County priest, arrested last month in the alleged abuse of a youth from the Westminster parish where he was assigned two decades ago, was indicted yesterday in the alleged abuse of a second boy about the same time.  Read more ...

'Zero tolerance' called excessive

Even as some Roman Catholic Church leaders say the new policy proposed by U.S. bishops for dealing with sexual abuse by priests doesn't go far enough, others are complaining that the proposals conflict with the church's own law and religious teachings.  Read more ...

Bishops push to oust priests for sex abuse

A panel of Catholic bishops issued proposed guidelines yesterday that would defrock clergy who sexually abuse minors in the future or have been repeat offenders, but leave open the possibility that someone who committed a single offense in the past could remain a priest.  Read more ...

Stokes tests negative for use of marijuana

Dontee D. Stokes, the man charged with shooting a Catholic priest he had accused of sexual assault, tested negative for marijuana yesterday after two weeks of positive tests, law enforcement sources said.  Read more ...

Church reports abuse claim

The Archdiocese Of Baltimore said yesterday that it has referred to prosecutors a case involving a 59-year-old retired priest who admitted more than a decade ago to sexually abusing six children in Baltimore-area parishes.  Read more ...

Cardinal meets with Stokes and his family

Cardinal William H. Keeler visited Dontee D. Stokes yesterday at the Randallstown home where the 26-year-old is under house arrest in the shooting of a Catholic priest over alleged sexual abuse years ago.  Read more ...

Liberal Catholic group opposes 'zero tolerance'

A liberal Roman Catholic group came out yesterday against the adoption of a "zero tolerance" policy toward child-molesting priests, saying those who commit misdemeanors may deserve a second chance.  Read more ...

Stokes says he did not seek criminal probe of Blackwell

Dontee D. Stokes said yesterday that when he told others in 1993 that the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell had sexually abused him, he did not intend to start a criminal investigation of the popular West Baltimore priest.  Read more ...

Stokes seeks counseling, probation

A lawyer for Dontee D. Stokes, who is charged with shooting a Catholic priest he says sexually abused him, is asking Cardinal William H. Keeler to back his effort to get his client probation and counseling instead of prison time.  Read more ...

Allegations of sex abuse by priests forcing Catholic Church into courts

WASHINGTON -- Long trusted to quietly resolve its own problems, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States is being forced into the unfamiliar realm of the courts by the furor over allegations of sexual abuse by priests.  Read more ...

New Catholic priests 'sign of hope'

BOSTON - Cardinals Bernard Law in Boston and Theodore McCarrick in Washington spoke at the ordinations of new priests yesterday, calling the men's presence a sign of hope as the church deals with a national sex abuse scandal.  Read more ...

Stokes tested positive in routine drug test

Dontee D. Stokes, the man charged with shooting a Catholic priest he had accused of sexual assault, tested positive for marijuana last week while under home confinement at his aunt's residence, law enforcement sources said yesterday.  Read more ...

16 priests accused of abuse have committed suicide

CLEVELAND - At least 16 Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children, including 12 priests in the United States, have killed themselves since 1986, a newspaper reported yesterday.  Read more ...

Milwaukee archbishop expected to apologize for abuse settlement

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who resigned effective yesterday after acknowledging that he settled a sexual misconduct allegation against him, plans to make a public apology, a spokesman said.  Read more ...

Police checking other allegations against Blackwell

Baltimore police say they are investigating old and new allegations of sexual abuse by Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell so prosecutors can decide whether to pursue criminal charges against the Roman Catholic priest.  Read more ...

Archbishop settled with alleged victim

MILWAUKEE - Archbishop Rembert Weakland acknowledged yesterday that he paid a settlement to a man who accused him of sexual assault more than 22 years ago. Weakland denied ever molesting anyone, but asked the Vatican to expedite the resignation he submitted this year.  Read more ...

Carroll priest arrested in 1980 abuse

State police arrested a Carroll County priest last night and charged him with molesting an adolescent boy more than two decades ago while on swimming outings at a Western Maryland College pool.  Read more ...

At outset, privileged trips with his priest

In the early 1980s, the parish of St. John in Westminster was the center of life for the Irish Catholic family of John F. "Jef" Curran III.  Read more ...

Man alleges Blackwell molested him in 1960s

A 50-year-old airport limousine driver came forward yesterday, alleging the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell molested him over three years on church property, including St. Mary's Seminary.  Read more ...

2 more allege abuse by priest

A lawyer for the man accused of shooting the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell said yesterday that at least two more people have come forward with new allegations that the Catholic priest abused them sexually decades ago, including at St. Mary's Seminary.  Read more ...

'No record' of letters, prosecutors say

An "exhaustive" search by the city state's attorney's office has found no evidence it was informed by the Archdiocese Of Baltimore in 1998 of allegations that the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell had had sex with a boy decades earlier, a spokeswoman said yesterday.  Read more ...

Scandal stirs anger, sadness among local Roman Catholics

Roman Catholics in the Baltimore Archdiocese listened respectfully yesterday as priests drew lessons from the unfolding clergy child abuse scandal and dealt with the fallout.  Read more ...

City prosecutors plan search for 1998 letters

Baltimore prosecutors will begin an investigation today to determine what happened to two letters detailing a sexual abuse allegation against the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell that the Baltimore Archdiocese says it sent to the state's attorney in 1998, but which investigators have no record of receiving, a spokeswoman said yesterday.  Read more ...

The anger of the faithful a dire wound for the church

IGO BY WHAT I hear from my 88-year-old mother, Rose, the most ardent Catholic I know. She's disgusted with the whole thing. I don't get any of the Roman Catholic warrior stuff from her on this one. Rose is more angry than sad, and so, based on this -- the most accurate measure available to me -- I believe the church is in bigger trouble than it realizes.  Read more ...

Prosecutors review letters on Blackwell

Baltimore prosecutors are reviewing two letters detailing a sexual abuse allegation against the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell that were sent to the state's attorney's office by Roman Catholic archdiocese officials in 1998 but may never have been investigated, sources said yesterday.  Read more ...

Crisis lands on Keeler's doorstep

In the months that clergy sexual abuse of children has embroiled the American Catholic Church, Cardinal William H. Keeler has skirted the scandal.  Read more ...

Archdiocese protected its priests

The decision to return the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell to parish ministry in 1993 after he was accused of repeatedly abusing a teen-age boy was not the only instance over the past decade where the church firmly backed its priests in the face of credible abuse allegations, records and interviews show.  Read more ...

Priest attack suspect out on bail

Dontee D. Stokes, the man charged with the shooting Monday of a priest he says fondled him, was freed yesterday evening from the city jail and whisked into the arms of his relatives.  Read more ...

Cardinal changes his mind, publicly apologizes to Stokes

Cardinal William H. Keeler issued a public apology yesterday during a noontime Mass to Dontee D. Stokes, the 26-year-old man who was charged this week with shooting a priest who Stokes says sexually abused him a decade ago.  Read more ...

Keeler apologizes for abuse by priests

Cardinal William H. Keeler has apologized for the first time to victims of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests and said he regrets his 1993 decision to return the Rev. Maurice Blackwell to his parish after an abuse allegation.  Read more ...

Admiring teen found respected role model

On the kitchen wall in Charles P. Stokes Sr.'s rowhouse is a photograph from 1987, one he views now with decidedly mixed feelings. On the left is Pope John Paul II, reaching to clasp the hands of Stokes' daughter Thomasine, who was visiting Rome with the choir at St. Edward Catholic Church.  Read more ...

Review boards: Accountability or a rubber stamp?

The panel of laypeople charged with reviewing child abuse allegations within the Archdiocese Of Baltimore has publicly disagreed with Cardinal William H. Keeler's actions regarding a priest exactly once: in the 1993 case of the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell, shot three times Monday by a young man who said the priest sexually abused him.  Read more ...

Baltimore priest retires at request of Keeler

Anticipating the adoption next month of a national zero tolerance policy toward priests who sexually abuse minors, Cardinal William H. Keeler asked a priest accused 20 years ago of molesting two teen-age altar boys to retire from his job as an administrator at the Archdiocesan Tribunal, a religious court.  Read more ...

Priest accused of sex abuse apparently commits suicide

A priest who resigned from his Connecticut parish last month amid allegations that he sexually abused young boys apparently committed suicide yesterday at a Catholic psychiatric hospital in Silver Spring that treats disorders including pedophilia, church and police officials said.  Read more ...

Mental evaluation ordered for suspect in priest's shooting

A Baltimore judge ordered a mental evaluation yesterday for Dontee D. Stokes, who pleaded to be allowed to go home to await trial on charges of shooting a Roman Catholic priest he says sexually abused him years ago.  Read more ...

Shooting suspect cites priest's abuse

A 26-year-old man charged with shooting a Roman Catholic priest he says molested him years ago walked into a Northwest Baltimore church service hours after the assault, came forward to seek salvation and later confessed, the pastor said last night.  Read more ...

Sex abuse scandal profoundly personal

One evening last week, watching an NBA playoff game with friends at home, Dontee Stokes made a seemingly casual remark about the sexual-abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church.  Read more ...

Keeler, priests to discuss scandal

Cardinal William H. Keeler will meet today with at least 165 of his priests for a "listening session" to hear their thoughts and concerns about the clergy sex abuse scandal that has rocked the U.S. Catholic Church.  Read more ...

Priest pleads innocent to charges he raped boy over 7-year period

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A retired priest brought back to Massachusetts from San Diego to face accusations he repeatedly raped a boy during the 1980s pleaded innocent yesterday and was ordered held on $750,000 cash bail.  Read more ...

Maryland center claims success treating priests

Tucked away on a 43-acre suburban campus in Silver Spring, the St. Luke Institute boasts garden courtyards, tennis and handball courts and, by its own account, extraordinary success over the past two decades in treating the dark and complex problem of clergy sexual abuse.  Read more ...

Charge shocks priest's neighbors

Allegations of prostitution and drug use made against a Catholic priest have rocked Lansdowne, the small blue-collar Baltimore County community where he was viewed as an activist champion.  Read more ...

Vatican, 3 U.S. dioceses covered up abuse, suit alleges

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Two men sued the Vatican and three Roman Catholic dioceses yesterday, accusing them of covering up sexual abuse at a Catholic boarding school in Florida and an Oregon monastery.  Read more ...

Leading bishop calls for strong action on abuse

The president of the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops' conference said yesterday that molestation scandals involving priests will end only when church leaders take definitive steps to restore parishioners' trust.  Read more ...

Polish archbishop resigns amid sex allegations

WARSAW, Poland - Polish Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, a longtime acquaintance of Pope John Paul II, announced his resignation yesterday, making him one of the highest-ranking prelates to be brought down in a spate of sexual harassment allegations shaking the Roman Catholic Church.  Read more ...

Anger at sexual abuse justified, Keeler says

Acknowledging that "these are difficult times to be Catholic," Cardinal William H. Keeler told a gathering of priests and lay people last night that they are justified in being angry about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and lay church workers.  Read more ...

Catholic priests address scandal

BOSTON - As Roman Catholics gathered yesterday for the beginning of Holy Week, the most solemn observance of the Christian calendar, priests across the country addressed sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the church and tainted some of its top leaders.  Read more ...

Must a priest's celibacy be condition of his work?

The Rev. Robert J. Fagan was a popular, successful and committed priest, recently assigned to a high-profile position as an associate pastor at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Washington when he began to confront an uneasiness gnawing inside of him.  Read more ...

Catholic paper poses questions on celibacy

Opening the door on a topic the Vatican has said is closed for discussion, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper published an editorial yesterday raising questions about the Roman Catholic Church policy requiring celibacy of its priests.  Read more ...

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