April 16, 2005

Order urged to expel accused priest

Boston Globe

By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press | April 16, 2005

VATICAN CITY -- Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse pressed a religious order in Rome yesterday to send one of its priests back to the United States to face child molestation charges.

Three leaders of the US-based group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests went to the Salvatorian headquarters, just yards from St. Peter's Square, to deliver a letter saying the order should expel the Rev. Joseph Henn, who is wanted in Arizona on child molestation charges.

''The victims are not asking for anything more than their day in court," said Barbara Blaine, the group's founder, who is in Rome to highlight the problem of abuse ahead of the papal election.

Henn, who had worked in the Diocese of Phoenix, was indicted on child molestation charges in 2003. Soon after, County Attorney Rick Romley sent a letter to the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, asking that church officials order Henn to surrender. Romley said the letter was returned with a note saying the addressee refused the package.

Last year, Salvatorian officials said they had told Henn to return, but he would not.

Posted by kshaw at April 16, 2005 07:39 AM