May 04, 2005

2 dozen N.Y. sex-abuse cases await rulings at Vatican

The Journal News

(Original publication: May 4, 2005)

TARRYTOWN The Archdiocese of New York is still waiting for the Vatican to rule on about two dozen cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI could drag things out even longer, a top church official said yesterday.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been dealing with stacks of American sex-abuse cases since last year. But its leader, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, became pontiff last month and has not yet named a successor.

"Things may take a little longer," Monsignor Desmond O'Connor, director of priest personnel for the archdiocese, said last night at Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown.

O'Connor was given the post by Cardinal Edward Egan in March 2002, just as the national sex-abuse crisis was heating up, and he has been immersed in the fallout ever since. He had to sort through a half-century of allegations against New York priests and, among other things, is in charge of providing assistance to victims.

"It has been a massive undertaking in the last few years, and it will remain a massive undertaking," he said.

Posted by kshaw at May 4, 2005 07:45 AM