July 26, 2005

Accused priests still cloaked in confidentiality


Monday, July 25, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
When the Newark Archdiocese determined in 2003 that the Rev. Gerald Ruane had been credibly accused of sex abuse, it accepted his retirement and quietly banned him from presenting himself as a priest in public. The diocese also banned him from wearing clerical garb.

So this spring, his accuser, Michael Iatesta, was outraged to learn Ruane had just concelebrated Mass in front of more than 100 people at a Catholic shrine in Morris County and appeared in his priestly vestments on a television interview from Rome after the death of Pope John Paul II.

The archdiocese privately reprimanded Ruane, but has not changed what critics call a potentially dangerous practice that allows many credibly accused priests to benefit from a cover of confidentiality. Often, critics say, that lets them act as priests even when they have been barred from ministry.

Posted by kshaw at July 26, 2005 07:59 AM