October 23, 2005

Predator priest makes a return

The Star-Ledger

Sunday, October 23, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
Amid all the disturbing tales of priests being charged with sexually abusing minors, stories about Nicholas Cudemo stand out.

When a grand jury released its report last month on clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it revealed Cudemo had been accused of abusing 16 minors, raping an 11-year-old and helping her get an abortion.

He was laicized -- formally dismissed from the clergy -- in June after four decades as a priest in eastern Pennsylvania.

Despite that Vatican action, which was publicized, Cudemo presided in July at a baptism at Christ the King Church in Haddonfield, Camden County, where the resident priest did not know his status.

This disclosure, made in the church last week by the Rev. Joseph Wallace of Christ the King, has spurred renewed calls from victims' advocates to develop a national database of abusers.

"Time and time again, proven abusive priests have resurfaced in coaching, in teaching jobs ... in positions of access to kids," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, a victims group. "Prospective employers, police, concerned parents need to have a centralized reliable place they can turn to check the history of a retired priest who moved next door or offered to tutor in their school."

Posted by kshaw at October 23, 2005 08:32 AM