January 07, 2006

Vatican Grants Church Trial in Abuse Case

The New York Times

Published: January 7, 2006
After waging a public battle against the Archdiocese of New York, the most prominent Roman Catholic priest in the archdiocese to be accused in the sexual abuse scandals was granted a church trial yesterday by the Vatican to determine whether he should receive the ultimate punishment of removal from the priesthood.

The priest, Msgr. Charles M. Kavanagh, former head fund-raiser for the archdiocese and an immensely influential figure in Catholic circles, has fought Cardinal Edward M. Egan since 2002, when the cardinal suspended him and asked the Vatican to bar him from returning to the ministry.

Monsignor Kavanagh is the first Catholic cleric in New York to be granted a trial since the sexual abuse scandals emerged in 2002. Twelve others were denied trials by the Vatican and either defrocked or sentenced to a life of prayer and penance, archdiocese officials said.

Monsignor Kavanagh, 68, was suspended after a former student at the high school he had run told the archdiocese that during a six-year friendship more than 20 years ago, the monsignor touched him in a sexual manner and twice lay atop him and rubbed against him.

Posted by kshaw at January 7, 2006 08:48 AM