January 08, 2006

Former SF archbishop returns for sex abuse-related questioning

The Mercury News

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Former Archbishop William Levada was expected to answer questions from lawyers Monday about how the Portland diocese handled priest sex abuse cases during his tenure there.
Levada was served with a subpoena Aug. 10, right before he left for Rome to take over as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the position formerly held by Pope Benedict XVI. It's the highest Vatican post ever held by an American.
Levada served as archbishop in Portland from 1986 to 1995 before transferring to San Francisco. In 2004, Portland became the first Catholic diocese in the United States to declare bankruptcy, citing sex abuse lawsuits seeking more than $155 million in damages.
About 150 of those suits are still pending, according to plaintiffs' lawyer Kelly Clark.
"The bankruptcy judge has to figure out the value of those claims," Clark said. "We are trying to prove that the archdiocese of Portland, over the last 40 years, had a policy and practice of responding to child abuse claims in a less-than appropriate manner."

Posted by kshaw at January 8, 2006 06:55 PM