February 28, 2006

Secrecy shrouds priest's Erie trial

Erie Times-News

By Dana Massing

Closed doors.

Secret proceedings.

A ruling that will decide the future of a priest accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a male student.

The clergy sex-abuse trial of New York Monsignor Charles Kavanagh is coming to the Catholic Diocese of Erie. But don't expect to find a seat in a courtroom where you can listen to testimony from the defendant and his accuser.

Such church trials aren't open to the public. At the most, you'll hear the verdict after it's decided by a panel of canon law judges.

"Once the decision is made, it will be made public," said Monsignor Tom McSweeney, diocesan spokesman

However, the months-long process leading to it will be "private and confidential," he said.

Posted by kshaw at February 28, 2006 03:14 PM