Friday, September 09, 2005

Record Laicizations?

From this morning's Inquirer, two more Philly priests dismissed from the clerical state by Rome -- 11 in all, all done within the last four months.... Moral of the story: It pays to have Roman clout -- things get done.

I don't think another American diocese has had a dismissal count this high. Then again, it pays to have Roman clout -- things get done.

One of the two, John J. Delli Carpini, 56, a former academic dean at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, is the highest-ranking local cleric to be ousted thus far. He is alleged to have molested an altar boy for seven years beginning in the late 1970s.

The other, Raymond O. Leneweaver, 71, was accused of repeatedly abusing two teenagers decades ago. After the church placed him on sick leave, Leneweaver walked away from the priesthood and became a teacher in two area public school districts.

The two dismissals, which come as a Philadelphia grand jury is concluding a three-year-plus investigation of clergy sex abuse, were disclosed in a brief article inside the archdiocese's weekly newspaper, the Catholic Standard and Times.

The Vatican-approved defrockings return the men to the lay state, meaning they are no longer supported or monitored by the church. Because the alleged abuse occurred decades ago, the time limit on prosecutions has expired and the men face no criminal charges or police oversight.

Yesterday, the archdiocese declined a request for elaboration.

Delli Carpini and Leneweaver could not be reached for comment.

You know the line: No comments, no problems. This is why God gave us the secular press.
The Inquirer has obtained some details on the abuse cases from victims and others.

In an interview, Michael Wurtz, 41, of Center City, said Delli Carpini molested him from age 13 to 20. Wurtz said he met Delli Carpini when he served as an altar boy at St. Luke the Evangelist parish in Glenside in the late 1970s.

Wurtz said he reported the abuse to the archdiocese in 1998, and that the church later paid for extensive therapy and medication for him.

Wurtz said yesterday that he testified about Delli Carpini last fall before the grand jury "to get his name out and published, because the archdiocese never released any of the [abusers'] names until this point.

No comment, no problems.



Blogger patrick said...

I'm not sure why Roman influence would be so important if one had abandoned the priesthood years ago and the other requested dismissal from the clerical state. Those are the easiest of easy cases.

9/9/05 13:48  

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