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TORONTO - Natural law, that which reflects the sense of order God inscribed on humanity upon creation, needs to be recognized by contemporary society as the underpinning of our civil laws. 

Published in Canada

It's been the worst-kept secret in Christendom, but this week Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput gave the strongest indication yet that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia next year.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced the fate of six priests placed on administrative leave after the February 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput decided on the cases after "a rigorous investigative process involving over 20 experts in child abuse," a statement from the archdiocese said July 6.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - With the same expression of serenity that he had shown for 13 weeks, Msgr. William J. Lynn listened to the criminal jury foreman speak the verdict of guilty on one charge of endangering the welfare of a child June 22 in a Philadelphia courtroom.

Msgr. Lynn becomes the first high-ranking Catholic clergyman in the United States to be convicted of a crime associated with the handling of priests accused of child sexual abuse, though he himself faced no charge of abuse.

According to guidelines mentioned by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, Msgr. Lynn faces a sentence of six months to seven years for his conviction.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - The jury reached a partial verdict June 22 in the clergy sex abuse trial.

Msgr. William Lynn, former archdiocesan secretary for clergy, was found guilty on one count of child endangerment and acquitted on two other charges, including conspiracy.

The jury was deadlocked on charges against Father James J. Brennan, charged with attempted rape and child endangerment for alleged abuse of a 14-year-old boy in 1996.

Published in International

INDIANAPOLIS - Noting that the church in Philadelphia is "now my family, an intimate part of my life" a year after being appointed to lead the church there, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said that the clergy sexual abuse scandal "has caused terrible suffering for victims, demoralized many of our clergy, crippled the witness of the church and humiliated the whole Catholic community" in that region.

He made this assessment June 20, hours after a Philadelphia jury told Judge Teresa Sarmina that they could not agree on four of five charges in a clergy sexual abuse trial. Judge Sarmina instructed the jury, which has been in deliberations for 12 days, to continue to seek a verdict in the case against Father James J. Brennan and Msgr. William Lynn.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - After jury members said they could not agree on four of five charges in a Philadelphia clergy abuse trial June 20, Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina instructed them to continue deliberations in order to reach a verdict.

Sarmina suggested June 20 -- the 12th day of jury deliberations -- that they rehear portions of testimony from two accusers to help them finalize their decision. She also turned down a defense request for a mistrial.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - State prosecutors and defense lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn and Father James J. Brennan all decried the issue of sexual abuse of children at the start of a criminal trial March 26 in Philadelphia.

Despite that apparent agreement, the attorneys embarked on sharply divergent paths as they made opening arguments before presiding Judge M. Teresa Sarmina and jurors at the beginning of the trial for Msgr. Lynn, 61, former secretary for clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Father Brennan, an archdiocesan priest.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - Anita Guzzardi, former chief financial officer of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, turned herself into Philadelphia police March 13 after she was charged with theft, forgery and unlawful use of a computer.

Guzzardi, 43, is believed to have embezzled more than $900,000 from the archdiocese's general operating fund to pay her own gambling debts and credit card bills before she was fired in July 2011.

Published in International

PHILADELPHIA - Lawyers for a Philadelphia archdiocesan priest failed Feb. 27 in their bid to have charges of child endangerment and conspiracy dismissed before the priest's case went to trial.

As a result, arguments are still set to begin March 26 in the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn, who had been an aide to recently deceased Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who was Philadelphia's archbishop from 1988 until his retirement in 2003.

Msgr. Lynn, 61, is accused of having failed to protect children from two priests who were under his direction when he served as secretary of the clergy for the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. In that role, he was responsible for recommending the assignment of priests in the archdiocese.

Published in International
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