March 3rd, 2013
02:08 PM ET
By Josh Levs, CNN
(CNN) – A cardinal at the center of an international scandal over alleged sexual abuse reversed course Sunday, acknowledging wrongdoing.
"I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal," Cardinal Keith O'Brien said in a statement.
Until days ago, O'Brien was the archbishop of Scotland.
O'Brien has been dogged by allegations he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.
"In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them," O'Brien said.FULL STORY
February 20th, 2013
08:04 PM ET
By Matt Smith, CNN
(CNN)–New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan sat for questions from lawyers for victims of sexual abuse by priests in Milwaukee while he was that city's Roman Catholic leader, his office disclosed Wednesday.
"Today Cardinal Dolan had the long-awaited opportunity to talk about his decision nine years ago in Milwaukee to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and how he responded to the tragedy of past clergy sexual abuse of minors, during the time he was privileged to serve as archbishop of Milwaukee," Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said in a written statement.
"He has indicated over the past two years that he was eager to cooperate in whatever way he could, and he was looking forward to talking about the good work and progress that took place to ensure the protection of children and pastoral outreach to victims."FULL STORY
February 1st, 2013
04:44 AM ET
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
A California judge has forced the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to release some 12,000 pages of church documents revealing how it handled allegations of priest sexual abuse.
There were many - 192 priests and bishops were named in litigation, the archdiocese said.
"The cases span decades," Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said in a statement Thursday. Some go back to the 1930s.FULL STORY
December 13th, 2012
02:48 AM ET
By Rande Iaboni and Marina Carver, CNN
NEW YORK (CNN) - New York police have arrested a man for throwing a chemical, believed to be bleach, on a rabbi who advocates for sexual abuse victims.
Meilech Schnitzler, 36, turned himself in to police Wednesday and was charged with assault, menacing, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a weapon.
He is accused of attacking Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg in Brooklyn's tightknit Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg on Tuesday.
Schnitzler allegedly threw a chemical on Rosenberg's face, causing his eyes and face to burn.
Rosenberg runs a website and telephone call-in line that publicizes claims of sexual abuse in the Hasidic community, and he believes this attack was an attempt to "silence" him, according to Abe George, the rabbi's attorney.
December 12th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
By Rande Iaboni, CNN
New York (CNN) – An outspoken advocate for child sexual abuse victims in a tightknit Orthodox Jewish neighborhood was assaulted this week when a chemical he believes to be bleach was thrown in his face, according to his attorney.
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was walking the streets of his Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg on Tuesday when a man threw the chemical on his face, causing his eyes and face to burn, said Abe George, the rabbi's attorney.
The assault happened a day after the conviction of Nechemya Weberman, a prominent community member in the conservative Satmar Hasidic community, was found guilty of sexually abusing a girl over a period of three years.
July 24th, 2012
11:04 AM ET
Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
(CNN) – As a resident of the most Catholic state in the nation (Massachusetts), I have watched for more than a decade as the Roman Catholic Church responded to charges of priestly pedophilia with a troubling combination of procrastination and obfuscation.
Far too often, Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals have identified not with abused children but with their “band of brothers,” their fellow priests.
June 20th, 2012
02:40 PM ET
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - A Philadelphia jury was unable to reach a verdict Wednesday on four of five charges in a landmark priest sex abuse case, according to a source familiar with the proceeding.
There appear to be two holdouts, and the judge has ordered jurors to keep deliberating, the source said. It is not clear which charges could not be agreed upon.
Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said the panel says it has developed "firm, fixed opinions" and "entrenched positions," rendering it unable to return a verdict after 12 days of deliberations.
Monsignor William Lynn is considered the first high-ranking church official to be charged in the three-month-long trial.FULL STORY
June 4th, 2012
01:15 AM ET
By Sarah Hoye, CNN
Philadelphia (CNN) – Deliberations resume Monday in Philadelphia in the landmark trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric charged with endangering children by allegedly helping cover up sexual abuse.
Lynn, a defendant with another Philadelphia priest, is accused of knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children.
Also on trial is the Rev. James Brennan, who is accused of the attempted rape of a 14-year-old. Both Brennan and Lynn have pleaded not guilty.
Closing arguments in the case concluded Thursday and jurors began their deliberations Friday.
May 31st, 2012
10:37 PM ET
By Sarah Hoye, CNN
Philadelphia (CNN) – Preposterous. Disgraceful. Shameful. Absurd. Ridiculous.
Those are words Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington used in court Thursday to describe the behavior of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric to be charged with child endangerment in the landmark child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial in which he and another Philadelphia priest are defendants.
"He actually looked you in the eye and said he put victims first. How dare he?" Blessington asked jurors during his more than two-and-a-half-hour closing argument.
"The hero," Blessington yelled before turning to Lynn and pointing. "That's what you saw, our hero here, endanger kids."
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.