Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Atlanta archbishop to testify in sexual misconduct trial

[Source]:

Catholic Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta has been called to testify in a civil suit over allegations of sexual misconduct by an Illinois priest.

Gregory served as Roman Catholic Archbishop of Belleville, in southwestern Illinois near St. Louis, from 1994 to 2004.

Jim Wisniewski of Champaign, Ill., claims that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki repeatedly abused him between 1973 and 1978. Kownacki has been removed from ministry.

According to a report on the Web site of the Belleville News-Democrat newspaper, an attorney for Wisniewski told jurors in opening arguments Wednesday morning that church officials covered up evidence of the abuse for years.

Gregory helped oversee a review board in the diocese that eventually removed 15 priests from service, but attorneys for Wisniewski will question whether church officials under Gregory turned over complete information to the board. It is not clear when he will be called to testify.

A defense attorney pointed out that the system worked – priests were removed, the news report said. Gregory is being called by the defense team.

Also, as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Gregory played a high-profile role helping the Catholic Church deal with the national sex-abuse scandal. He helped institute a charter for protecting young people and called for dealing openly with the problems.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had a dimmer view of Gregory’s service in light of the suit. He said in a written statement, “It is disturbing that a bishop who postured so vigorously as a reformer would ignore his own hand-picked panel and much-touted policy.”

Pat Chivers, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, said that Gregory is unable to comment on current litigation.

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August 20, 2008 - Posted by | Catholic Church, Church Scandals, Sex Abuse

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