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Sixth Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Philadelphia Archdiocese Over Priest Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A former altar boy has filed the latest civil suit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

The lawsuit claims the victim, now 32 and living in Phoenix, Ariz., suffered a breakdown at age 15 and endured a series of psychiatric disorders stemming from his abuse by Fr. Robert Brennan at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Rhawnhurst in 1993 and 1994.

A 2005 grand jury report named Brennan as a serial abuser.

Attorney Marci Hamilton says the victim did not identify his abuser until recently, after publicity from February’s criminal indictments (see related story).  She accuses the Archdiocese under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of moving Brennan from parish to parish.

“They have been reckless.  They have known about abusers like Brennan, and they have kept them in positions where they get easy access to Catholic children,” she said today.

Attorneys for the victim allege the pope and the Vatican were involved in the coverup of the priest abuse scandal, but neither is named as a defendant in the suit.

This is the sixth civil suit to follow February’s grand jury indictment of three priests, a lay teacher, and a monsignor.

Brennan is now living in Maryland.  The archdiocese had no comment on this latest suit.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

Top Content On CBSPhilly

  • Michael Skiendzielewski

    # Gov. Corbett – “MORAL RESPONSIBILITY” — SKIADVOCAT 2011-05-10 13:26
    In Washington, D.C., Gov. Thomas Corbett, making his first appearance on a national stage since taking office in January, told an audience at an education conference Monday that providing families with an alternative to failing public schools was a “moral obligation.”

    Let all Commonwealth citizens remind Gov. Corbett that he has another mandate that is a “moral responsibility” and that is to protect the children of PA from sexual abuse and predation. That is why Gov. Corbett will step up to the “moral responsibility” of publicly supporting Bills 832 and 878 pending in the House Judiciary Committee that would eliminate the civil and criminal statutes of limitation from child sexual abuse as well as establish a “window” during which civil action may be intiated regardless of the date of the alleged sexual offense.

    Gov. Corbett, isn’t the protection of the mind, body, spirit, soul and person of Commonwealth children from sexual torment and destruction just as important as their public education? Accept “moral responsibility” for the protection of the state’s children from sexual abuse and hold a news conference wherein you state publicly your support for Bills 832 and 878 submitted by the courageous and compassionate Philadelphia representatives , Rep. Louise Williams Bishop and Rep. Michael McGeehan.

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