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More Victims Say Abusive Philadelphia Priests Were Protected By Higher-Ups

(A memo from Msgr. William Lynn outlining church response to accusations against priests has become evidence in the case against him.  Credit: Tony Hanson)

(A memo from Msgr. William Lynn outlining church response to accusations against priests has become evidence in the case against him. Credit: Tony Hanson)

Hanson_Tony--NEW Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson has spent his entire illustrious career at KYW Newsradio,...
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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury in the Philadelphia clergy abuse case heard today from more alleged victims — one, a boy who later became a priest and another who, penknife in hand on the witness stand, told the jury he was ready to kill his priest attacker at the time of his molestation.

One victim testified that Father Stanley Gana raped and sexually abused him several times a week for years.   He says he didn’t dare tell his parents then, and he never told them before died — he says it would have broken their hearts.

But the witness, who later became a priest, says he confronted Father Gana while in the seminary, around 1985, and also informed church officials.

Gana was never charged with a crime and remained in active ministry for many years.

Another witness testified today that he was molested by a Father Francis Trauger in a tent during a camping trip in 1982.

The victim says he rejected the priest’s advances and went crying to a house nearby, vowing that if Father Trauger came inside the house he would kill him.  Trauger stayed outside.

In this instance, too, church officials were told — this time immediately, according to the victim.  But, like Gana, Trauger was never charged and remained in active ministry for years.

Prosecutors in the case say they hope to illustrate a pattern of inaction and coverups by church officials when priests are accused of abusing parishioners, especially children (see related story).

Msgr. William Lynn is charged with endangering children by protecting predatory priests and allowing them to remain in active ministry (see related stories).  Father James Brennan is charged with sexually abusing a boy.

 

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