By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The jury in the clergy abuse case has now heard the very disturbing case of Father David Sicoli, who allegedly abused nearly a dozen boys over decades, starting shortly after he was ordained in 1975. This evidence is alleged to show a pattern of conduct of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of protecting predator priests.
Evidence from the church’s secret archives shows three boys came forward in 1977 and alleged abuse and misconduct by Father David Sicoli, then in his first assignment.
Another priest found the allegations to be credible, but Sicoli remained in ministry and over the next 25 years he was the subject of countless allegations by other priests, nuns, school staff and parishioners.
A nun wrote that ‘the poor man needs help’ and begged the archdiocese to not let him get involved with youth activities to try to keep him from hurting anyone else.
One priest was transferred for complaining about Sicoli. Another priest said the Archdiocese had a moral obligation to act.
But during his career, Sicoli was transferred from parish to parish. And it wasn’t until 2004, with a grand jury investigating, that the archdiocese launched a preliminary investigation and found the allegations were credible. A prosecution witness says there is no evidence the archdiocese tried to reach out to any of these alleged victims.
Sicoli was never charged. He was removed from ministry in 2004 and laicized in 2008.
Defendant Monsignor Lynn, who is charged with endangering children by allowing alleged or suspected predator priests to remain in ministry, is not charged in connection with Sicoli. The prosecution alleges this shows a pattern of conduct. Monsignor Lynn has pleaded not guilty.