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By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | May 19, 2002
The decision to return the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell to parish ministry in 1993 after he was accused of repeatedly abusing a teen-age boy was not the only instance over the past decade where the church firmly backed its priests in the face of credible abuse allegations, records and interviews show. The case of Blackwell, who was shot and wounded last week by the man who first raised the allegations against him, also was not the first in the region to end in tragic violence. Parishioners at St. Stephen Church in Baltimore County were stunned in 1993 when the well-liked Rev. Thomas W. Smith shot and killed himself in his church office.
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NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
Officials and members of the congregation at Perry Hall Presbyterian Church are working to repair the church Fellowship Hall after it was damaged by burglars in late-December. Pastor Joseph Condro said members of the church, in the 8800 block of Belair Road, had noticed for months that people were entering the building, which is primarily used as a community meeting space, without authorization. He said cigarette ashes, damaged property and trash were found inside on multiple occasions.
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NEWS
By Johnathon E. Briggs and Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF | June 25, 2002
Voicing anger, frustration and disappointment over the forced resignation of their pastor, more than 400 parishioners filled the pews of Holy Cross Church in Federal Hill last night to urge church officials to give the Rev. Thomas R. Malia a second chance. The heated, nearly three-hour meeting was filled with impassioned pleas from dozens of parishioners who recounted Malia's many pastoral deeds: He restored their faith in Catholicism, he saved their marriages, he attracted young people, he renovated the historic buildings and renewed the spiritual lives of the people inside them.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2013
An early-morning fire on Saturday destroyed a maintenance building on the property of St. Joseph Church in Fullerton, according to church and county fire officials. But church officials said the parish's celebration of Easter services on Sunday would not be affected by the incident. Church officials, in a statement on the church website, said the blaze was the result of arson, though county fire officials have not given an official cause. Emergency units were dispatched at 3:25 a.m. and arrived at the church in the 8400 block of Bel Air Road about 3:30 a.m. to find the building in flames, said Lt. Julia Dillard, a county fire spokeswoman.
NEWS
By Margaret Ramirez and Margaret Ramirez,Chicago Tribune | October 14, 2007
Thomas Appiah and his wife, Katrina, have no problem with all the curious new questions about their Mormon faith. The couple recalled attending a recent event at a nondenominational church and entering into a discussion about Jesus. As Thomas Appiah spoke on the Scriptures, people became captivated, and many asked whether he were a pastor and where they could hear him preach. When he told them he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the crowd turned. "All of a sudden, that desire to befriend me, that desire to embrace me, it all turned to animosity.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | February 16, 1995
After a tumultuous month within the Episcopal Church, in which church officials disclosed sexual improprieties by a bishop who had committed suicide and 10 bishops sought to bring a colleague to trial for ordaining a homosexual, the church finds itself facing accusations that its former treasurer may have misused church funds.In a statement yesterday, the church's top official, Presiding Bishop Edmond L. Browning, said "evidence of certain irregularities" had been discovered in the treasurer's office after the resignation of the treasurer, Ellen Cooke, on Jan. 31."
NEWS
By TaNoah V. Sterling and TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer | July 6, 1995
With its recent contract to buy the Severna Park YMCA property and plans to build a 150-bed assisted living home for seniors, Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church is poised to become one of the most noticeable and perhaps powerful churches in the area."
NEWS
By Tim Craig and Tim Craig,SUN STAFF | July 16, 1999
In 1903, a disastrous tornado swept through Baltimore, destroying 250 buildings and toppling half the steeple of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, but the sanctuary remained open for Sunday services.Until this month.The South Baltimore landmark closed July 2 for what is believed to be the first time in its 130-year history after the roof slid off its foundation, opening a gaping hole and forcing the evacuation of six nuns.The church, built in 1869, serves more than 400 families who are now worshiping at nearby Holy Cross Church on West Street.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2013
An early-morning fire on Saturday destroyed a maintenance building on the property of St. Joseph Church in Fullerton, according to church and county fire officials. But church officials said the parish's celebration of Easter services on Sunday would not be affected by the incident. Church officials, in a statement on the church website, said the blaze was the result of arson, though county fire officials have not given an official cause. Emergency units were dispatched at 3:25 a.m. and arrived at the church in the 8400 block of Bel Air Road about 3:30 a.m. to find the building in flames, said Lt. Julia Dillard, a county fire spokeswoman.
NEWS
By Lisa Goldberg and Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF | September 13, 2003
A 53-year-old accountant who stole $50,000 from a Columbia church - and tried to take $60,000 more - pleaded guilty to theft and attempted theft yesterday and could be sentenced to up to a year in jail. Charles Sylvester White, who had been hired by First Baptist Church of Guilford to prepare the books for a planned church expansion, apparently used the money to pay back an estate from which he had "improperly" taken money, according to a statement of the case read at a court hearing. "Charles is obviously very sorry about what happened," his lawyer, Leonard McCants, said after the hearing.
NEWS
December 2, 2012
I write in response to last Sunday's article, "Catholic officials knew of teacher's abuse, court files indicate" (Nov. 24) and the subsequent editorial regarding the horrific abuse committed by John Merzbacher in the 1970s. Contrary to the article's implication that the former archbishop or others in the central offices of the Archdiocese of Baltimore delayed the reporting of the abuse, the archdiocese first learned of the abuse when a victim - by then an adult - reported it to us in 1988.
NEWS
December 8, 2011
Darwin was not his given name. He was being treated for HIV/AIDS at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. As the hospital's senior chaplain, I visited him often. He was in tears as he told me that when his disease was known to his family he was rejected. When he went to church one Sunday, he was met by the pastor and two church officials at the door, and they denied him the right to enter the church. Again, he cried for being turned away. As his condition worsened I visited him daily. As I entered his room one day I was surprised to see him holding a teddy bear in his arms.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2011
With the decades-long decline in the number of priests reaching what church officials call a critical shortage, the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore is calling on parishioners to help conduct youth programs, minister to prisoners and take over other duties that have traditionally been performed by clergy. Looking to ease demands on priests, the archdiocese has also been looking to consolidate Masses among lightly attended churches. "This is a period of introspection for us, a time to look at what we can do better to serve the people of Baltimore," said Sean Caine, the spokesman for Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Frank Roylance and Baltimore Sun reporters | March 9, 2010
Facing a sea of red Monday night in the auditorium of the Cardinal Gibbons School, Bishop Denis J. Madden offered a glimmer of hope to students, parents and alumni distraught about plans to shut the high school down at the end of the academic year. Parent Chris Stark, father of a junior, had asked whether the Archdiocese of Baltimore would consider charging the Cardinal Gibbons community a minimal rent and allowing the Southwest Baltimore landmark to reopen as an independent Catholic school.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | August 9, 2009
For the first time in at least 40 years, there are no homeless people sleeping on the scrubby patch of dirt outside St. Vincent de Paul Church in downtown Baltimore. The vacancy could herald a new era in the long-tense relationship between city and church officials, who this week signed a contract laying out new requirements for cleanliness on a plot of land that features an uncomfortably visible homeless encampment of a dozen or more people, some in large tents and lean-tos. The agreement, reached after months of negotiations that involved the Baltimore Archdiocese and signed Wednesday, requires the church to beautify the park, a process it says will take $45,000 and six weeks.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter | February 9, 2008
The 31-year-old music director of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal, an influential West Baltimore church, was in jail yesterday on charges that he raped and abused a 12-year-old female parishioner during three encounters, city police and church officials said. Timothy D. Price III of Owings Mills has been held in lieu of $1 million bail at Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center since he was arrested Wednesday, according to court records. He was charged with second-degree rape, assault, child abuse and multiple sex offenses.
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | August 5, 1996
Plans of a Prince George's County church to build a huge complex on 41 acres in Davidsonville has nearby residents worrying that the building with a fitness center, playgrounds and a game room will be too large and intrusive in the rural community."
NEWS
By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF | July 19, 1999
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is scheduled to take its first formal step today toward seeking approval from Baltimore County agencies to build a 3,000-seat sanctuary in Granite that has met with resistance from local residents.County representatives have reviewed the church's preliminary plans and are to meet with church officials this morning to discuss concerns about the proposal to build on a 256-acre site at Old Court Road near Dogwood Road.Although church officials hope to build a complex that will include offices, a media center, banquet hall, classrooms and a broadcast station, now they are seeking a sanctuary and 1,500-space parking lot.One of the city's most influential congregations, Bethel has been trying to expand for years because its membership has outgrown its stately, 213-year-old building on Druid Hill Avenue, which seats about 1,700.
NEWS
By Margaret Ramirez and Margaret Ramirez,Chicago Tribune | October 14, 2007
Thomas Appiah and his wife, Katrina, have no problem with all the curious new questions about their Mormon faith. The couple recalled attending a recent event at a nondenominational church and entering into a discussion about Jesus. As Thomas Appiah spoke on the Scriptures, people became captivated, and many asked whether he were a pastor and where they could hear him preach. When he told them he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the crowd turned. "All of a sudden, that desire to befriend me, that desire to embrace me, it all turned to animosity.
NEWS
By Scott Travis and Scott Travis,South Florida Sun-Sentinel | October 21, 2006
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Archdiocese of Miami apologized to Mark Foley yesterday and launched an investigation into allegations that a priest serving at his Lake Worth parish 40 years ago sexually abused the disgraced former congressman. The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, 69, was suspended by the archdiocese yesterday, preventing him from performing priestly duties anywhere, including the Mediterranean Republic of Malta, where he now lives. Church officials have also asked the pastors at all eight South Florida churches Mercieca served to make announcements at this Sunday's service urging any other possible victims to come forward.
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