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By Mike Giuliano | May 26, 2011
It’s easy to understand why John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt” has been produced so often on local stages, including the current production at the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre. This 2004 drama, which won both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, is a skillfully crafted examination of an ambiguous situation in which a nun who is a school principal in 1964 accuses the parish priest of having an inappropriate relationship with a troubled student. Shanley allows for the possibility that the good-natured priest may have crossed an ethical boundary, but the playwright also allows for the possibility that the nun’s severely old-school personality may have prompted her to be certain about something of which she has no proof.
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NEWS
By Edwin F. O'Brien | May 22, 2011
Often, when the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis is discussed, some defender of the church will accurately point out that no other institution has done more to study itself and to create safeguards that protect children in the area of sexual abuse. While this may indeed be the case, it should not be a cause for congratulations. Instead, our efforts should be seen as our willing acceptance of our responsibility to do what we can to protect children. In 2002, when the light had been shined on this dark place in our church, the U.S. bishops gathered to address the crisis that had emerged and to prevent the causes of it from ever again threatening our children, the priesthood and the inexorable goodness within the Catholic Church.
NEWS
By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2011
A retired Baltimore priest accused last year of sexually abusing a young female parishioner over 40 years ago will not face charges after a police investigation stalled and the unidentified woman decided to pursue the case, spokesman for the police and the Archdiocese of Baltimore said Thursday. Father John Lippold, who retired after a 52-year career in 2009, was accused of abusing the woman "a number of times" over a two-year period beginning in the late 1960s, according to Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2011
A retired Episcopal priest, whose last assignment was as the vicar at a church in northern Harford County, pleaded guilty last week to sexually abusing two young girls in Cecil County. The Rev. Donald W. Belcher, 82, entered an Alford plea on two counts of sexual abuse of minors in Cecil County Circuit Court. An Alford plea allows a defendant to maintain his innocence while acknowledging that the state has enough evidence to convict him. Belcher was released on $100,000 bond and is awaiting a June 28 sentencing, in which he could receive 25 years on each count, to be served consecutively, said Kevin Urick, assistant state's attorney for Cecil County.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2011
A state appeals court has refused to revive a lawsuit against a Roman Catholic order based in Baltimore by two siblings who sued the order, claiming that one of its priests was their father. Carla A. Latty of New Jersey and her brother, Adrian Senna of British Columbia, sued the Saint Joseph's Society of the Sacred Heart and others for $10 million in 2009. They contend that the order should be held responsible for failing to end a longtime relationship that began in the 1940s in Montgomery, Ala., between the Rev. Francis E. Ryan and their mother, Anna Maria "Ria" Senna, both of whom are now deceased.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | April 4, 2011
The Rev. Henry Robert Harper, a Josephite priest who was an associate pastor of St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church, died March 29 at the University of Maryland Medical Center of complications from a fall he suffered at his West Baltimore church rectory. He was 86. Born on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, he was the son of a physician and a rear admiral in the Navy's 3rd Medical District. He was educated in parochial schools in Washington, D.C., and was a 1942 graduate of the Georgetown Preparatory School.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2011
Advocates for victims of clergy abuse called Thursday for an investigation into its allegations that the Roman Catholic church purposely funneled problem priests into the chaplain corps of the U.S. military. Meeting with reporters outside the downtown headquarters of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called for congressional hearings to determine "how frequently and why Catholic officials dumped predator priests on military bases.
NEWS
January 26, 2011
The Catholic Church needs priests ( "Archdiocese calls on parishioners to ease burden on priests," Jan. 22). Things are not getting better in this regard, and the situation may become much worse in light of the aging priest population and scarcity of candidates for the priesthood. It may be time for the consideration of priesthood for a term of years. I'd propose five years with the potential re-enlistment. The men who serve such an enlistment would then be free to leave the priesthood and marry.
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.
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