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 Latest coverage

April 2
Springfield bishop apologizes

March 19
Priests named to guide church

March 10
New bishops for two dioceses

February 24
Sniezyk clarifies his remarks

February 23
Prelate: Harm unrecognized

January 15, 2004
O'Malley vows to help victims

January 11, 2004
Study faults Melkite church

January 7, 2004
Audit finds safeguards working
Boston's inquiry presses on
Agents faced reluctant aides

January 6, 2004
Church could defrock priests

November 30
Morrisey reflects on scandal

November 20
Policies on VOTF reconsidered

NOvember 13
Bishops affirm sex teachings

Earlier stories

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Spotlight Report

The Church's Response

     Days after the Globe's report on the church's handling of pedophile priest John Geoghan, Cardinal Bernard F. Law announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy on abusive clergy and agreed to turn over the names of all priests accused of sexual abuse to prosecutors. The Archdiocese of Boston began poring through its records and suspending abusive priests still in ministry.

     As the scandal continued to grow, however, it became clear that more sweeping action was needed. In June 2002, 300 US Catholic bishops gathered in Dallas to formulate a tough new policy barring abusive priests from the ministry. The Vatican approved the policy only after striking a provision that would have removed priests convicted of abuse from the priesthood.

     The church took a hard line on other fronts as well. The Boston Archdiocese continued to fight the release of personnel records of accused priests, and shunned a lay group, Voice of the Faithful, organized by Boston-area Catholics agitating for change.

See the story list to the left for the latest coverage of the church's response to the scandal.


Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, at a meeting in Dallas in June 2002.
(Globe Staff Photo / Evan Richman)


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In-depth
Bishop Richard Lennon A new leader for the Boston Archiocese
Named to replace Cardinal Law as interim administrator of the archdiocese, Bishop Richard Lennon must address the needs of victims and worshippers and confront a looming financial crisis.

Rev. Edward McDonagh Accused priests are vindicated
Since the clergy abuse scandal broke in January 2002, three priests have been exonerated by the archdiocese after being suspended from duty over allegations of sexual abuse.

Special reports
Bishop Wilton Gregory Can this man change the church?
Bishop Wilton Gregory is more identified with reform than anyone else at the top of the Catholic Church. Is this prudent insider willing to use his power to buck the system?

Illustration / Jon Krause Should celibacy be reconsidered?
In the wake of the clergy abuse scandal, some theologians have argued that the church's policy on celibacy fosters sexual dysfunction and abusive behavior among priests.


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