Friday, December 6, 2002

Phoenix is a mess.

The escalating war of words and legal maneuvering came at the end of what Romley called the "first bite" of his ongoing criminal investigation into the Phoenix Diocese's handling of sex-abuse allegations.That investigation began in May and led to the indictments this week of the Rev. Patrick Colleary and former Valley priest John Maurice Giandelone. Both were accused of sexual misconduct dating to the late 1970s.In both cases, victims families claimed O'Brien urged them to keep silent about their allegations for the good of the church. The families said O'Brien promised to have the priest offenders removed from their parishes.Both those cases occurred shortly before O'Brien became bishop in 1982. And, in both cases, the accused priests were transferred to other parishes, where they molested other children."We have a number of cases that have been reported by different individuals that Father O'Brien did do this regularly," Romley said. "He (told the victims), 'Don't go to civil authorities, we will take care of it.' It is troubling to me that there was a greater concern for the image of the church than the victimization of the children

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