March 12th, 2013
06:36 PM ET

L.A. archdiocese settles with 4 abuse victims

Four California men allegedly molested as boys by a priest have settled their lawsuit against the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony for almost $10 million, their attorneys said Tuesday.

The priest, no longer in the clergy, abused the boys on several occasions dating back to the 1970s, including during overnight trips to San Diego and Riverside counties, the attorneys said.

The archdiocese's attorney, J. Michael Hennigan, confirmed the $9.9 million settlement with the four men.

June 25th, 2012
05:31 AM ET

Convicted priest's lawyers to seek house arrest for him

Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn will return to court Monday to argue that the cleric, who was convicted of child endangerment, be put under house arrest rather than jailed until his sentencing in August.

Lynn was found guilty Friday of one count of child endangerment, the first time a U.S. church leader has been convicted of such a charge.

He was found not guilty on a second count of endangerment and on a charge of conspiring to protect a priest accused of abuse.

The jury was unable to bring a verdict against his co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old altar boy and endangering the welfare of a child.

Lynn was taken into custody after the verdict Friday, when the judge revoked his bail. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lindy, criticized the decision not to let his client remain free on bond prior to sentencing, calling it "an unspeakable miscarriage of justice (for) a 61-year-old man with no prior record and long established ties to the community."

He is set to be sentenced August 13, court officials said, and could face up to seven years in prison for his conviction on a third-degree felony.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Courts • Crime • Justice • Pennsylvania • Religion
Partial verdict reached in Philadelphia priest abuse trial
Catholic Monsignor William Lynn faces accusations that he failed to keep priests accused of sexual abuse away from minors.
June 22nd, 2012
01:38 PM ET

Partial verdict reached in Philadelphia priest abuse trial

Jurors in Philadelphia on Friday reached a partial verdict in the landmark trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric accused of endangering children by helping cover up sexual abuse, according to a source with knowledge of the proceedings.

Lynn, a defendant along with another Philadelphia priest, faces two counts of endangering the welfare of a child by allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children, and one count of conspiracy to protect a priest accused of abuse.

If convicted, Lynn could be sentenced to up to 21 years in prison.

Also on trial is the Rev. James Brennan, who faces charges of attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy, endangering the welfare of a child and other counts.

The verdict is expected to be announced in court at 2 p.m. ET.

On Wednesday, the jury reported that it was unable to reach a verdict on four of five charges in the high-profile case. Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina ordered jurors to keep deliberating, according to a source with direct knowledge of the case.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Courts • Crime • Justice • Religion
Abuse victims accuse pope, Vatican officials of crimes against humanity
Pope Benedict XVI appears at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Plebiscito square in Ancona, Italy, on Sunday.
September 13th, 2011
07:27 AM ET

Abuse victims accuse pope, Vatican officials of crimes against humanity

[Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET] Victims of abuse by Catholic priests asked the International Criminal Court to charge Pope Benedict XVI and other top Vatican officials with crimes against humanity, a victims' group announced Tuesday.

The pope and other church leaders "tolerate and enable the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world," said the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and the Center for Constitutional Rights in a joint statement.

They filed more than 20,000 pages of documents with the international court in the Netherlands to support their charges, they said.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN he was aware of the filing but had no comment.

The International Criminal Court did not immediately respond to a CNN question about whether it believed it had jurisdiction to prosecute the pope.

But Barbara Dorris, the president of SNAP, said it was the natural venue for the case.

"We are convinced this is the proper jurisdiction," she told CNN. "Who else can investigate violent crimes of a global magnitude? The ICC was created to deal with widespread systematic violent crimes against humanity."


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Filed under: Church Abuse • Religion • Vatican
Wednesday's intriguing people
Bob Barker was a Navy fighter pilot in World War II.
March 9th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Bob Barker

The former host of "The Price is Right" and World War II veteran is donating $2 million to the Semper Fi Fund, which provides assistance to U.S. military veterans and their families.

Barker "is hoping that his donation and support for our young Veterans will inspire others to give and commit to making sure that not one young Marine, sailor, airman and soldier or their family members are in need during their long-term recoveries," the organization said in a statement.

Two years ago, the former Navy pilot donated $3 million to help the Defense Department build a center to treat brain injuries in military personnel.

He's also known for his support of animal-rights causes and used to sign off "The Price is Right" with the line, "Don't forget to have your pets spayed or neutered."


September 29th, 2010
10:22 AM ET

On the Radar: Long's accuser, Lockerbie, middle politics

Eddie Long preaches at his church and responds to allegations against him Sunday.

Long accuser speaks out - One of the young men who has accused a Georgia pastor of sexual coercion told Atlanta television station WAGA that he wanted to send a message to Bishop Eddie Long: "You are not a man. You are a monster."

Jamal Parris, a former church employee and personal assistant to Long, filed one of four lawsuits last week accusing the Baptist televangelist of coercing young male church members into having sex with him.

Lockerbie bomber hearing - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the circumstances surrounding the release of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbasset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison last year.


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Filed under: Apple • Church Abuse • Facebook • Georgia • Microsoft • On the Radar • Politics • Technology
September 26th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Georgia pastor vows to fight sex allegations

Georgia pastor Eddie Long took to the pulpit to tell his side of the story on Sunday, days after four lawsuits were filed claiming he coerced young males into sexual relationships.

Speaking to the massive congregation packed into the Atlanta-area New Birth Missionary Baptist Church for an 8 a.m. service, Long said that "this is probably the most difficult time" of his entire life, but he intends to fight the allegations against him.

He said his first responsibility was his family, and the members of his Atlanta-area church. However, he added that he would be "remiss" not to address "the world."

"I've been accused, I'm under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man," he said. "But this thing, I'm going to fight."


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Filed under: Church Abuse • Georgia
September 25th, 2010
09:30 PM ET

Georgia pastor to address sexual coercion allegations

Georgia pastor Eddie Long will take to the pulpit Sunday to tell his side of the story five days the first of four lawsuits was filed accusing him of coercing young males into sexual relationships.

Long, who has led the growth of the Atlanta-area New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to 25,000 members, is expected to speak on the matter during the 8 a.m. worship service and again at a 10 a.m. news conference.

Video: Long will not allow cameras at service

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Georgia
September 24th, 2010
04:47 PM ET

Fourth lawsuit filed against Pastor Eddie Long

A fourth lawsuit has been filed against Atlanta-area Pastor Eddie Long,
alleging he coerced a 15 year-old into sex during a trip to Africa.

The man named in the new suit says he first met the pastor at his church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The improprieties continued after he moved to Atlanta at the behest of Long to attend a local university, he said.

A spokesman for Long denied the allegations. He has denied similar allegations of impropriety from 3 other men.

"Our position about the lawsuits has not changed. Bishop Long categorically deny the charges. We believe that it is unfortunate the young men have chosen to take this course of action. The defense team will review the complaints and respond accordingly at the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum," Art Franklin said.

Read the full story on

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Filed under: Church Abuse
September 23rd, 2010
05:20 PM ET

WebPulse: Harry Potter, Facebook outage, Eddie Long

Fans are pumped over the upcoming release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Here's a look at some of the stories that are trending and popular on Twitter, Google and other news and social media sites.

With 57 days left until the premiere of the latest installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise, fans have much to "squee" over. Since yesterday's release of the official trailer of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," fans have been furiously uploading reaction videos on YouTube and Tweeting over every twist and turn in the 2:25 spot. And then there's the buzz on the message boards... While the general tone of the reaction ranges from intense reverence to gleeful delirium, for some, it's never too early to start bemoaning the end of the epic franchise.

In fact, the folks at Hogwarts Radio would have you believe that the trailer's "awesomeness" is to blame for Facebook's mid-afternoon crash on Thursday, the second the social networking site has experienced in the past 48 hours. Facebook attributes the outage to "latency issues with the API" and says it is working on a solution, but that hasn't stopped the peanut gallery from Tweeting about it. Will this overshadow news that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg plans to give $100 million to schools in Newark, New Jersey, some ask, an act viewed as an effort to neutralize buzz over the upcoming film, "The Social Network," a brutal (and, admittedly, fictionalized) biopic chronicling the early days of Facebook.

Even these intermittent blips have not been able to push off the radar all the buzz surrounding sexual abuse allegations against Atlanta megachurch pastor Eddie Long. The beleaguered pastor has said he will respond to the allegations on Sunday, but meanwhile, pictures of his bodybuilder's physique, released by lawyers for his accusers, are flying around the internet, while pundits muse over how the scandal will affect the culture of the African-American evangelical church.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Facebook • Harry Potter • Religion • Showbiz • Technology • Web Pulse
September 23rd, 2010
09:57 AM ET

On the Radar: Bishop Long, GOP pledge, U.N. speeches

Atlanta pastor responds to charges - Atlanta pastor Eddie Long, accused of coercing young men to have sexual relationships, won't be interviewed today as planned. Long says his lawyers won't let him talk. But in a statement read on a syndicated radio show Thursday, Long denied he had coerced young church members into sex, as alleged in three lawsuits filed against him.

Long asked for patience "as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges" and requested prayers for himself, his family and the church. He said he will respond to his congregation from the pulpit on Sunday.

GOP agenda –House Republican leaders will unveil a 21-page "Pledge to America" on Thursday that presents a "governing agenda" for what Republicans will do if they win control of Congress in November. CNN obtained a copy of the document Wednesday. READ DOCUMENT (PDF)


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Filed under: Church Abuse • Iran • On the Radar • Politics • Religion • Republican Party • U.S.
September 23rd, 2010
07:43 AM ET

Bishop Long: Charges against me are false

In a statement read on a radio show Thursday, Atlanta pastor Eddie Long said he was anxious to respond to allegations contained in lawsuits that he had coerced young church members into sex, but his lawyers would not permit him.

"I have been through storms and my faith has always sustained me," Long said in a statement read by attorney Craig Gillen. "... Let me be clear: the charges against me and New Birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others, and these false allegations hurt me deeply, but my faith is strong and the truth will emerge."

Long said he denies "each and every one of these ugly charges" and will respond to his congregation on Sunday.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Religion
September 22nd, 2010
02:42 PM ET

Third lawsuit filed against Atlanta pastor Eddie Long

A third suit alleging sexual relationships with young men was filed against Pastor Eddie Long on Wednesday.

A third lawsuit has been filed against Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long, alleging coercion, deception and manipulation that involved a sexual relationship with a young male, CNN has learned.

Through a spokesman earlier on Tuesday, Long denied similar allegations in two other lawsuits filed over the past two days.

"We categorically deny the allegations," he said. "It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action. Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."

Attorney: Atlanta pastor groomed young men for sex

Accused pastor crusaded against homosexuals

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Georgia • Religion
September 21st, 2010
07:46 PM ET

Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor

Two Georgia men have filed suit claiming that prominent Atlanta pastor Eddie Long coerced them into sex.

The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.

"Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," the suits allege.

Long is considered one of the nation's top black preachers. Long spokesman Art Franklin said Tuesday that "we categorically deny the allegations."


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Filed under: Church Abuse • Georgia
July 15th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

Catholic Church must name abusive priests, critic insists

New Vatican new rules aimed at stopping the abuse of children by priests do not go far enough, child-safety campaigners said Thursday.

"The pope had a chance to do something really decisive that would affect the situation worldwide," said Anne Barrett Doyle, but instead issued rules that are the equivalent of "bringing a child's sand shovel to an avalanche."

The new regulations give the pope the authority to defrock a priest without a formal Vatican trial, or to hand out other punishments.

They also make it a crime for a priest to download child pornography, and declare the abuse of mentally handicapped people to be as bad as child abuse. FULL POST

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Vatican
July 15th, 2010
06:05 AM ET

World Update: Vatican to update abuse rules

An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Thursday:

Abuse prevention: The new rules, to be released Thursday a source close to the Vatican told CNN, are a response to accusations against priests across Europe and the United States in the past several years. Read the full story

Landmark vote: Argentina becomes the first Latin American country on Thursday to give same-sex couples equal marriage rights, including the ability to adopt children. Read the full story

Scientist home: An Iranian nuclear expert, who Tehran claims was kidnapped by U.S. agents, arrived in his homeland early Thursday, state-run media reported. Read the full story


July 14th, 2010
01:04 PM ET

Catholic Church to release new rules to prevent abuse

The Catholic Church Thursday will release its new rules to try to prevent clergy from abusing children, a source close to the Vatican told CNN.

They will be aimed more at firming up existing practices than announcing new rules, said the source, who asked not to be named because they were talking about the regulations before they are made public.

The Vatican will add the possession of child pornography to the list of most serious crimes, declare the abuse of any mentally retarded person to be as bad as the abuse of children, and double the statute of limitations on the Vatican's own prosecution of suspected abuse.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Vatican
May 28th, 2010
09:21 AM ET

Open letter to pope urges end to celibacy

About a dozen Italian women have posted an open letter to the pope on the internet in which they claim to have had intimate relationships with priests and urge the church to abolish celibacy for Catholic clergy.


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Filed under: Church Abuse • Vatican
May 22nd, 2010
12:15 PM ET

Priest accused of having 'erotic dungeon' surrenders

[Updated 12:15 p.m. ET]  A Polish-born priest accused of sexually abusing minors in his parochial residence in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has turned himself in, state officials said Saturday.


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Filed under: Brazil • Church Abuse
May 11th, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Pope calls reality of sex abuse scandal 'terrifying'

Pope Benedict XVI made one of his strongest statements to date on the sex abuse scandal sweeping the Roman Catholic Church, saying Tuesday the reality he has seen is "terrifying."

And he distanced himself from criticism of the media by senior Vatican officials, saying the most important attacks on the church don't come from the outside, they come from the sins of the members of the church, CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen said.

Benedict was speaking on his plane en route to Portugal, where he is making a four-day visit.

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Filed under: Church Abuse • Vatican
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