Trial: Priest Told of Attempted Seminary Gang Rape
A Catholic priest admitting a sexual relationship with a teen said he had been the victim of an attempted gang rape by fellow seminarians, according to testimony in a clergy-abuse trial.
Testimony on Monday also mentioned Pope Benedict XVI, who weighed in on the priest’s 2005 censure when he was a Vatican official known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
Documents show the priest had admitted to the Philadelphia archdiocese in 1992 that he had sex with the high school student for several years. An archdiocesan treatment center concluded the priest was not a pedophile, but was affected by his “traumatic sexual development.” He remained in ministry for another decade.
It’s not clear if the trauma reference was to the alleged seminary assault. The priest told a therapist he had been tied down by several seminarians who tried to rape him and that a friend came to his rescue. But the same friend later twice abused him, the priest told the therapist, according to documents read in court.
The Associated Press is not naming the priest, who graduated from seminary in 1974, because he may be a sexual-assault victim.
The testimony came in the child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary for clergy in Philadelphia. Prosecutors say he helped keep dangerous priest-predators in jobs where they could continue to abuse children.