Pa. Cardinal Testifies in Rape, Endangerment Case

A retired Roman Catholic cardinal who suffers from cancer and dementia testified behind closed doors for about three hours Monday as lawyers prepare for a groundbreaking priest abuse trial.

Prosecutors deposed 88-year-old former cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua in case he cannot appear for the March trial of three priests, an ex-teacher and a church administrator. The three priests and the former teacher are charged with raping boys. The administrator is the first Roman Catholic church official charged in the U.S. for his administrative actions.

Bevilacqua’s deposition was set to resume Tuesday at the cardinal’s residence at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, just outside Philadelphia.

Church lawyers fought to block Bevilacqua’s testimony. However, Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina deemed him competent Monday after reviewing his medical records and meeting with him Monday morning, her office said.

The church administrator, Monsignor William Lynn, Bevilacqua’s longtime secretary for clergy, is charged with felony child endangerment and conspiracy. He’s accused of transferring predator priests without warning new parishes. [more]


AP via ABC News