Three Priests and a Teacher Arrested in Philadelphia for Allegedly Raping Boys

Four men, including three Catholic priests, were arrested in Philadelphia for allegedly raping and assaulting boys. Most notably, a former official in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was also arrested for his role in facilitating the abuse by failing to stop the priests — a charge that could be replicated in other cases involving the Church.

Father Edward Avery, 68, and Father Charles Engelhardt, 64, were charged with allegedly assaulting a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish from 1998 to 1999. Father James Brennan, another priest, is accused of assaulting a different 14-year-old boy in 1996. In addition, Bernard Shero, 48, a teacher in the school, is charged with allegedly assaulting the same boy involved in the Avery and Engelhardt charges in 2000.

The most interesting charge was that of Monsignor William Lynn, who served as the Secretary for Clergy for the under former Philadelphia Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua. He was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the alleged assaults. Lynn, 60, allegedly endangered the children by not preventing access to these victims by these men despite his knowledge of the allegations in his role as lead investigator of abuse allegations. This could be the most difficult to prove but the most significant precedent that would come from the case.
The accounts below state that “The grand jury believed that over 30 priests have remained in ministry in Pennsylvania despite solid, credible allegations of abuse.” Even with the past scandals, that is a shocking number.

The men are accused of raping alter boys and others boys in their care in cars, parks, their bedrooms, and other locations.

“By no means do we believe that these are the only two parishioners who were abused during this period,” Williams wrote in the grand jury report.

James Brennan, 47, allegedly used his access as a family friend to rape a 14-year-old. When confronted by the parents, he denied the allegations. The boy later committed suicide.

Source: CNN and NPR

Jonathan Turley

42 thoughts on “Three Priests and a Teacher Arrested in Philadelphia for Allegedly Raping Boys”

  1. Why does the Catholic church keep hiring these gay guys?? Don’t they know they’ll just go after the young ones…. Something’s got to be done.

  2. It take so long to complain? Because it’s so shameful and painful. I was the refugee camp of refugee camp, Nan province, Thailand in 1976. An American catholic forced and rapped me. I am a man aged 23 at the time. I need medication, and he used it as weapon to take me in and rapped me.

    He destroyed my belief in God and since then, I never believe in God because of its rapping situation and conducted by this Catholic Father.

    I thought about killing him but when time went by I left the camp to the US and I have carried this rapping situation with me all my whole life. I am nobody, I am no religion because of this and no one can resolve my condition. I just hate religion and I could not convert Christian back to my former religion, but I could not believe in Christ either so I have been nowhere. You cannot know and understand how hard life it is when you haven’t me one bad thing to you like it did to me.

    I am Asian man, so the Catholic Father is Caucasian, so he had authority and power and he also looks down on other and that what made him thought he could do whatever to other. He is not a believer, he is an evil, demon, worsenen then an evil or demon man. I wish him being punished!!!

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