Action Alert!

Who's telling the truth?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Sep 26, 2003

Here are the facts, as reported by the San Antonio Express-News:

  • Jerrilyn White was working as a secretary in a parish within the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas. She charges that a priest assigned to that parish, Father Michael Kenny, had affairs with several women, including herself.
  • White also charges that when she complained about the priest's activities, Archbishop Patrick Flores responded not by disciplining the priest but by trying to discredit her, and eventually causing her to be dismissed from her job. Archbishop Flores denies those charges.
  • White sued the archbishop for defamation, asking for $5 million. The archdiocese has now reached an out-of-court settlement to resolve that suit. The terms of the settlement are confidential. A lawyer for the archdiocese hints that the amount involved was negligible-- so little that it wasn't worth fighting the charges.
Based on that presentation of facts, whose version of this story do you find more plausible? Oh, here's one more fact that might help you decide: Another woman's complaint against the same priest, Father Kenny, was recently settled for $330,000.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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