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Philadelphia judge says abuse remains widespread in Catholic Church

February 01, 2012

The presiding judge in the trial of a Philadelphia archdiocesan official has raised new doubts about her impartiality by claiming that sexual abuse of children remains common in the Catholic Church.”

"Anybody that doesn't think there is widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is living on another planet," said Judge Teresa Sarmina during a public hearing for the case against a Philadelphia cleric. A lawyer for the archdiocese admitted that he was “taken aback” by the judge’s blunt statement.

Prosecutors in the Philadelphia case have said that they see the archdiocese as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the case. Lawyers for the clerics who face criminal charges have sought to draw distinctions between the policies of the archdiocese and the actions of their clients.


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  • Posted by: Salome - Feb. 02, 2012 1:03 AM ET USA

    Reasonable apprehension of bias?

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 01, 2012 11:08 PM ET USA

    Isn't a judge supposed to remain neutral until all the evidence is presented? To paraphrase herzonner: Anybody that doesn't think there is widespread hatred of the Catholic Church within the ruling political class is living on another planet.