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Laicized priest sues New York archdiocese for libel

September 20, 2012

A former priest who was laicized because of sex-abuse charges has sued the Archdiocese of New York for libel, saying that he was falsely charged. Charles Kavanagh, a former archdiocesan fundraiser who was laicized in 2010, says that a man who accused him of sexual abuse has now recanted his testimony. The accusation, which dated to the 1980s, was the only charge against him, Kavanagh says.

The New York archdiocese had said that the priests who were laicized were the subjects of “multiple” abuse complaints. “That is a flat-out lie,” replies Kavanagh’s lawyer, who insists that only one complaint—now acknowledged as false—was ever filed against him.


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