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Holy See permitted priest to remain at highest Vatican court for 15 years after credible abuse allegation

February 22, 2019

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CWN Editor's Note: In 1995, Msgr. Joseph Punderson (earlier coverage) was named defender of the bond at the Apostolic Signatura. Rayanne Bennett, executive director of the Diocese of Trenton’s Office of Communications and Media, said that Msgr. Punderson “was credibly accused in 2003 of the sexual abuse of a minor 26 years earlier.” He submitted his resignation in 2004; “the Holy See, however, permitted him to continue in office,” said Bennett, with “specific restrictions regarding public acts of ministry.” After initially declining to comment on the case, Vatican spokesman Alessando Gisotti said that Msgr. Punderson retired from his position in late 2018.

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