Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Was Bishop Lennon wrong in not reporting abusing priests he was involved in laicizing to the civil authorities?

Two lawyers for alleged victims of defrocked priests say archdiocese documents raise issues about the role of Bishop Richard G. Lennon in overseeing problem clergy.The documents, reviewed by the Herald, show that Lennon - interim head of the Archdiocese of Boston - was responsible in his role as assistant for canonical affairs for overseeing the formal dismissals from the priesthood of the Revs. Paul J. Mahan and John J. Geoghan. Both were dismissed, or ``laicized,'' on Feb. 17, 1998.Lennon was familiar in the mid-1990s with case histories of both men, but there is no indication in subpoenaed files that he alerted civil authorities to their pasts.

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