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Vanished priests

What happened to the clergy accused of sexually abusing children? In many cases they simply disappeared, leaving traumatized victims and parishes in their wake.



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David Fortwengler was an altar boy at St. Columba's in Oxon Hill when he was molested by a priest in the 1960s. The man who abused him, Robert J. Petrella, is one of the most-accused priests in the Washington Archdiocese, was expelled from the priesthood and was convicted in court twice in Prince George's County.

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After child abuse accusations, Catholic priests often simply vanish
Article | Ten years after the clergy sex abuse scandal first exploded in the United States, lawsuits have been settled, reports issued, policies overhauled. But even as the crisis has shifted to Europe and the Vatican prepares to issue new guidelines on how to handle sex abuse cases, something glaring is ...

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