Church scandal: Q&A
By Times staff writer
What happened Wednesday?
Minnesota lawyer Jeffrey Anderson filed lawsuits in St. Petersburg and Portland, Ore., claiming that the Catholic Church, including the Vatican, participated in a policy "to conceal allegations of child sexual abuse against its clergy from law enforcement authorities, parishioners and the public."
What does that have to do with the Tampa Bay area?
Was that brother charged with a crime in Hillsborough?
No. Gomez told his mother of the abuse, and she reported it to authorities. A Hillsborough prosecutor decided at the time there was insufficient evidence.
What happened to the brother?
William Burke was ordained a priest and, at last report, was working in New York. His priestly order declined to reveal where he is, but church officials insist that he hasn't had unsupervised contact with young people in years.
Were there other complaints against that priest?
The order, Salesians of Don Bosco, declined to comment.
Will the pope have to come to Pinellas to testify in the suit?
That's unlikely. Anderson, however, said he is hopeful that the court here or in Portland will agree with his theory that the church is a commercial enterprise and can be a defendant in court, even if it also is a foreign nation.
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