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Church names priests accused of misconduct



Published: Sat, February 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Church names priestsaccused of misconduct

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- In a growing scandal for the Roman Catholic Church, the Diocese of Manchester named 14 priests accused of sexual misconduct with children over a quarter-century.

The Diocese of Manchester, which covers New Hampshire, gave the names to prosecutors and the public Friday after reviewing its internal records for reports of abuse.

"What I report is sad in one way because it is about sin, sickness and crime," Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack said Friday. "And yet in another way it is hopeful news in that our church and community will know that no priest is now serving in ministry who has to our knowledge engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor."

The announcement came as the Archdiocese of Boston has identified 80 priests in Massachusetts in recent weeks as having abused children over the past 40 years.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed there against the church and some priests, including McCormack, a top church official in Boston before he took the Manchester post in 1998.

Some of the Massachusetts lawsuits accuse Cardinal Bernard Law and other leaders there of knowing about allegations of sexual assaults but failing to respond.

Murder charge possiblefor crime spree suspect

NEW YORK -- A New Jersey man accused of shooting two people and plowing his car into 26 others in a weeklong crime spree could face a murder charge after the death Friday of one of the hit-and-run victims, police said.

The suspect, Ronald Popadich, 39, of Garfield, has already been charged with attempted murder in the Sunday shooting of his neighbor. He pleaded innocent Friday to those charges during a brief court appearance.

Authorities say Popadich struck 19 pedestrians Tuesday at six spots along Seventh Avenue, within sight of Pennsylvania Station and Madison Square Garden. Two days later, police said, he returned to the city in a stolen car and slammed into seven more people in the same vicinity.

A 41-year-old man struck in the first hit-and-run died Friday morning after undergoing surgery to repair compound leg fractures, said Jasmine Collazo, a St. Vincent's Hospital spokeswoman

Popadich, 39, was arrested Thursday at the home he shares with his mother. Once in custody, Popadich confessed to both hit-and-runs, the shooting of neighbor Lisa Gotkin and also said he shot a cab driver on Wednesday night, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Enron agrees to releasetax records since 1985

WASHINGTON -- Enron Corp. has agreed to release its tax returns since 1985, and those of its affiliates and partnerships, in a Senate Finance Committee investigation into whether the bankrupt company improperly avoided paying taxes.

In a letter to senior Finance Committee members, attorney Fred Goldberg said Enron will cooperate by waiving federal tax privacy protections so that Congress can determine whether laws need to be changed in the aftermath of the energy trading company's downfall.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Friday the panel has begun a "thorough and comprehensive probe" into the use of tax shelters or other devices that might have played a role in Enron's demise.

The question, Baucus said in a statement, is "whether Enron may have engaged in aggressive tax planning to improperly avoid paying federal income taxes or exploited loopholes in our tax system requiring attention."

Death penalty debate

MOSCOW -- Russia's lower house of parliament appealed to President Vladimir Putin on Friday to resurrect the death penalty, saying the country's murder rate, one of the world's highest, is undermining the public's confidence in the government.

The State Duma voted 266 to 85 to adopt the nonbinding appeal despite warnings from Putin supporters that reviving capital punishment would derail Russia's efforts to shed its repressive past.

Putin has said he has no plans to lift a moratorium Russia imposed in 1996 to gain entrance into Europe's leading human rights body, the Council of Europe.

The State Duma hopes to persuade him to leave the decision up to Russia's regional governments, political analysts say. If he resists, they reserve the option of drawing up legislation to reinstate the death penalty.

Associated Press




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