LOWELL (CBS/AP) – Cardinal Sean O’Malley has apologized to parishioners at a Lowell Catholic church after a priest called several men “cowards” for accusing the church’s former pastor of abuse.

Bishop Peter Uglietto read a letter from O’Malley to parishioners at Holy Trinity Church Sunday.

The letter was in response Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa who on Dec. 11 took to the pulpit to lash out at three former altar boys, now in their 30s, who alleged abuse at the hands of the Rev. Czeslaw Szymanski in the 1980s.

Szymanski, who was never charged, has since died.

O’Malley said using the pulpit as a “platform for harmful words” was inappropriate.

Archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon talks with WBZ Radio producer Jon MacLean.

Donlan says Kempa has taken responsibility.

Attorney Carmine Durso represents the three victims.

He spoke with WBZ Radio’s Kim Tunnicliffe.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (8)
  1. cynic says:

    I can’t believe it…This Priest thinks there may be another side to the Story.

  2. Shameful says:

    This preist is EXACTLY why I have left the Catholic church, everytime I reconsider my decision they do something to cement my distance. Absolutely disgusting!

  3. frank says:

    I wish the full story was presented. It is a free country and the priest had the right to say what he said. How come it was not mentioned that those accusations are not proved and could be not true. What happen to guilty when proven?.

  4. john says:

    Why do those accused waited so long. the priest is ded so can not defend himself.
    Are they going for easy mony in this econnomy?

  5. marry says:

    it is to bad that in the USA religion and the law is mixed togeter. If proven that guilty put him in jail. In my opinin the OMalley should not get involved. That way no easy money for bogus not proven accusations

  6. Mameryk says:

    The story is severly distorted. The sensational title says that Kempa called “abuse victims” “cowards”.

    First, the word “victims”. The acussers are not necessarily victims. They would be victims only if the accusation were true. But we don’t know. We might never find out for sure because the accused priest died 23 years ago. There is no evidence. So these accusation might be true or not. If they are false then the falsely accused priest might be the actual “victim”.

    Second, we all know there is certainly money at stake because the accusers are represented by the lawyer who specializes in getting the money from Church for such cases. He is takes a substantial part of the settlement for himself.

    Kempa did not direct the remarks personally at the accusers. I was there. The focus was on respect to the good name and good deeds of somebody who died 23 years ago and who is totally defensless right now, cannot stand up and say is innocent, or perhaps say admit the guilt and say I am sorry. Kempa said he did not know the accused priest and did not presume the accusations are false. But perhaps will never find out. He said that everybody who brings acusations against persons who cannot defend themselves are cowards. I personally see his point, as accusing a silent person while hiding anonyoussly behind lawyers does not seem to be compatible with “courage”.

    Kempa has a long record of being a gentle and carying pastor, and the parishoners support him in a large majority. He might have be carried out by his words, and the reference to “cowards” is unfortunate because some people took them personally, but I am sure he did not intend to affond anybody.

    1. hank k says:

      Very well said Mameryk. If those accusations are falsse they should appologize to kepa. It is a free county and evrybody has a free opinion. Their layer should go back to school.

  7. mikel says:

    I agree with the last comments. The problem is that OMmalley get involved. He should have told his layer to tell accused victim layers to take a hike. Nothing is proved yet that it happened.

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