Bleak Days for Covenant House

The founder of a program for troubled teens is forced out

For thousands of runaway teenagers in New York City and other urban areas, Covenant House is the home that compassion built. Now the man who founded the nation's most successful program for runaways is himself in need of compassion. Father Bruce Ritter, 61, the energetic Franciscan who built Covenant House largely on the basis of his own charisma, has been accused by four young men of having sexual relationships with them while they were under his care.

Last week Ritter was forced to step down as president of Covenant House while the allegations are investigated by state and local prosecutors and...

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