The Secrets of St. Lawrence

A Capuchin school provides Catholicism's latest sex-abuse scandal

Anxiety crackled in the air last week as New York's John Cardinal O'Connor summoned all his 1,200 priests to afternoon-long, closed-door briefings. The urgent topic: how to handle child-molestation cases. The archdiocese faces two civil suits over misdeeds of clerics, and O'Connor warns that "a grenade could explode at any time, and another and another." He had reason to urge caution. Since 1984, most dioceses have been rocked by episodes of priestly abuse. And last week a long-awaited document administered a new shock to Midwest Roman Catholics.

In Wisconsin a lengthy investigation commissioned by the Capuchins said that nine friars stand...

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