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Bishop Tells Role in Case

Jun 11, 2002 | The Daily News

rooklyn Bishop Thomas Daily testified behind closed doors yesterday about his role in the Catholic Church's bungled handling of Boston pedophile priest John Geoghan.

Daily's statements, made during a sworn deposition in a series of lawsuits stemming from Geoghan's abuse, will remain secret under a judge's ruling, at least for now.

Lawyers pressed Daily, once a top official in the Boston Archdiocese, to say when he learned of allegations against Geoghan, said Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney for more than 80 people suing the Boston Archdiocese.

They also asked Daily to describe what he and other church officials did about the claims.

"Bishop Daily cooperated fully with the deposition," said Frank DeRosa, a Brooklyn Diocese spokesman.

Patrick McSorley, 27, one of the Geoghan plaintiffs, witnessed the deposition, which took place over six hours at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel near LaGuardia Airport.

"It seems to me like he's got a serious case of selective memory," McSorley said. "He gets a little bit hot under the collar."

National Scandal

Geoghan, who was convicted in January of groping a boy, has been accused of molesting more than 130 children. Court records revealed that church leaders knew of the allegations and transferred the priest from parish to parish.

The Geoghan case touched off a national scandal over the church's handling of priests accused of pedophilia.

In March, Daily said he regretted some of the decisions he made in Boston. He later joined other diocesan leaders across the country in giving prosecutors lists of priests accused of abuse.

Daily was scheduled to be deposed this week in lawsuits involving another Boston priest, the Rev. Paul Shanley, who has been charged with rape. But that testimony has been delayed so Daily can attend the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting, which begins Thursday in Dallas.

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