Attorneys for a man alleging he was molested by two priests in the 1990s filed a lawsuit this morning that includes Cardinal Justin Rigali and retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua as defendants.
At 1 p.m., outside City Hall, two attorneys and several alleged victims will discuss the suit, submitted at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia about 10 a.m., according to attorney Jeff Anderson.
The suit is also directed against the two priests, who allegedly molested the same boy in the 1990s, according to a statement by the group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Ex-priest Martin Satchell is accused of molesting a boy in the early 1990s at St. Aloysius Academy, and the Rev. Richard J. Cochrane is accused of abusing the boy later in the decade at Malvern Prep School, according to SNAP.
The Villanova-based Augustinians was also named as a defendant, because the Catholic religious order runs Malvern Prep.
The suit will try to show that the archdiocese "continues to tolerate and actively conceal the sexual abuse of children," said Barbara Blaine, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national advocacy group.
The suit also names Msgr. William Lynn, the archdiocese's secretary of the clergy from 1992 to 2004, who was arrested last week on abuse-related charges, along with three priests and a parochial school teacher.
Lynn faces two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children for allegedly failing to protect children from sexual abuse by priests.
The Revs. Charles Engelhardt, 64, and Edward Avery, 68, and Bernard Shero, 47, a former sixth-grade teacher at St. Jerome School in Northeast Philadelphia, were charged with raping and sexually assaulting the same boy in the parish between 1998, when he was 10 years old, and 2000.
The Rev. James Brennan, 47, was charged with raping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1996.
The arrests followed a grand jury report that said at least 37 priests remained active in the archdiocese despite accusations of inappropriate behavior toward children.
Cardinal Rigali, in a letter to 267 parishes last week, countered that "there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them."
The new lawsuit, the group announced, will also name as defendants Karen Becker, director of the archdiocese's Office of Child and Youth Protection, and Maggie Marshall, a victim assistance coordinator.
The victim in the suit, who lives in Pennsylvania, is filing as "John Doe" and will not attend the presentation on the north side of City Hall this afternoon, according to a SNAP statement.
The suit was expected to seek actual and punitive damages in excess of $50,000.