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Bishop comes to the aid of fellow priest
Michael Franklin, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:48PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:36PM MDT
Bishop Fred Henry attended court on Tuesday, adamantly defending one of his parish priests against allegations of child molestation proven false almost ten years ago.
Henry testified in the defamation case by a Catholic priest against a lawyer from India who has been posting articles online claiming that he is a danger to children.
Father Newton Rodrigues was working in India at the time he was accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl.
There was an ensuing investigation by the church and by authorities but was eventually exonerated of the charges.
The mother and teenager also recanted their statements, saying that the priest didn’t do anything to the girl at all.
When Rodrigues moved to Calgary, Bishop Fred Henry was soon contacted by a lawyer in India via e-mail and Internet postings claiming that the priest has a history of offences against kids within the church.
Henry says that anytime a priest is accused of a crime, whether or not it is proven false, it leaves blight on the church.
He adds that the church isn’t going to take it this time.
“There’s always that tendency, unfortunately, because there have been some, the presumption quite frequently is this is another one. In this particular incidence it was such a clear cut case and seemingly so black and white, there just had to be push back.”
Rodrigues is suing the lawyer for $600,000.