You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Nun testifies of inaction on sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA - A Roman Catholic nun testified Thursday that she and two relatives were sexually abused by a priest who was described by a church leader as “one of the sickest people I ever knew.’’

The nun testified in the clergy-abuse trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the first US church official charged with felony child endangerment for allegedly leaving predator-priests in ministry.

Continue reading below

The nun said she, her sister, and her cousin went to the archdiocese in 1991 to report 1970s-era abuse by the Rev. Nicholas Cudemo and to ask that he be removed as a pastor. They met with Monsignors James Molloy and Lynn, who worked in the Office for Clergy.

The sisters had been molested and the cousin was repeatedly raped, they reported.

Cudemo was put on leave and sent for a psychiatric evaluation. But the family soon learned he was saying Mass at other parishes.

“I felt misled in thinking that taking a leave of absence would mean he would not be able to say a public Mass,’’ the nun testified.

The nun said she talked to Lynn about Cudemo again in 1998, when Lynn led the Office for Clergy.

The woman gave her name in court, but the Associated Press does not generally identify people who say they have been sexually abused.

Cudemo was allowed to retire in 1996 in good standing.

The grand jury accused him of sexually molesting 11 girls. He violated one girl with a Communion wafer, let another priest have sex with her, and took her for an abortion when he got her pregnant in junior high school, the grand jury said.

“Cudemo, ordained in 1963, was described to the grand jury as ‘one of the sickest people I ever knew’ by . . . Molloy, Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Vicar for Administration,’’ the 2005 grand jury report said.

Cudemo was removed from ministry that year. He had worked at three archdiocesan high schools from 1969 to 1977 - allegedly transferred amid abuse claims - and later at several parishes.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.