Lay Group Allowed to Return to Brooklyn Archdiocese

Newsday [Brooklyn NY]
May 2, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ The ban on a Catholic lay group that addresses the church's sexual scandals has been reversed, Brooklyn diocese officials said.

Bishop Thomas Daily, leader of the diocese of Brooklyn reversed the ban on Thursday, allowing Voice of the Faithful to meet on church property. For six months, the group had met in a college meeting room, a Baptist Church and an American Legion Hall.

Voice of the Faithful, was first organized last year in Boston in response to allegations of sex abuse by priests there. Since then, chapters have sprouted across the country.

"We are eager to get back into our parishes," said Melissa Gradel, the organization's regional coordinator told The New York Times in Friday editions.

Police charged that Giblin negotiated terms of an encounter between Heyndricks -- who was his traveling partner -- and the prostitute. Prosecutor Sophie Lavergne decided to drop the charge against Giblin last month.

Lavergne asked Gillette yesterday to sentence Heyndricks to four months, either in jail or house arrest in Montreal. Lavergne said she did not believe Heyndricks presented a risk to the community. Pappas asked the judge to impose only a fine.

Gillette said he felt Heyndricks had led an exemplary life, that the charges represented an isolated incident, and that the 16-year-old boy was a professional prostitute, Pappas said, adding that Heyndricks paid $100 for the encounter that occurred in Heyndricks' hotel room.

Both priests might face disciplinary action from the Newark Archdiocese, which is conducting its own investigation.

"It's a very sad situation," said Jim Goodness, spokesman for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers. "It's unfortunate that any priest is involved in something like this."

Both men lived in church rectories in the diocese before their arrests. Heyndricks lived at St. John Nepomucene. Giblin, though retired, lived at Holy Rosary Church in Edgewater.

Both priests took voluntary leaves of absence after their arrests, Goodness said.

Jeff Diamant covers religion. He can be reached at or (973) 392-1547.


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