'Perv' priest sues victim

The New York Post/March 30, 2011

A defrocked priest filed a defamation suit yesterday against the former seminarian whose abuse allegations led to his ouster from the clergy.

Former Monsignor Charles Kavanagh - the highest-ranking New York cleric caught up in the Catholic Church sex scandal - says Daniel Donohue repeatedly lied to reporters to extract a "monetary settlement from the New York Archdiocese."

Kavanagh's Manhattan federal-court suit demands unspecified damages from Donohue.

Court papers cite more than a half-dozen damning newspaper headlines, noting that Kavanagh was "held up to ridicule and scorn...when he was labeled a 'Pervert Priest' in The Post."

Neither The Post nor any other news organizations are named as defendants.

Kavanagh, 73, formerly the archdiocese's chief fund-raiser, was convicted in a 2006 canonical trial of committing two lewd acts against Donohue between 1978 and 1982, when the accuser attended Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Manhattan.

The once-powerful priest was booted from the pulpit when the verdict was upheld by a church appeals tribunal last year, with Archbishop Timothy Dolan saying, "I would like to take this occasion to renew our apologies to all those who have been harmed by the sin and crime of sexual abuse, and in particular to the gentleman who was the victim in this case."

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