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Sixth Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Philadelphia Archdiocese Over Priest Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A former altar boy has filed the latest civil suit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

The lawsuit claims the victim, now 32 and living in Phoenix, Ariz., suffered a breakdown at age 15 and endured a series of psychiatric disorders stemming from his abuse by Fr. Robert Brennan at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Rhawnhurst in 1993 and 1994.

A 2005 grand jury report named Brennan as a serial abuser.

Attorney Marci Hamilton says the victim did not identify his abuser until recently, after publicity from February's criminal indictments (see related story).  She accuses the Archdiocese under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of moving Brennan from parish to parish.

"They have been reckless.  They have known about abusers like Brennan, and they have kept them in positions where they get easy access to Catholic children," she said today.

Attorneys for the victim allege the pope and the Vatican were involved in the coverup of the priest abuse scandal, but neither is named as a defendant in the suit.

This is the sixth civil suit to follow February's grand jury indictment of three priests, a lay teacher, and a monsignor.

Brennan is now living in Maryland.  The archdiocese had no comment on this latest suit.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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