Former BX priest sues Archdiocese for libel

A former Bronx priest is suing the Archdiocese of New York for libel.

Monsignor Charles Kavanagh, whose last post was at St. Raymonds in Castle Hill, was defrocked by the Catholic church in May 2010 after an investigation into allegations made by a teen parishioner that the 74-year-old had touched him inappropriately during a church trip to Washington, D.C. in the 1980s.

The accuser, now a middle-aged man, took back part of his statement this past May, which specified when the alleged sexual assault took place. Kavanagh's supporters have since pushed for his acceptance back into the church.

The libel suit specifically refers to a statement released by the Archdiocese after the accuser changed his story. It read, "It should be noted that Mr. Kavanagh was found guilty by a church court of multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and that this particular trip to Washington was not the basis for the court's decision."

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