A Wheeling WV judge says an aide to the Wheeling bishop must appear in the criminal trial of two Philadelphia priests.
A West Virginia judge has ordered a Catholic church official formerly from Philadelphia to testify at the clergy sex-abuse trial now under way in the city.
The ruling late Thursday by Ohio County Circuit Judge Ronald E. Wilson ends a weeklong stalemate over testimony by Msgr. Kevin Michael Quirk.
Quirk served as a judge in the the 2008 church trial of one of the defendants, Rev. James J. Brennan, in which Philadelphia prosecutors say Brennan made “inculpatory” statements usable against him.
Brennan is charged with attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy in 1996. Prosecutors seek corroborating testimony from Quirk, who objected to his being required to testify. But the Wheeling judge ruled Quirk a material witness and said his testimony in Philadelphia “is essential in ascertaining the truth.” He ordered Quirk to appear in Philadelphia when requested between April 29 and May 1.
A decided wrinkle to the contest over requiring Quirk to testify is that in the Philadelphia trial a witness has implicated Quirk’s boss, Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling, accusing him of sexual abuse, which Bransfield has denied.