- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2002

Priest defrocked by Pope John Paul II

PITTSBURGH A priest who was accused but never convicted of child molestation has been defrocked by Pope John Paul II for disobeying orders to not serve as a priest in public.
Anthony Cipolla, 59, is in Rome to meet with a canon lawyer to discuss appealing the pope's order to "laicize" him and could not immediately be reached yesterday. The Vatican decree states that "the penalty is unappealable," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Pittsburgh diocese.
"I have never encountered anything like this," Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl said. "There is sufficient evidence to indicate [Mr. Cipolla] doesn't seem to understand the seriousness of all of this."
It was not clear when Mr. Cipolla was defrocked, but church officials said in yesterday's editions of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it happened recently.
Mr. Cipolla has repeatedly denied the various molestation accusations against him, which first surfaced in 1978. One of his accusers sued in 1988, and the Pittsburgh diocese settled the case in 1993.

HMO agrees to pay $1 million over death
SACRAMENTO, Calif. California's biggest HMO, Kaiser Permanente, has agreed to pay a $1 million fine, the largest in state history against a full-service health plan.
The fine involved the 1996 death of a Medicare client who called Kaiser when she experienced abdominal pain, then waited hours for treatment in an emergency room, according to the complaint. While she waited, an aneurysm, or ballooning, in her aorta burst, killing her.
The HMO had contested the fine by the state Department of Managed Care, filing a federal court complaint arguing that Medicare members are subject to federal, not state, law.
A judge ruled in favor of the department. Kaiser's agreement to pay the fine was made public Friday.

Presbyterian pastor gives up his ministry
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. A respected Presbyterian pastor who was removed from his duties because of accusations of sexual misconduct has resigned as a minister.
The Rev. Jack Miller explained the decision in a letter to parishioners at Mount Kisco Presbyterian Church. The minister, a longtime leading advocate for homosexual rights, also told his congregation that he is homosexual.
"I openly acknowledge that many years ago, before I came to accept myself as a gay man, I did things that were wrong and inappropriate to my position as a minister," he said in the letter.
Mr. Miller added that he still denies the specifics of the misconduct accusations.
In a separate letter, Mr. Miller informed the Hudson River Presbytery, representing churches in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, that he was stepping down.
Earlier this year, a man accused Mr. Miller of abusing him in the early 1980s, said New Castle, N.Y., police Sgt. James Carroll. The case could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired, he said.

Man who terrorized high school is charged
DALLAS The 18-year-old man who went to a rural high school with a shotgun and a can of gasoline was charged yesterday with aggravated assault, attempted arson and carrying a weapon illegally.
Tony Cipriano's bail was set at $1.6 million during his arraignment.
Faculty and students at Scurry-Rosser High School, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas, worked together to subdue Mr. Cipriano, who school officials say was once expelled for stealing a teacher's car.
Mr. Cipriano walked into the principal's office Friday morning and asked for former Principal Travis Stodghill, who had suspended him. Secretaries called 911, and alerted students over the public address system that a "lockdown" had been initiated and that students should go to the cafeteria.
Principal Richard Sneed said he arrived in the main high school building in time to see the suspect walking down the hall, pumping the shotgun, and sloshing gasoline on the walls and floor from a backpack fitted with a spigot.


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