- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From combined dispatches

HADDONFIELD, N.J. — A Roman Catholic priest who had been laicized after being accused of molesting a string of girls performed a baptism at a New Jersey Catholic church just weeks later, church officials said.

Nicholas Cudemo presided at the July 10 ceremony at Christ the King Catholic Church in Haddonfield, N.J., at the request of the family, who were longtime friends, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The church’s pastor did not realize Mr. Cudemo had been removed from the priesthood until a deacon recognized his name a week later.

A report by the Philadelphia district attorney said Mr. Cudemo had sexual relationships with girls that he taught at Catholic schools from the 1960s to the 1980s. In one case, prosecutors say, he arranged an abortion for an 11-year-old who became pregnant.

The Rev. Joseph D. Wallace, pastor of Christ the King, called Mr. Cudemo “one of the offenders, and one of the worst ones, to be honest.” He was defrocked in June.


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