Innocent Priests

Daniel Burke reports on their situations:

Many priests say they recognize the difficulty of the Vatican's task -- most allegations concern decades-old events, making it hard to determine guilt or innocence, and the Vatican has relatively few employees to process the thousands of accusations that surfaced after the sex abuse scandal exploded in 2002. Meanwhile, no bishop wants a priest to abuse children on his watch.

But some priests say the get-tough rules approved by U.S. bishops in 2002 swing the pendulum too far in the other direction, trampling their rights to due process and good reputations. Where once abuse victims were silenced and sacrificed for the sake of the church, they say, now innocent priests are overlooked casualties of the crisis.

"The way the bishops once treated victims, that's the way they treat priests now," said Fr. Michael Maginot, an Indiana priest and canon lawyer who is representing Selvaraj. "They are willing to throw any priest under the bus."