Crowds pack Criminal Justice Center for hearing on accused priests

    There was pushing, shoving, yelling and protesting in Philadelphia today. One reporter found herself trapped in a revolving door. And it wasn’t even sports-related.

    The crowd was there for a much more somber occasion: the preliminary hearing of the teacher, monsignor and three priests accused in a grand jury report of sexual abuse and related charges.

    It was, in short, a spectacle.

    WHYY’s Lizz Fiedler was there, and will share details from the hearing later.

    Along with members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, local and national media crushed into the Criminal Justice Center, leaving no seat empty. The media sat in the jury box, prompting jokes from the lawyers about the media being the jury. The case garnered coverage from CNN and the New York Times, as well as two separate sketch artists.

    Priests sporting collars, SNAP protesters and a woman holding a rosary joined the crowd, which at one point became so frenzied a reporter found herself stuck, calling out something to the effect of, “I’m trapped in a door and I’m pregnant!”

    Judging from the emotions this case has surfaced, that’s probably the best place to be.



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