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Sanchez not first U.S. prelate whose reported liaison became public.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez is not the first U.S. prelate in recent years whos reported liaison with a woman has come to public attention.

The late Cardinal John Cody of Chicago was once under investigation for allegedly spending more than $1 million in church funds on a woman he described as his cousin. A 1981 Chicago Sun-Times report said that there was "no common bloodline" between the two and hinted at the possibility of an affair. The investigation was later dropped.

Archbishop Eugene Marino, the first African-American archbishop in the United States, resigned in July 1990 after church authorities learned he had been involved in a two-year affair with Vicki Long, a young, single mother. Since May of that year, he is said to be in seclusion under spiritual direction and psychiatric and medical care for severe stress.

One of the last published reports about Marino's status appeared in The Georgian Bulletin. An article in December 1991 refers to a letter he wrote to his sister, Clare Marino Rhodeman -- a copy of which was sent to the paper. He said then that his therapy was progressing well and that he hoped to return to "some form of full-time ministry soon."

The late Atlanta Archbishop James P. Lyke told the Bulletin that any future assignment for Marino would have to come from the Vatican. NCR's repeated calls last week to the apostolic pro-nuncio to the United States, based in Washington, D.C., to learn of Marino's status were not returned.

Since the 1991 article, Marino's church status remains a mystery to many. People that were close to Marino, both in Washington and in Atlanta, said they do not know what his status is.

At the Josephite Pastoral Center in Washington, a man who worked closely for several years with then-Auxiliary Bishop of Washington Marino, said he did not know anything. "Try the superior general," he suggested.

Father Eugene McManus, the superior general in Baltimore, told NCR he received a card last Christmas from Marino, and the former archbishop said "he was doing well." As for Marino's return to ministry, McManus said, "I have no news on that at all." It is no longer in his jurisdiction, McManus said.

It was about a year ago in Christmas 1991 that Gerrard O'Connor, Marino's administrative assistant and driver in Atlanta, talked to the former archbishop. O'Connor told NCR that Marino had called him and said he was "|doing fine and coming along nicely.' He sounded great." O'Connor described it as a "real casual" conversation and said he has not heard from him since.

Just as O'Connor was ending his telephone interview with NCR, he made one final request: "I appreciate if you find out anything about him, and how he's doing, you let me know."

It was a request echoed many times by those concerned about Marino's well-being.
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Title Annotation:Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez
Author:Edwards, Robin T.
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Mar 19, 1993
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