April 12, 2005

Molestation victims protest Vatican Mass

San Francisco Chronicle

Don Lattin, Angela Frucci, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Rome -- Echoes of the child sexual-abuse scandal in the American Catholic Church reached Vatican City on Monday when two molestation victims appeared outside a key worship service led by Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who resigned in disgrace in December of 2002 amid a scandal over his role in covering up the crimes of priests.

Before they could distribute leaflets calling Law the "poster child of complicit bishops" in the child sex abuse scandal, a dozen Italian police officers moved in, ordered them off Vatican City property and pushed them and the media about 8 feet, placing them outside Vatican territory and back into Italy.

Barbara Blaine, president of the 5,000-member Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, arrived in Rome with Barbara Dorris, another Survivors Network leader, just hours before Law was to begin the Mass.

She felt compelled to travel to the Vatican from her home in Chicago, she said, because of an "outpouring of outrage in the United States" after the announcement last week that Law would be the only American cardinal to lead one of nine special Masses for the late pope at St. Peter's Basilica.

"We believe that Cardinal Law leading the liturgy only rubs salt in the wounds of American Catholics who at this moment don't need embarrassing and painful sex-abuse scandal material coming into the limelight," she said outside the basilica.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 06:55 AM