April 13, 2005

Sex Abuse Victims Target Fugitive Priests


POSTED: 12:34 pm EDT April 13, 2005
UPDATED: 1:59 pm EDT April 13, 2005

VATICAN CITY -- American victims of clergy sex abuse urged church officials Wednesday to help extradite accused priests who fled to their religious orders in Rome or to foreign countries to escape punishment.

Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said religious leaders have a moral obligation to help prosecutors in these cases, so children are not at risk.

"The place where these men should be is almost anywhere except Rome," said Blaine, speaking at a news conference in a hotel near St. Peter's Square. "This is not about punishment. This is merely about prevention."

The Dallas Morning News reported last year that some religious orders were sheltering accused priests in Rome. They include clergymen who had been criminally charged in the United States or who had admitted molesting young people years before and now face additional claims.

The newspaper also found evidence of several priests accused of abuse in one country who then moved to another, where they were working in Roman Catholic churches or ministries.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2005 01:59 PM