April 16, 2005

Giving Victims of Sexual Abuse a Chance to Heal

Los Angeles Times

By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer

An alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse, the Rev. Robert H. Greene took his story public last Saturday from an unlikely spot: behind the pulpit at a Los Angeles church.

In a liturgy designed for fellow molestation survivors, the Anglican cleric told his story of alleged abuse as a teenager by a Roman Catholic priest, let others share their experiences, and offered communion to those who wanted it.

About 30 people who attended the service heard original music and poems by victims of sexual abuse.

At the end of the service, the church bell at the Church of Our Savior on Wilshire Boulevard rang 170 times, once for each victim of clergy sexual abuse who has committed suicide in the U.S., according to statistics gathered by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

"We almost broke the bell," said Greene, a part-time cleric for the Anglican Province of Christ the King. The denomination was formed in 1977 by traditionalists unhappy with changes within the Episcopal Church in America.

Posted by kshaw at April 16, 2005 08:01 AM