April 22, 2005

Abused Catholics waiting to judge pope

The News Journal

By BETH MILLER / The News Journal
04/22/2005Ed Burke, of Avondale, Pa., chose not to sue the Catholic Church over the sexual abuse he suffered as a young boy from a priest in Iowa in the 1940s. Instead, he has worked to support other victims to help the church understand the continuing effects of the clergy abuse scandal that emerged publicly in the United States in 2002.

Thursday night Burke, 68, was among about 30 people who attended a meeting in Milltown of a new Delaware affiliate of the national group known as Voice of the Faithful. The national group, which claims members in all 50 states and more than 30 countries, started in 2002 with three objectives: to support victims of clergy sexual abuse, to support priests of integrity and to work for structural change in the church.

About 60 members meet regularly with the 2-year-old Coastal Delmarva chapter in Bethany Beach, said chairman John Sullivan. They have heard from victims of abuse and have tried to encourage priests who serve faithfully. This past Easter, Sullivan said, the group mailed about 250 cards to priests in the Diocese of Wilmington, thanking them for their service.

Members of both Delaware chapters said they are approaching the election of Pope Benedict XVI with a "wait and see" sort of optimism. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the new pope, helped steer the Vatican's response to the sex abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2005 05:32 AM