January 07, 2005

Oregon diocese runs ads on claim deadline


1/7/2005, 8:06 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Portland has begun running ads in major U.S. newspapers alerting alleged victims of clergy sex abuse to an April 29 deadline to make claims in most cases.

The $250,000 worth of ads, required as part of the church's bankruptcy proceedings, will run in 21 newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, over the next three weeks.

Advocates for victims have said the court-ordered April 29 deadline is unreasonable.

"No one would tell a grieving widow to come forward within four months — and no one can tell a rape victim to come forward within four months," said Barbara Blaine, the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It's an arbitrary deadline that only meets the needs of church leaders and doesn't help victims."

Archdiocese spokesman Bud Bunce said the church is doing everything it can to reach potential claimants. A letter about the deadline has been mailed to more than 81,000 registered Oregon parishioners and roughly 11,000 alumni of the Roman Catholic archdiocese's two high schools.

Posted by kshaw at January 7, 2005 11:00 PM