January 10, 2005

Defense lawyers blamed in church crisis

Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein
Dayton Daily News

An attorney who represented the Catholic church in 500 clergy sexual abuse cases from 1987-95 says many fellow defense lawyers have fanned the flames of the priest child sex-abuse crisis by playing hardball with victims and advising bishops to remain silent in the face of victims' pain.

"I think lawyers contributed significantly in turning the problem into a crisis, making something that could have been handled by the church into something that is now going to haunt the church for decades to come," Minneapolis law professor Patrick Schiltz said.

Schiltz is to discuss lawyer mishandling of the scandal at the University of Dayton tonight as part of UD's Wounded Body of Christ lecture series. The free program begins at 7 p.m. in the Sears Recital Hall in Jesse Philips Humanities Center. It's open to the public.

Too Much Law, Too Little Justice is the theme of Schiltz's discussion. He is a professor at St. Thomas More School of Law.

UD announced Friday that the Rev. Robert Schreiter, an expert on reconciliation from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, will explore Is Reconciliation Possible? at the next installment of the series, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Kennedy Union ballroom.

Posted by kshaw at January 10, 2005 07:57 AM