January 16, 2005

Local sex abuse crisis prepared Gregory for national stage



Bishop Wilton Gregory's tenure as head of the Belleville Catholic Diocese and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was one of compassion, strong convictions and a sense of pastoral care, those who watched him and worked with him say.

When he arrived in Belleville, the diocese was in turmoil over clergy sexual abuse scandals. The scandals on the local level prepared him to address the same scandal nationally as president of the bishops conference.

"Ten years ago he was the perfect person to go in to Belleville and resolve some of the sex abuse issues," said Robert Gilligan, director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois in Chicago. "He is, and was, passionate about those issues and he approached them with strong convictions."

His handling of the Belleville crisis prepared him to face the same issue nationally, and with conviction.

Posted by kshaw at January 16, 2005 08:00 AM