February 12, 2005

Bishop: Church now better able to deal with abuse problems

Arizona Daily Sun


PHOENIX (AP) -- A deeper understanding of the nature of pedophiles has better equipped the Catholic Church to deal with the sex abuse scandal that has scarred its parishes, Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted said Friday.

One of the biggest problems for the church was the misconception that priests who abused children could be cured. Since then, many have realized that therapy and church guidance can't completely help pedophiles move away from temptation, Olmsted told The Associated Press.

"I think ... we believed for quite a while that if you gave the person all the best means possible spiritually and psychologically, that they could actually overcome that. Nobody believes that today," said Olmsted.

At least 19 priests have been accused of abuse in the Phoenix Roman Catholic Diocese since it was formed in 1969. Only one allegation of abuse from the last decade has surfaced, Olmsted said.

Posted by kshaw at February 12, 2005 08:01 AM