February 17, 2005

Alleged church sex abuse victims demand action from Yakima Diocese


2/16/2005, 8:47 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) Three women who allege they were sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the 1960s and a church abuse victims' support group on Wednesday urged Yakima's Catholic bishop to encourage more victims to come forward.

Other victims likely continue to suffer and the church should reach out to anyone who may have been abused or witnessed abuse, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests wrote in a letter to Bishop Carlos Sevilla of the Yakima Diocese.

The support group for victims of priest abuse has more than 5,000 members nationally.

"It's no secret that church officials for decades have aided, abetted and harbored known and suspected molesters in the church, and shielded them from prosecution by knowingly failing to report the alleged crimes to law enforcement," the letter said.

"It's also no secret that still today many church officials needlessly place children at risk of abuse by refusing to disclose the names of known and alleged molesters," the letter said. "This sends a very dangerous message to Catholics that the church officials continue to aid and abet alleged molesters."

Sevilla was out of town and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Posted by kshaw at February 17, 2005 06:25 AM