February 19, 2005

Critics scoff at dioceses' compliance claim

Chicago Daily Herald

By Rob Olmstead Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005

All three area Roman Catholic dioceses were found in compliance for 2004 with U.S. Bishops' guidelines on preventing and reporting sexual abuse by priests, the church announced Friday.

But a critic said the fact that the Rockford Diocese could be found in compliance - when it was found in contempt of court for not cooperating with a criminal abuse investigation - shows just how weak and ineffectual the guidelines really are.

"It's another situation where the bishops set the ground rules, they pick the umpires ... and now they're declaring themselves winners," said Barbara Blaine, president of Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Blaine was referring to Mark Campobello, a priest who was stationed in Geneva and had sexual relations with a teenage girl. In 2003, a Kane County judge ordered the diocese to turn over documents to the state's attorney it had on that incident and another involving an Aurora girl.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 09:33 AM