February 20, 2005

Abuse report backs diocese

Fox 11

10:28 PM MST on Saturday, February 19, 2005

By Stephanie Innes / ARIZONA DAILY STAR

A report released Friday listed the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson as one of a majority of dioceses in the country complying with national standards on the handling and prevention of sexual abuse by clergy.

The report, based on an audit conducted in 2004, praised the local diocese for hiring Paul Duckro to oversee child-abuse prevention for the diocese, which stretches over nine counties and includes 350,000 Catholics. The audit also said the diocese has established "clear and well-publicized standards of ministerial behavior for priests and deacons."

The national report, released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, immediately was criticized by a national group that represents victims of clergy abuse.

Members of the national Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the bishops had too much control over the compliance audit, which was conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston.

"They wrote the charter, they hired their own so-called watchdogs, they decide who gets interviewed and who gets heard," a prepared statement from the group said. "We owe it to innocent children and vulnerable adults to insist on hard evidence and solid data before determining progress is being made."

Posted by kshaw at February 20, 2005 05:08 AM