March 04, 2005

Bishop meets with priest sex abuse protesters

OAKLAND (CA)
Alameda Times-Star

By Susan McDonough, STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND Sex abuse victims protesting outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland left their picket signs in the bushes Thursday after being invited inside for a surprise meeting with Bishop Allen Vigneron.

Group members said they came to try to deliver a letter to the bishop detailing their frustration over the diocese's handling of a Berkeley priest, the Rev. George Crespin.

Crespin, the head pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in downtown Berkeley, resigned in February after being accused of sexual misconduct 30 years ago.

A spokesman for the diocese said the bishop was happy to meet Thursday with members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Local SNAP members say an article about Crespin in The Catholic Voice, a diocese publication, and comments by the accused priest created hostility toward his accuser and violated the church's own policy of protecting victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at March 4, 2005 05:37 AM