May 29, 2005

Church, victims split again

Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn
Enquirer staff writer

Child-abuse victims and Catholic bishops are bracing for a battle in the Ohio legislature that neither side wants.

The anticipated dispute is over a child-protection bill that would allow victims to sue the church in decades-old clergy-abuse cases, most of which are too old to take to court under existing law.

Victims' groups favor the change and the church opposes it.

Both sides agree an ugly showdown in the Ohio House of Representatives, which is considering the bill this month, could hurt everyone involved.

Victims fear a protracted fight in the House could lead to a watered-down version of the bill, and the last thing church officials want is another public confrontation with people who accuse them of mishandling abusive priests.

"It's very difficult," said Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. "We're being accused of not being pastoral in our approach to this."

But a battle may be inevitable.

Posted by kshaw at May 29, 2005 08:43 AM