July 01, 2005

Abuse victim says church tried to silence him


Reported by Jeremy Finley
E-mail: jfinley@wsmv.com

A victim of abuse at the hands of a priest spoke out Friday on the grounds of the Catholic Diocese of Nashville. He says the diocese tried to force him to remain silent about the abuse -- a charge church leaders deny.

David Brown went public on Friday with his personal demons and said he was sexually abused by Father Paul Haas. Brown and members of a support group are calling for the diocese to both improve support for victims and release the names and addresses of all priests found guilty of abuse by the church.

Diocese officials say they have not had a credible case of abuse in 20 years and releasing the names of deceased priests would not help anyone today. The diocese also says they continue to support victims.

"There is another point of contention between the diocese and David Brown. It has to do with a legal document from the church that Brown says told him to keep silent about the alleged abuse," said Rick Musacchio, Diocese Spokesman.

A document was drafted by church attorneys and signed by Brown. It reads that Brown will not sue the diocese and will not disclose the terms of this agreement with the press. The diocese says this document came about after Brown threatened to sue them in a series of letters -- at one point seeking $100,000.

Posted by kshaw at July 1, 2005 09:20 PM