July 13, 2005

Kennedy attacks Santorum for church sex abuse comments

Centre Daily Times

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a rare personal attack on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy called Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum self-righteous and insensitive for his remarks linking Boston's liberal reputation to the clergy sex abuse scandal.

In recent days, Santorum has refused to back down from comments he made in a 2002 column, in which he said promoting alternative lifestyles spawns aberrant behavior, such as priests molesting children. He went on to say that it was not surprising that liberal Boston was at the center of the scandal.

"The people of Boston are to blame for the clergy sexual abuse? That is an irresponsible, insensitive and inexcusable thing to say," said Kennedy, D-Mass., in a speech from the Senate chamber.

Kennedy called for Santorum to apologize to the people of Boston and Massachusetts.

On Wednesday, Santorum spokesman Robert Traynham said the Pennsylvania senator recognizes that the church abuse scandal was not just in Boston, but all over the country.

He said Santorum "was speaking to a broader cultural argument about the need for everyone to take these issues very, very seriously."

Posted by kshaw at July 13, 2005 04:43 PM