July 20, 2005

Bishop Criticized Over Abuse Cases


(AP) Cleveland, Ohio A day after testifying in a sex abuse-related case, Bishop Anthony Pilla was criticized by three women who say he broke promises he made after they accused a former priest of abusing them 40 years ago.

They said Pilla and the diocese did not apologize and make disclosures about the priest who they say abused them.

The timing of their comments on a sidewalk outside of the diocese headquarters at St. John Cathedral was a coincidence to Pilla's testimony Tuesday in a civil case, said Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn.-based lawyer for the women. He said they planned to go public about a month ago and picked the day and location without realizing the bishop was involved in another sex abuse case requiring his testimony.

Anderson said the women are among five he represented in a private mediation hearing that resulted in a settlement in 2003.

He and the women would not disclose how much money was involved, but Anderson said a series of letters after the settlement committed Pilla and the diocese to apologize to the victims, full disclosure about the priest, participation in a healing Mass and a chance for the victims to help the diocese with abuse prevention.

Posted by kshaw at July 20, 2005 06:26 PM