July 21, 2005

3 women say Pilla reneged

Beacon Journal

By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer

Three women who allege they were abused in the mid-1960s by a priest at Akron's now-closed St. Mary High School criticized Bishop Anthony M. Pilla on Wednesday for not keeping his promises.

The women -- Colleen Hager of Charlotte, N.C.; Terri Heinzen of Russellville, Ark., and Sharon Barrett of Akron -- held a news conference outside the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland to disclose details of a settlement they reached with diocesan officials two years ago.

They said Pilla failed to apologize and make disclosures about the priest whom they accused of sex abuse.

``Just as much as we werenaive back in the 1960s when we were molested, we were naive to believe that Bishop Pilla would give us the apology that he promised,'' said Barrett, 58, of Akron. ``The diocese promised us in 2003 that they would give us a public apology and send us a written letter of apology, and they never did.

``I just don't think it's right that this priest is able to hide because the diocese won't make his name public,'' Barrett said. ``It makes me angry to know that there are priests out there who have caused so much pain and the diocese is covering for them, just to save face.''

Posted by kshaw at July 21, 2005 06:42 AM