July 23, 2005

Advocates criticize tactics in lawsuit alleging abuse

Des Moines Register

July 23, 2005
Advocates for the victims of priest abuse on Friday criticized the Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque for hardball tactics in asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an NBC news correspondent.

The Archdiocese of Dubuque has asked a federal judge to dismiss James Cummins' lawsuit, saying he was 17 and not a child when the abuse allegedly occurred. In the process, the archdiocese identifies Cummins, of Dallas, Texas, as an NBC news correspondent and bureau chief.

Cummins sued the Rev. William Roach and the archdiocese last year using his real name, but he did not include any other identifying information in his petition.

Steve Theisen, a co-founder of North East Iowa Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, in an e-mail Friday, said Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus' "arguments are appalling."

"Hanus may have a legal right to defend the archdiocese like this and to blame the victim. But what he's doing is shameful. Catholics should be embarrassed and outraged by this," wrote Theisen of Hudson.

Archdiocese officials could not be reached Friday afternoon for comment.

Posted by kshaw at July 23, 2005 07:17 AM