November 07, 2005

Indiana lawsuits latest in nationwide movement


By Stephanie Salter/Tribune-Star

Over the past few months, four Indiana men have filed civil lawsuits against the former Rev. Harry E. Monroe for sexual abuse they allegedly suffered as children. With the suits, the men join a growing population of disillusioned Catholics who have turned to public courts for remediation of sins they say their church repeatedly committed and covered up.

Few dioceses in the nation are unsullied.

In some instances, former priests have been convicted and jailed for decades-old sex abuse of children. More frequently, dioceses have paid multimillion-dollar settlements to plaintiffs who brought their charges of sex crimes committed by clergy or other church employees to the civil court arena.

Among the most publicized cases is a $120 million settlement between the Boston Archdiocese and 552 people who testified they were sexually abused by priests as children and suffered further through systematic secrecy and negligence by church hierarchy.

Boston Cardinal Bernard Law resigned at the height of the scandal in 2002 and was appointed by Pope John Paul II to serve as the archpriest of a basilica in Rome.

Posted by kshaw at November 7, 2005 06:01 PM