November 15, 2005

Bronx nun, 68, goes public about being abused by priest in 1950s


Associated Press Writer

November 14, 2005, 10:29 PM EST

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- A 68-year-old nun who is an accomplished educator and counselor told a crowd of Catholics on Monday night that she was abused from the age of 11 by a priest who took advantage of her grief when her big sister died in a car crash.

"He would hug me ... and then he would be all over me," Sister Claire Smith said. "It was the 1950s, and I was an Irish Catholic girl from the Bronx. I thought priests were almost godlike."

The abuse continued until she was 18, she said, and "I was robbed of my growing up."

Smith, who has multiple sclerosis and broke her legs in an accident two weeks ago, spoke from a motorized wheelchair at the Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church to the local chapter of Voice of the Faithful, an organization that supports victims of priests' abuse and seeks a larger voice in church governance.

Posted by kshaw at November 15, 2005 01:24 AM