January 08, 2006

Groups reflect on clergy abuse scandal

Boston Globe

By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Globe Staff | January 8, 2006

Amid school portraits of smiling boys and girls who were allegedly sexually abused by priests, advocates for victims gathered yesterday with a message for the Archdiocese of Boston: Four years after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in the Catholic Church, much remains to be done.

Members of five advocacy groups gathered at the Savin Hill Yacht Club to remember the week in January 2002 when news of a massive coverup of clerical sexual abuse first hit the front page of the Globe.

Reflecting on the past four years, advocates said they were glad that awareness of the abuse crisis has spread across the country and the world. Yet they also expressed frustration over how little they say has changed within the church.

''Our calendar is only four years old," said Paul F. Kellen, executive secretary of the advocacy group People of Conscience, which has been critical of the Catholic Church's handling of the scandal. ''My New Year's greeting is: Nothing changes, if nothing changes."

Anne Doyle, a member of BishopAccountability.org, a website that posts church documents, said that, as a Catholic, she is ''ashamed of the leadership of my church." When the news of the scandal broke four years ago in the Globe, Doyle remembered, ''it was a Sunday morning in January, [and] I was just about to wake up my kids and bring them to Mass."

Posted by kshaw at January 8, 2006 08:06 AM