January 11, 2006

Detroit bishop reveals he was once abused by priest

USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY
A 75-year-old Detroit Catholic bishop stunned his church, Ohio legislators and victims of sexual abuse nationwide Wednesday when he revealed one reason he supports victims' rights to sue, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred: He was molested by a priest more than 60 years ago.

"I have more insight into why it is so difficult for victims to come forward within the legal time limits, to expose themselves, open up their privacy to the public," Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton said.

When he was a 14-year-old student in a high school seminary, Gumbleton said, a professor in his 40s took him to a cottage, wrestled with him and put his hands down his pants.

"I knew it wasn't right, and I didn't want it to happen anymore," he said in a telephone interview before a news conference in Columbus, Ohio.

There, he joined with the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests in lobbying the Ohio House of Representatives. The House is considering legislation, already passed unanimously by the state Senate, to open a one-year window in the statute of limitations on sexual abuse by clergy.

Posted by kshaw at January 11, 2006 08:42 PM