January 12, 2006

Detroit bishop reveals he was victim of abuse

The Oakland Press

Web-posted Jan 12, 2006

Of The Oakland Press

The admission by Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit that he was sexually abused by a priest when he was 15 is "just the tip of the iceberg" of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, a local victim said Wednesday.

Gumbleton, 75, disclosed his abuse Wednesday in support of a bill pending in the Ohio House that would lift a one-year limit for sex abuse victims to sue the church for alleged abuse that occurred up to 35 years ago.

"I regret that we need this type of legislation, but I insist we do need it," he said before meeting with House lawmakers who are undecided on the bill.

Gumbleton said he was a 15-year-old seminary student in Detroit when a priest took him and other boys to a cabin northeast of the city. The priest started wrestling with him playfully, then put his hand down Gumbleton's pants. He said he quickly removed himself from the situation.

The archbishop of Detroit, Cardinal Adam Maida, said in a statement that he is "always disheartened whenever he hears of a claim of clergy sexual abuse." He said he was "especially saddened by the report that Bishop Thomas Gumbleton ... was apparently a victim himself many years ago."

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2006 07:11 AM