January 12, 2006

Bishop Backs Bills Allowing Old Abuse Cases

The New York Times

Published: January 12, 2006
Saying that he had been sexually abused as a teenage seminarian, a Roman Catholic bishop on Wednesday became the highest-ranking member of the church to endorse legislation in various states that would loosen the statute of limitations on lawsuits relating to sexual abuse by clergy members.

The bishop, Thomas J. Gumbleton, is a longtime auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit and a fixture of the church's left wing, frequently joining in fasts, prayer vigils and civil disobedience.

He said in a telephone interview, "I have a sense of how difficult it is for someone who has been abused to come forward."

Bishop Gumbleton spent the afternoon making personal appeals to lawmakers in Ohio, where a bill under consideration would allow people under the age of 52 with claims of abuse to sue.

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2006 07:34 AM