January 12, 2006

Bishop Gumbleton says priest abused him when he was a teen

Catholic Explorer

By Jerry Filteau Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- At a legislative hearing and a press conference Jan. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit said he was sexually abused by a priest when he was a teenage seminarian.

He called for passage of pending legislation in Ohio that would open a one-year window for civil lawsuits against the church for clergy sexual abuse of minors that occurred many years ago.

The bishops of Ohio oppose the one-year window although they support other parts of the bill, including a longer statute of limitations for lawsuits based on claims of childhood sexual abuse.

Bishop Gumbleton, 75, did not name the now-deceased priest who molested him some 60 years ago, when he was a freshman or sophomore at Detroit's Sacred Heart Seminary High School. He called the abuse "very inappropriate" behavior by the priest but said it was "minor" compared with the kind of abuse many other victims have suffered.

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2006 09:52 PM