January 13, 2006

Detroit bishop says he was abused by priest

Rutland Herald

January 13, 2006

By CARRIE SPENCER GHOSE The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio The first U.S. Catholic bishop to say that he was a victim of sexual abuse by clergy put his support behind legislation that would remove time limits that have prevented past victims from suing the church.

Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, 75, who said that he was touched inappropriately by a priest when he was a teenager, spoke at a news conference Wednesday in support of an Ohio bill.

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

Ohio bishops agree with extending the time limits for future abuse cases but have vigorously lobbied against a provision allowing a one-year window for victims to sue over abuse that happened up to 35 years ago. 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. Gumbleton said the priest started wrestling with him playfully, then put his hand down the back of Gumbleton's pants. He said he quickly removed himself from the situation; he did not elaborate.

Posted by kshaw at January 13, 2006 07:59 AM