January 15, 2006

A Cleric's Authority, a Victim's View


When a Detroit bishop called for an end to statutes of limitation on clergy abuse lawsuits, he spoke not just as a Roman Catholic Church official but, it turns out, as a victim himself. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, 75, lent poignant and powerful support to a bill in the Ohio legislature that would remove the time limits that can prevent victims from suing the church for alleged sexual abuse.

In lobbying for the bill, which the Senate has passed unanimously, Gumbleton revealed that he was touched inappropriately by a Detroit priest when he was a 15-year-old seminary student. He said that the priest, long dead, took him and other boys to a cabin outside the city and put his hand down the back of Gumbleton's pants, at which point the incident ended. "I was able to escape a terrible trauma," he said.

Posted by kshaw at January 15, 2006 03:00 AM