January 17, 2006

Sexual abuse isn't what shaped Detroit bishop's life

The Detroit News

Laura Berman

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who stepped forward last week to describe being molested by a priest when he was a teenager, was shaped by the passions and shames of a long-ago era.

But not as you might expect.

When the Detroit auxiliary bishop testified in support of Ohio legislation that would allow abuse victims a longer statute of limitations, he revealed a secret he had held for decades, even while the issue of pedophilia in the church raged. The story -- of a young seminary student preyed upon by a priest and teacher -- might seem to explain, at least in part, Gumbleton's compassion for the downtrodden over the course of his adult life.

He's the bishop speaking at the Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War congress (1989). The one participating in the "Global Exchange Delegation with Families for Peaceful Tomorrows" in Afghanistan.

For decades, he has allied himself with liberal causes, traveling to the world's most forsaken places: Kazakhstan, Hiroshima, Haiti, Guatemala, Peru.

Posted by kshaw at January 17, 2006 07:38 AM