February 18, 2006

Catholic Church advisory group discussed child abuse


By Eileen E. Flynn

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Nearly four years after Catholic bishops established a national policy to address the clergy sex abuse that rocked the American church, the bishops and the lay group appointed to hold them accountable have not done enough to protect minors from predatory priests, a victims' rights group argued Friday.

Six members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, gathered outside the Northwest Austin hotel where theAbuse Tracker Review Board, a lay advisory group that reports to the bishops, is meeting through today.

The board's sessions, which were closed to the public, included a meeting with Bishop Gregory Aymond, head of the Austin Diocese and chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Survivors Network members have asked church leaders, some of whom covered up abuse for decades, to be more transparent with information on molesters.

"(Bishops have) erred in protecting priests, not children," said Mary Grant, a SNAP board member who flew to Austin this week from Los Angeles. "We know the crisis has been created because church officials have aided and abetted (abusive priests)."

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2006 10:30 AM