April 01, 2006

FFRF Calls on Catholic Conference President to Step Down


FFRF via BBSNews 2006-03-31 -- The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has been monitoring "black collar crimes" since the late 1980s, is calling on Bishop William Skylstad to step down as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as bishop of Spokane, Wash.

President George W. Bush talks with Bishop William Skylstad, newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in the Oval Office Monday, March 14, 2005. In November 2004, Bishop Skylstad was elected to a three-year term as head of the USCCB, which serves to promote, coordinate and encourage Catholic activities in the United States.
Image Credit: White House photo by Krisanne Johnson.

The call was prompted after remarks by Bishop Skylstad, prefacing the disclosure late this week of the church's 2005 "self-audit" on sexual abuse cases. Skylstad said he had both "a sense of progress" and a "great sense of the continuing impact of the sexual abuse crisis," because his own diocese is in bankruptcy over sex crimes, and he himself has been accused of molesting a teenage girl in the 1960s. Skylstad denies the allegation.

"If these circumstances provide you with a 'sense of progress,' " asks Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president in a letter to the bishop, "what would give you a sense of failure?"

Gaylor said the U.S. Conference of Bishops "lacks all credibility when its head is accused of being a child molester himself."

Posted by kshaw at April 1, 2006 09:26 AM