April 02, 2006

Delegate's shift baffles victims of church abuse

The Washington Times

By Jon Ward
March 31, 2006

Sex abuse victims in Maryland thought they had Delegate Anthony Brown on their side in a push for a law allowing retroactive civil suits against the Catholic Church.
That was until Mr. Brown was summoned to see Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick.
After his meeting with the archbishop of Washington, Mr. Brown, a Prince George's County Democrat and running mate to gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Malley, changed his position to oppose the legislation.
Mr. Brown, a practicing Catholic, said the visit was "a social call."
But abuse victims say Mr. Brown "grilled" Catholic Church officials and attorneys at a March 9 hearing.
"He was asking very pointed questions about what they were doing, and he did not seem satisfied that they were helping the victims," said David Lorenz, 47, of Bowie, who said he was abused when he was 11 in Kentucky.
"It seemed like he was all into protecting us," said James Bucci Jr., 44, of California, Md., who said he was abused by two priests, and eventually raped by one of them, from 1969 to 1977.
Mr. Brown met with Cardinal McCarrick days after the hearing.
The bill would have extended the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits so anyone who claims they were abused could sue until they were 43 years old.
Last weekend, the House Judiciary Committee, on which Mr. Brown sits, amended the bill to exclude anyone who is currently over 25 years old. The bill has advanced to a Senate committee for consideration.

Posted by kshaw at April 2, 2006 09:36 AM