April 23, 2006

Fixing church, post-scandal


Newsday Staff Writer

April 23, 2006

A national spokesman for victims of priest sex abuse offered his stark perspective yesterday on what has worked - and what hasn't - to reform the Roman Catholic Church.

Nothing has worked, he told 500 Long Island Catholics gathered in Huntington, save outside pressure.

"This is an ancient, rigid, secretive, top-down, all-male monarchy," David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told members of Voice of the Faithful, the lay reform group. "It always has been. It always will be. The answer is not to reform them, but to go around them and to contain them."

Instead of seeking dialogue with bishops, Clohessy urged lay Catholics to throw their energy into efforts to lift or to extend New York's statutes of limitations, so that more lawsuits against the church go forward.

"There is absolutely nothing that will help protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded like having this opportunity to expose our molesters in court," he said.

Posted by kshaw at April 23, 2006 09:30 AM