Local Church Lay Leader to Meet with Bishop Reilly
By Paul Wilborn
Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise [Leominster MA]
Downloaded February 8, 2003
LEOMINSTER -- Mary T. Jean of Leominster, and head of the Worcester Voice, will meet with Bishop Daniel P. Reilly on Wednesday to discuss her recent request that the Worcester Catholic Diocese release the names of those priests who have been accused of sexual abuse in the diocese.
The Worcester Voice is an advocacy group for the victims of clergy sexual abuse in the Worcester Diocese.
Reilly agreed to a meeting with Jean alone Wednesday morning, despite her request that representatives from other victims' groups attend the meeting.
Jean said she believes Reilly agreed to the meeting as a direct consequence of a letter she sent him last month.
In the letter, Jean charged that the "church's culpability in the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse is now evident" and asked the bishop to release the names of accused priests as well as personnel records in order to "expedite the healing process in our diocese."
According to Jean, the meeting, which was arranged by the bishop's secretary, the Rev. Rocco Piccolomini, is a "positive" sign from the diocese.
"This is an historic step on the part of the bishop," Jean said. "It's an extension of an olive branch."
Jean said she isn't sure what will come of the meeting but hopes the bishop will start to "participate in the process of delivering the information we want."
Jean's group, as well as other victims' advocacy groups, demonstrated last Sunday at St. Paul's Cathedral in Worcester. Another demonstration is planned for this Sunday at 9:15 a.m. as her group continues to press for release of the documents.
Jean's letter to Bishop Reilly can be read online at www.worcestervoice.com
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