Local Church Sex Abuse Allegations Arise
Lawsuit Alleges Law Overlooked Priest Sex Abuse in Jackson During 70s [Jackson Miss.]
May 7, 2003

JACKSON, Miss. -- Former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law now faces allegations in Jackson that he was aware of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

In Washington, Law spent the day answering attorneys' questions in a sex abuse lawsuit against Jackson's Catholic Diocese.

The suit alleges Law overlooked sex abuse by priests he supervised during his time in Jackson.

But according to 38-year-old Kenneth Morrison, Law and the diocese looked the other way while he and two brothers were allegedly abused by Rev. George Broussard in the early 70s.

"It happened in the altar, in the rectory, behind the altar, under the altar, in the basement," Morrison said.

In a multi-million dollar lawsuit, Morrison names Broussard, the diocese, and Law, who became Archbishop of Boston before outrage over abuse cases there forced him to resign last year.

In Washington Wednesday, Morrison's attorneys showed 16 WAPT statements from the Boston cases in which the lawyers say Law admits he knew about abuse in Jackson.

But, in questioning this morning, they say Law claimed he's not sure what he knew -- claims Morrison says sound familiar.

"He hurt me in a way that the priest never could. He denied what I had gone through," Morrison said.

Now, Morrison's lawyers claim his case may not be the only one that happened and was covered up.

A call to attorneys representing Law was not returned.

Law's closed-door deposition will continue Thursday.

Law rose to become archbishop of Boston before resigning under pressure late last year, following the same kind of allegations now surfacing in Jackson.

Law, once an official in Jackson's Catholic Diocese, faces accusations that he ignored sex abuse allegations by a Jackson priest 30 years ago.

Arriving for questioning at a Washington D.C. law firm, Law avoided comment.

"I'm really not going to be talking to the press now. We're not going to take any questions now. Thank you," Law said.

A representative with a local abuse victims network was also in Washington Wednesday.

He said he hopes the case will help other victims come forward.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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