O'Malley Hailed for Crisis Role

By Eric Convey
Boston Herald [Boston MA]
September 14, 2003

In his first public appearance since reaching a tentative settlement with lawyers for 552 alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley didn't say a word about the matter in a homily yesterday.

But he drew enthusiastic praise for his work from rank-and-file Catholics. "It's wonderful," Sheri Davies said after O'Malley celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Methuen.

"Get it done with," she said of the abuse-related legal fight. "It doesn't have to go on forever. It's been going on long enough."

Gerry Croteau said he thought O'Malley's presence at a relatively small church was "great."

"I'm just glad it's over," Croteau said of the litigation.

Plaintiffs' lawyers credited O'Malley with brokering an $85 million deal that was signed Tuesday. They have one month to determine if 80 percent of the alleged victims will agree to the deal, but have predicted that will happen.

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