Abuse Victim Meets with Archbishop

By David McArthur
WAVE 3 [Louisville KY]
Downloaded November 1, 2003

(LOUISVILLE, October 31st, 2003, 5 p.m.) -- The Archbishop's door is now open to abuse victims from the $25.7 million settlement. Louisville's Archdiocese made the offer months ago, but says legalities often got in the way. On Friday, the first victim to file was pleasantly surprised in the first private meeting with Archbishop Thomas Kelly. WAVE 3's David McArthur reports.

Two people once divided have now met face to face. And Mike Turner, the first person to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese, says "it was a very good meeting."

Turner says "Archbishop Kelly couldn't be more receptive and a pleasure to talk to."

As the first plaintiff, Turner led the way for 243 victims to settle for $25.7 million. Turner once signed a petition for the Archbishop's resignation, but now says he better understands the legal limits of the process.

"The man I met today was a very warm person," Turner says. "And there's a lot of people might be against me a little bit, but I think his hands were tied because of litigation."

Turner wants the Archdiocese to support to the Linkup Farm, a survivors' retreat now under construction in Oldham County. There were no promises made yet, but both sides agree the other is learning.

"When you've met one person who had this horrific experience, you need to approach each individual case, each individual story, because they are all different," says Brian Reynolds with the Louisville Archdiocese.

In the coming weeks, the Archdiocese will send a letter to all the victims, inviting them for a face-to-face with the Archbishop. And officials are working on a special victims' prayer service early next year.

Mike Turner says he hopes this is just the first of many healthy conversations to come.

Turner says his signature still stands on the petition, because you can't change the past, but he now hopes working with Archbishop Kelly will change the Catholic Church for the better.

Online Reporter: David McArthur


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