Panel Calls for Church Change to End Sex Abuse
Bishops Don't Seem Inclined to Change, Members Say [Wellesley MA]
January 26, 2004

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The Roman Catholic Church must undergo systematic change in order to bring the clergy sexual abuse scandal to a close, but the bishops don't seem inclined to make the needed changes, members of a panel concluded.

"This is the result of an addiction to power," the Rev Thomas Doyle, co-author of a 1980s report on clergy abuse, told a crowd of about 400 Sunday at Wellesley Middle School.

Journalist Jason Berry, who wrote of Doyle's efforts in his 1993 book, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation," said there are few signs that the church is prepared to undergo major change.

"I find it wretchedly appalling that the pope, a good man, a dying man, should be so blind on this issue," said Berry, who has spent 20 years chronicling the church scandal.

A. W. "Richard" Sipe, a psychotherapist and former priest, said he held out little hope for change in studies commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on anti-abuse efforts.

"It's as if the IRS comes to you and says, 'Look, do an audit of your own taxes,"' Sipe said. "The real audits are in the reports of the grand juries."

In response to Sipe's claim that numerous priests and even bishops continue to have sexual relationships with adult women, Carmen Durso, a victims attorney, told the Boston Herald, "That's probably a major reason why in the past they haven't exposed abusers in fear that their own secrets would come out."

Also on the panel were the national presidents of two victims groups, Susan Archibald of The Linkup and David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.


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