Victims' Group Calls for Direct Reporting of Abuse Allegations

Associated Press, carried in Beacon Journal [Cleveland OH]
September 15, 2004

CLEVELAND - A national group representing victims of sexual abuse by priests asked the Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland on Wednesday to expand abuse reporting methods.

A law-enforcement abuse hot line number should be posted in churches and parochial schools, said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"It needs to be treated as a crime," Clohessy said.

SNAP also wants one of its members appointed to the Cleveland diocesan clergy abuse review panel, Clohessy said in a sidewalk news conference outside the office of Bishop Anthony M. Pilla.

A spokesman for Pilla, Bob Tayek, said abuse allegations referred to a church hot line are promptly forwarded to law enforcement.

Two of 15 original abuse review board members were victims of clergy abuse and one of 11 current members was victimized, Tayek said.

At least 15 priests of the eight-county diocese, which has about 800,000 Catholics and 340 priests, have been suspended over abuse allegations since 2002.


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