After Bishop's Resignation, 2 More Victims Surface

By Sarah Lundy
Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
June 5, 1998

Two more men have come forward saying they were among the five boys molested by Bishop Joseph Keith Symons early in his career, Father Michael Edwards, spokesman for the Diocese of Palm Beach, said on Thursday.

The victims, now middle-aged men, surfaced on Wednesday, the day after the diocese announced Symons' resignation.

"We are still trying to determine the whereabouts of the other two," Edwards said.

The first victim spoke with St. Petersburg Bishop Robert Lynch, who was chosen by Pope John Paul II to replace Symons until a new bishop can be named.

Bill Urbanski, Lynch's spokesman, on Thursday said Lynch has not been in contact with any more victims other than the man who came forward five weeks ago.

When Lynch questioned him, Symons identified four other boys he had molested 25 to 35 years ago, but said he had molested no one since.

The church is seeking the remaining two. Lynch hopes to extend to them "our sorrow and regret and to offer to help them," Edwards said. The diocese is paying for counseling for the first victim to come forward, as it has offered to do with all the men.

Lynch flew back to St. Petersburg on Wednesday. He will return on Sunday to conduct the 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens.

"I think they'll be a lot of people coming to Mass looking for a little hope and to re-establish their trust," Edwards said.


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