Why a victim of sexual abuse by a Broome priest gave his compensation back to the church

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

September 28, 2018

By Maggie Gilroy

When he was a child, a Broome County priest sexually abused him.

About 30 years later, the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse offered him money in compensation for the trauma he endured.

How the victim chose to spend it is a testament to the process of healing.

Now an adult no longer living in the area, the man is using the money to aid two Broome County food pantries and to purchase masses to be said for the victims of clerical sex abuse — as well as for their abusers.

He hopes the donation will demonstrate forgiveness and bring healing at a time when major bombshells — such as the Pennsylvania grand jury report of abuse by over 300 priests and allegations against former archbishop of Washington, D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — have triggered hurt and rage against the Catholic church.

“I didn’t feel that I needed to heal. But a lot of other people do,” the victim said. “And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. There is a tremendous amount of hurt and anger and sorrow and suffering out there, which is all entirely valid and lamentable, and I hope bit by bit can be mitigated and maybe even brought to a sense of peace and comfort somehow.”

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