Opinion: Pull back the curtain of secrecy on abuse by priests


August 24, 2020

By Kathy Weyer

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral is now a “minor basilica.” It is clear that Archbishop Dennis Schnurr is excited and proud, and it is clear that he welcomed members of the news media into the cathedral (now basilica) space on Aug. 15 so he could talk about ceremonial bells and special privileges.

This openness to the press is a dramatic shift.

Two years ago, Archbishop Schnurr was considerably less welcoming of the media into St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, when the Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrated its first Mass for Healing for the Church and for Victims of Abuse. On that occasion, reporters were kept outside the church and could not bear witness to the history inside when the archbishop suspended the Mass as church ushers escorted a family member of a survivor of clergy abuse out of the church who had spoken out in anguish.

The news media could not see Archbishop Schnurr, as he stood silent at the podium, offering no acknowledgement of the man’s pain, no words of condolence or peace, and no prayer – just a “sorry for the interruption” and then resuming the liturgy.

What a juxtaposition

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