Protester calls for Portland diocese to stop contesting sexual abuse lawsuits

WGME-TV, CBS affiliate [Portland ME]

January 18, 2023

By Ted Homer


A non-profit group is protesting the Catholic diocese in Portland, claiming it’s “retraumatizing” sexual abuse victims.

A member representing the group protested outside the diocese offices Wednesday, calling on Bishop Robert Deely to stop contesting new lawsuits filed by people claiming sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.

The lawsuits follow a change to Maine law that lifted the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims.

The diocese is accused of covering up claims of sexual abuse for decades.

Now, a New Jersey non-profit says it’s time to hold abusers, and enablers, accountable.

“They committed crimes they covered up,” Roads to Recovery President Dr. Robert Hoatson said. “Their priest committed crimes. They abused children. And these guys have a playbook. The playbook is this: don’t really take allegations seriously. Don’t promise any kind of justice for these people. And third, we need to protect the image and assets of our church.”

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the diocese in recent weeks, alleging abuse, in some cases, from decades ago against known abusers.

The group is calling on Mainers to support the victims and not the diocese.