Woman Says She Was Abused by Denver Nun

By Lance Hernandez

August 7, 2008

Anne Gleeson Asks Archdiocese To Do More For Victims Of Sexual Abuse

DENVER - Pope Benedict XVI has asked the U.S. Catholic church to do everything it can to help victims of sexual abuse but one alleged victim says the Denver archdiocese isn't living up to that request.

Anne Gleeson said she was abused by Sister Judith Fisher during a trip to Denver.

"I was 13 years old," Gleeson said. "You think of women as being nurturing and you wouldn't suspect them."

"There are nuns who have sexually abused children," said Stan Current, a friend and supporter of Gleeson's. "Only a few victims have come forward."

Gleeson said it took years for her to realize that what happened was wrong.

"She (Fisher) explained it slowly as God's love," Gleeson said. "And that God would be the only one to understand it. That's why we were to keep it secret and that's why I wasn't to write anything down."

But Gleeson said she did write it down. She said her mom found the notes and told her parish priest, who asked her not to go public with the allegations.

Gleeson eventually sued the church and settled out of court.

Current said the church has offered Gleeson very little support since then. He said other parishioners have ostracized him for standing up for the victims.

"It really goes against what the Pope said during his World Youth Day visit to Australia -- to do everything possible to help victims of sexual abuse," Current said.

A spokeswoman for the Denver Archdiocese told 7NEWS, "The Archdiocese has, in fact, reached out to victims.

"The Archbishop has made many public calls for people to come forward," Communications Director Jeanette DeMelo said.

Gleeson said those who have come forward have been shunned.

"They're (church officials) talking the talk, but not walking the walk," she said.

"The church has immense power," Current added. "And, unfortunately, they believe the church is more important than trying to help victims heal."


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