Victims Present Demands

By Dan Elias

December 9, 2008

[with video]

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Some of those who claim to have been abused by priests in the Springfield diocese said last week's settlement with almost 60 victims wasn't enough. They also want the diocese to take some specific steps that have nothing to do with cash payments.

Peter Pollard heads the local chapter of SNAP--the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests. He delivered a "roadmap to reform" to the Bishop of Springfield. The roadmap includes a demand that the names of perpetrators be posted on the Diocese website.

Other demands include support by the diocese for the elimination of a statute of limitations in abuse cases, letters of apology from the bishop to victims, and the end of confidentiality agreements that keep details of abuse secret.

Mark DuPont, a spokesman for the Springfield Diocese, said many of the demands have already been implemented, and there are limits. DuPont said, "We feel as much as we are legally allowed to do, we are doing at this point."

Donald Henneberger said he was abused by a priest when he was growing up in Pittsfield. He received a $75,000 payment in this last round of settlements, but said it's not enough.

"I have spent more money on medications and counseling than I received," Henneberger said, "So I don't think it's fair at all. Definitely not closure involved."


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