Maine Bishop Threatens to Ban Abuse Victim Advocate


December 30, 2008

[with video]

(NECN: Amy Sinclair, Portland, Maine) - The leader of Maine's Roman Catholics is threatening to take extraordinary action against an outspoken supporter of abuse victims.

The doors of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine are now officially closed to sexual abuse victim advocate Paul Kendrick. Kendrick was asked to keep his distance from the cathedral and chancery after he wrote a letter to Bishop Malone says he planned to attend Christmas Mass " peace, but if you happen to look my way from time to time, you may see me shaking my head ever so slightly in disbelief, or my head in my hands as I pray for the tolerance to remain seated in spite of your hypocrisy."

Kendrick said he hoped to attend Mass to remind the bishop about a priest abuse case in Boothbay Harbor. He was frustrated because the bishop hadn't met personally with the victim's mother.

Diocese communications director Sue Bernard says Kendrick's advocacy work has crossed the line. She says leading demonstrations on behalf of sexual abuse victims is advocacy, but the personal attacks on the bishop's character is harassment. Kendrick was warned in the letter that if he tries again to contact Bishop Malone he risks losing any right "to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.