Victims of Clergy Abuse Stand Together at Cathedral of St. Mary
By Stephanie Dickrell
St. Cloud Times
February 22, 2018
Victims of clergy abuse and supporters gathered Wednesday night at the Cathedral of St. Mary. A healing prayer service was planned in response to news a local priest was arrested and faces charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.
Organizers hoped to reclaim space in sacred spaces for victims who may have had their connection to the church and faith damaged by abuse.
The Rev. Anthony Oelrich faces charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. He is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with an adult whom he was giving spiritual counsel.
On Wednesday night, two groups stood on the steps of the cathedral before the service: one to sing and one to protest. While both seek justice, their tactics differed.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, was there, to call for action against abusers and the churches they worked in.
Another group hoped to reclaim the space for victims.