Diocese Calls Grand Jury's Report on Clergy Sex Abuse Untrue, Unfair

Catholic on-line
Downloaded February 15, 2003

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CNS) -- A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre rejected as untrue and unfair a 181-page report of the Suffolk County grand jury charged with investigating the diocese's handling of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. "The characterization ... that the Diocese of Rockville Centre conceived and agreed to a plan using deception and intimidation to prevent victims from seeking legal solutions to their problems is simply not true," said Joanne C. Novarro, director of the diocese's Office of Public Information, at a Feb. 10 news briefing. In addition, she said, "it is unfair to use today's standards to judge sincere attempts in the past to assist victims and to help perpetrators not to offend again." Novarro said, "While sexual abuse of minors is always a grave sin and a crime, the ways of dealing with it have developed over time. This is every bit as true of law enforcement officials as of church personnel."


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