Abuse Victims Group Meets with Bishop

New York Times
March 29, 2003

BOSTON, March 29 - Bishop Richard G. Lennon, interim leader of the Archdiocese of Boston, has met for the first time with a group representing people abused by clergy members and heard their concerns about how the archdiocese has handled the problem.

The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, requested the meeting shortly after Bishop Lennon took over from Cardinal Bernard F. Law in December, said one of its leaders, Ann Hagan Webb.

The meeting took place in Bishop Lennon's residence at the archdiocese chancery.

"It was an opportunity for us to have some sort of a dialogue, to let him know what some of our concerns are," said William Gately, another group official.

A church spokeswoman, Donna Morrissey, did not return a call seeking comment after the meeting. But earlier Ms. Morrissey said the bishop was still meeting with victims. "He sees it as an opportunity to apologize and hear the effects of what victims suffered," she said.

Group members said they had asked Bishop Lennon to tell archdiocese lawyers to stop what they called hardball tactics.

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