Archbishop Flynn Says Media 'Distorted' Sexual Abuse Problem

Catholic News Service [Vatican City, Rome]
Downloaded April 8, 2003

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (CNS) -- Media coverage of the clergy sexual abuse scandal created "a largely distorted impression" of the bishops' work to deal with the problem in the 1990s, Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St. Paul-Minneapolis said March 29. Speaking at a daylong symposium at Siena College on the church's response to clergy sexual abuse, Archbishop Flynn said the bishops' efforts at the national level date back to 1992, when they came up with five "working points" for tackling the issue in their dioceses. These included reaching out to victims and their families, responding promptly to every allegation, removing a priest promptly whenever an allegation was supported by sufficient evidence, complying with civil reporting laws and cooperating in investigations, and dealing openly with members of the community within the confines of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved. In the 1990s bishops "met with victims, removed priests and made the required reports to civil authorities," said the archbishop, a Siena College alumnus and former Albany priest who has headed the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse for the past year.

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