Group Fighting Abuse Praises City Catholic Church Support

Hartford Courant [Hartford CT]
April 24, 2003

Although their counterparts may be experiencing some communication problems with the Catholic hierarchy, the downtown chapter of the Voice of the Faithful at St. Patrick - St. Anthony Church has received nothing but support from local church leaders.

Voice of the Faithful, a national lay Catholic movement that sprang from the priest sexual abuse scandal, has met with resistance from some church leaders who have barred them from meeting on church properties.

Not in Hartford.

"Maybe it's because they're Franciscan friars, but they've been very supportive," said Betsy Wittemann, a member of the Hartford church and local lay group, who is helping organize an event Monday. "We just want to know how to protect kids from abuse."

Local pediatrician Skip Berrien, director of the Aetna Foundation Children's Center at St, Francis Hospital and Medical Center, will give a talk entitled "Sexual Abuse of Children: How it Happens and How to Prevent It."

The free event will be held at 7 p.m. in the church's Urban Ministry Center, 285 Church St., in Hartford.


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