Bishops End Confab Claiming Progress in Curbing Abuse
By Eric Convey and Robin Washington
June 23, 2003
As Catholic bishops returned to their dioceses yesterday from their semi-annual meeting in St. Louis, church leaders said they had made significant progress dealing with the clergy molestation problem.
"Our efforts toward the implementation of the charter and the essential norms are in full throttle," Minneapolis Archbishop Harry Flynn said of the U.S. church's protocols to curb abuse.
Flynn lauded the bishops' "monumental effort" since meeting a year ago in Dallas.
But victims and their advocates remained critical.
"It is clear that the bishops desperately want us all to believe that everything is hunky-dorey," said Wellesley's Ann Hagan Webb of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who joined several Bay Staters in Missouri protesting the meeting. Their actions were spurred in part by last week's near-drowning of alleged Geoghan victim Patrick McSorley, who remained in serious condition at Boston Medical Center yesterday. His picture was displayed by demonstrators outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Inside, Monsignor William Roche gave a homily to about 85 parishioners, but did not mention McSorley or the bishops' meeting.
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