Victims' Group Criticizes Archdiocese's Tactics

By Robert King
Indianapolis Star
August 14, 2006

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis' use of "legal hardball" while defending itself against lawsuits from alleged victims of priest sexual abuse is a "moral outrage," the leader of a national victim's network said today.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, speaking at a news conference this morning on the sidewalk in front of the archdiocesan headquarters, criticized the archdiocese's reliance on technical defenses in sex abuse cases.

In particular, Clohessy cited the church's use of the statute of limitations, arguments that the First Amendment precludes the church from being sued and arguments that the church is not responsible for the acts of a priest from a religious order.

Clohessy said the archdiocese's approach was "mean-spirited" and contrary to what Jesus would have them do.

Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Otolski said the church continues to offer financial help for counseling and medical expenses to victims who come forward. In court, Otolski said, the church is merely following the legal process. "It is two separate issues," Otolski said.

Call Star reporter Robert King at (317) 444-6089.


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