Priest abuse victim picketing Catholic churches

Mystic — Tim McGuire of New London, who alleges that a Noank priest sexually assaulted him when he was an 8-year-old altar boy in the 1960s, has begun protesting in front of Catholic churches in the Diocese of Norwich.

On Wednesday morning, clad in shorts, T-shirt, flip-flops, sunglasses and a baseball cap, a sweating McGuire walked back and forth along a sunbaked sidewalk in front of St. Patrick Church in downtown Mystic for three hours.

Hundreds and hundreds of people, some of whom were stuck in traffic waiting for the drawbridge to close or arriving for 12:05 p.m. Mass, saw his signs. Some gave him a thumbs-up, a few pulled over to express support and a few yelled criticisms, accusing him of just wanting a big payout.

Most just slowed down and read his handmade signs, which read: "WE ARE NOT SECRET FILES," "WHEN YOU PRAY FOR VICTIMS. BISHOP COTE ABUSES THEM. ASK ME. I'M ONE." and "NORWICH DIOCESE. HUNDREDS OF MOLESTATIONS. DOZENS OF VICTIMS. NO CONVICTIONS. PRETTY SLICK."

"THERE ARE 37 OF US TODAY AND COUNTING," read another, referring to the number of people who have publicly alleged they were abused by diocesan priests. Accused priests were not reported to authorities by former diocesan Bishop Daniel Reilly and often were transferred to new parishes, where they sometimes assaulted more children.

"I'm disgusted not so much by their actions but by their inaction," McGuire said.

Current Bishop Michael Cote has stressed that the diocese has taken numerous steps to prevent abuse and report any incidents that it becomes aware of but has said he has no authority to report the inaction of Reilly to the pope.

A diocesan spokesman did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

"I'm out here to start a conversation. If I'm misinformed, let's talk," McGuire said Wednesday.

McGuire, who considers himself a Catholic with no church to go to, says he is especially stung when people, such as two St. Patrick parishioners who confronted him on Wednesday, accuse him of just wanting a big settlement.

One elderly woman walking into Mass just before noon Wednesday yelled out to McGuire, "What are you doing that for? All you want is money!"

"I'll donate any money I receive to charity," McGuire responded.

"You just cause stress and trouble. You don't bring peace," the woman shouted b...

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  • Tim McGuire
    commented 2019-07-13 08:09:33 -0500
    Thank you SNAP for getting the word out. Thanks to MEE TOO for your support. If one can get past the misconception that an abusive priest, or bishop with his hands tied is somehow able to interrupt your plea to GOD, than the ability to stand ANYWHERE and speak about it arises. I am armed in front of the churches with only facts. I have no protection from defenders of dirty church. I am advised not to alienate the faithful, for they are my allies but I am the faithful as well. I have been alienated by those who drink the kool-aid and believe these sidewinding sermons being touted as the word of God. God says to go to those harmed, before asking to have your prayers heard. It’s in the Catechism. They are cherrypicking the word of God. I am the faithful, and I choose to pray on the sidewalk. The perversion lies within the church. Reality is on the sidewalk.
  • Daniel Buddy Robson Jr.
    commented 2019-07-12 06:36:16 -0500
    Good for Tim! Taking the fight directly to the source! This is exactly what is needed to keep the focus on how clergy abuse impacts victims. It’s a shame more actions like this are not occurring!

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