Catholic abuse victims advocate says Sioux City parishioners need to stand against abuse

SIOUX CITY -- Tim Lennon, the president of the board of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), brought an emotional message to Sioux City Catholic parishioners Saturday afternoon: parishioners need to take control of their churches and the churches' response to sexual abuse.

Lennon, now 71 and living in Arizona, said he was raped by the Rev. Peter B. Murphy when he lived in Sioux City in 1960. Memories of the abuse left him with years of depression, anxiety, anger and nightmares. Lennon held a news conference Saturday at the Stoney Creek Inn to call attention to the issue. Approximately 15 people were in attendance.

The diocese was made aware of the news conference, according to Diocese spokeswoman Susan O'Brien, "But we were not present at the meeting. Therefore we are not able to comment on what was said or not said today."

With the flood of Catholic Church sex abuse allegations in the last few years -- including an October Associated Press story about the Diocese of Sioux City and the alleged abuse of 50 boys by the Rev. Jerome Coyle -- Lennon said the church needs to make some changes. 

"We've seen more in the last three months of groups of parishioners standi...

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