The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Press Statement

Statement Regarding Bishop Gumbleton
and Ohio Senate Bill 17


January 11, 2006

Statement by Kristine Ward, National V. P. Voice of the Faithful,
and chair of the lay reform organization's Dayton (Ohio) affiliate;
937 272 0308 cell

The truth is painful every time we hear it. That is no less so today with Bishop Gumbleton's revelation. Bishop Gumbleton, like all survivors, deserves the sincere apology of his Church backed by a real quest for true reform.

His disclosure serves to underscore what the survivors have taught the Church and society at large - that it takes a very long time to come to terms with abuse. This is why access to justice should be afforded to victims of sexual abuse through "windows" that allow for a look back period.

What we don't know does harm us. When we don't have knowledge of who sexual
predators are children are at risk.

When the Bishops cover up abuse and block reforms the Church suffers for sure but society loses the strength of a moral pillar.

Only truth and the willingness to seek it will lead us from the depth of this scandal and cure the laryngitis in the Church's moral voice.

Ohio lawmakers see today that the wall of Bishop opposition to the "window" provision of Ohio Senate Bill 17 is not solid. We call upon members of the Ohio House, holders of the public trust, to seize this opportunity to learn the need for all of the provisions of Senate Bill 17.

Bishops should lead, not impede. Led now by one of their own there is a sliver of hope that Bishops could drop their opposition to the look back window and allow wrongs to be righted, children to be protected, and access to justice to be obtained.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests