The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
SNAP Responds to Naming of New Cleveland Bishop
For Immediate Release:
CLEVELAND --Pope Benedict the XVI appointed as bishop of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese a leader who was interim head of the Boston archdiocese during the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal.
Bishop Richard Lennon will be introduced later Tuesday at a news conference in Cleveland with his predecessor, retiring Bishop Anthony Pilla, diocese spokesman Bob Tayek told The Associated Press.
Lennon, 59, was ordained in 1973 and became an auxiliary bishop in 2001. He led the Boston archdiocese for about six months on an interim basis after Cardinal Bernard Law quit in 2002 amid pressure for mishandling the priest sex-abuse scandal in Boston.
Lennon, who came from a devout church-going family in Arlington, Mass., decided to enter the priesthood during his sophomore year at Boston College.
He earned bachelors and masters degrees at St. John's Seminary and was ordained a priest in May 1973. When he took over for Law, friends and colleagues praised him for his compassion and commitment to his faith and said he had the heart of a parish priest.
But as his time as interim leader role wore on, he was criticized by
victims for allegedly continuing Law's hard line approach, including by
issuing subpoenas for victims' therapists and hiring a First Amendment
lawyer to fight the sex-abuse lawsuits on the grounds that the separation
of church and state bars civil courts from getting involved in how church
officials supervise priests.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests