The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

SNAP Responds to Naming of New Cleveland Bishop


For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2006

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago (312) 399 4747
Founder and President of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Once again, another bishop who mishandled clergy sex abuse cases is getting a promotion. This rubs salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of victims and their families, especially in Boston and Cleveland.

We hope this discouraging news will not deter Cleveland victims from finding the courage and strength to report the crimes they've suffered and from getting the help they need and deserve.

The continued insensitivity of the church hierarchy heaps more pain on molestation victims and Catholics. This news is one more sign that despite years of horrific scandal, little has changed at the top of Catholic structure.

The Vatican can't have it both ways - professing to care about wounded victims and vulnerable kids, while rewarding bishops who hurt them.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP National Outreach Director (314) 862 7688, (314) 503 0003

Pope appoints Boston auxiliary bishop to lead Cleveland diocese

April 4, 2006 Associated Press

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.

© Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.




Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests