Abused Catholic bishop supports bill giving victims longer time to sue

[JURIST] Detroit Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, 75, became the first US Catholic bishop to publicly admit he was sexually abused by a priest after he met with Ohio lawmakers Wednesday in support of a state bill [text] proposing the extension of time limits for victims to sue the church. Gumbleton said he had been abused by a priest in a seminary when he was 15, but is still embarrassed to discuss the incident today, and said he therefore understood why many victims do not meet the two to five years limitations period in most states. Ohio bishops agree with extending the civil limitations period for future clergy sex abuse [JURIST news archive] cases, but have argued against a lengthy extension, suggesting that internal church procedures are adequate to handle older abuse incidents. The state bill has unanimously passed in the Ohio Senate [official website] and is now being reviewed by the Ohio House of Representatives [official website]. In Detroit, archbishop Cardinal Adam Maida issued a statement saying he was "saddened" by Bishop Gumbleton's report, and that the Detriot Archdiocese had not previously been made aware of the allegation. AP has more.



 

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