BURLINGTON, Vt. --Victims of priest sex abuse on Wednesdaycalled on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to post informationabout admitted or accused clergy on its web site, in church bulletinsand newspapers.
"We're urging the bishop to do what Jesus taught us to do, which is... to go out in the cold and dark and help the lost and wounded sheepand help them," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Networkof those Abused by Priests, a support group.
"And to go intoevery single parish where a predator worked and beg the victims andwitnesses to come forward and get help and contact police," saidClohessy, whose group held its first Vermont support meeting Tuesday.
Under pressure, 15 other dioceses have publicly identified abusive clergy, Clohessy said.
BishopSalvatore Matano, who was out of town Wednesday, said in a writtenstatement issued by the Diocese that he's reluctant to post theinformation online.
"It is not a simple task to list persons asguilty of the alleged misconduct whose cases are either still underreview by the Office of the Attorney General, or before the court incases of civil litigation awaiting trial, or where there has been noadmission of guilt or corroborated and substantiated evidence," he said.
Currently, the Diocese is facing about two dozen civil suits by alleged priest sex victims.
Standingoutside the Diocese offices, three men and one woman spoke of theurgency of getting help and protecting other children from such abuse.
"Thevictims need to come forward because they cannot live a full life, afree life hiding this abuse," said a Burlington area woman who hid herface in the hood of a sweat shirt, and did not want to be identified."We have sodomy, rape, physical abuse, threats, all of which happenedto me and the people who were at the meeting last night. You can't livelike this. You need help."
Clohessy, who said he and his siblingswere molested by a Missouri priest, described the abuse as a cancerthat "eats away at you."
"We firmly believe that people recoverfrom childhood sex abuse in all kinds of different ways but the onestrategy that always fails is to do nothing," he said.
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