Thursday, February 8, 2007

SNAP victims' network opposes appearance by former Episcopal priest

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Now what do you suppose a "Wisdom School Introduction" would be all about? Being that a former abbot and a large number of Collegeville monks were accused of child abuse, you'd sure think that they would not want to be reminded of their problem, would you?

Despite the protests of a victims' advocacy group, a registered sex offender is scheduled to lead a religious retreat today at an Episcopal center in Collegeville, Minn.

Lynn Bauman, 64, who admitted molesting an 8-year-old boy during a camping trip in Texas in 1996 and was sentenced to 10 years of probation in 1999, will lead a four-day, $310-per-person retreat, titled "Wisdom School Introduction."

Organizers "are in denial. They should warn people. They have a responsibility to protect children; they owe society that," said Bob Schwiderski of the Minnesota chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP].

But church officials and the Episcopal House of Prayers board president asked for understanding and forgiveness Wednesday.

"Clearly an incident occurred. And he has been judged and punished," said Helen Hansen, of St. Paul, a longtime retreat center board member and its president. "He has taken the proper steps. We are not dealing with a repeat offender. … He has something important — insight and wisdom — to share."

Bauman, a former Episcopal priest, now heads Praxis Learning Center, a Texas-based spiritual education organization. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His brother Ward Bauman, director of Episcopal House of Prayer retreat center, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The retreat center, which is associated with the Minneapolis-based Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, is on land leased from St. John's Abbey on the Collegeville university's grounds. [....Snip] Pioneer Press

Link to Episcopal House of Prayer: http://www.ehouseofprayer.org/
Link to SNAP Web Page: http://www.snap-greatplains.org/



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