Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dispute over naming of alleged abuser from 70's underlines differences between Catholic hierarchy and victims' advocates

A dispute about the public naming of an alleged abuser underlines differences between the Catholic hierarchy and victims' advocates in handling clergy sex-abuse cases.

Patrick Marker was fed up.

Marker, 41, of Mount Vernon, Wash., had spent three years that he described as "intensely frustrating" on a board monitoring [30 year old] sex-abuse cases involving monks at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minn. Last month, he quit the board, which was created in 2002 as part of a settlement of several abuse cases. He blamed "inexcusable" delays in publicizing abusers' names.

For Marker, the case of the Rev. Michael Bik, who was accused nine years ago but whose name wasn't released until this summer, was "the last straw."

The Bik case dramatically underscores disagreements between the Catholic hierarchy and activists about how and when the names of alleged abusers should be publicized, a process activists see as crucial to locating victims and alerting potential ones. In addition to Marker's protest, the case inspired SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) to pass out leaflets at Twin Cities churches the past three Sundays. [snip] StarTribune

Stella Borealis post on this event from September 1

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