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Raleigh's Diocese Accused of Sex Abuse Cover-Up

Posted March 15, 2007

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— Protesters gathered outside The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh Thursday, accusing its leaders of covering up sex abuse cases involving priests.

The group of about a half-dozen people -- some who said they were victims and others who said they were parents of children abused by Catholic priests outside the Raleigh diocese -- also said leaders, including Bishop Michael Burbidge, refused to meet with them.

"My son has been re-victimized again and again and again," said Shayne Prorock. "And yes, we did try to make an appointment with the bishop, and we needed a counselor there."

"He's not responding," protester Marigrace Labella said. "He refuses to meet because a counselor wants to be present?"

Diocese spokesman Frank Morock, however, denied those claims saying the diocese "has always been very open to any victim who has stepped forward."

"We have a very aggressive policy," he said. "We're not keeping anything quiet. Any victim can come forward."

According to the diocese, 35 people have made credible allegations against 15 of its priests, most of whom are deceased, since 1950. The diocese has paid $1.9 million to settle those cases.

Now, there is a case of a Cardinal Gibbons High School teacher who is accused of inappropriately touching and kissing a female student. Cardinal Gibbons is a school of the diocese.

Protesters said the diocese should also be held responsible for that alleged crime. "That's their school," one said.

"When officials at the school hard the allegation, they did exactly what they needed to do -- exactly what our policy states," Morock said.

According to the diocese, Burbidge and the protestors are coordinating their schedules and plan to meet soon.

40 Comments

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  • Idlewood Mar 17, 2007

    According to the latest N&O article "A search warrant in the case said Scranton told police he had acted inappropriately with the student, though it did not report how." Therefore, a police investigation is unfolding. One aspect of the Gibbons case that was out-of-line was the appearance in court of defenders of the coach. It is understandable that these people would do so: college recomendations made by him for their offspring, the possibility of college scholarships due to sporting activities, and the chance to shine in sports events he had coached are all in jeopardy. Unfortunately what is most put into jeopardy is the courage of other possible victims to come forward if this individual had preyed upon them in the past. That was one of the purposes of the assembly of past victims and their supporters at diocesan offices: to stop the "cheering squad" of school parents from thoughtlessly jeopardizing the investigation.

  • Lightfoot Mar 16, 2007

    Hmmm, that should be WITHOUT sin. Freudian slip? :)

  • Lightfoot Mar 16, 2007

    I'm within sin, so give me a big stone to hurl!

  • warrior Mar 16, 2007

    Num&Volvo,
    Missing the point. The guy admitted it. No one jumping to conclusions.

  • MarvinsWife12 Mar 16, 2007

    Thanks to all you advised I go away. But I'm not going to.

    My issue, is people jumping to conclusions. Also, why are they alleged victims going to the police. If someone abused a family member (don't have any children) I'd go to the police, not their boss.

  • Idlewood Mar 16, 2007

    The real pity about this event on diocesan property was the vision of the diocesan "spinmeister" attempting to control access to Bishop Burbidge and to control the dialogue. The sight of Mr. Murock literally chasing up the hill after a survivor or dogging them through a front door borders on parody.

  • warrior Mar 16, 2007

    This is not just about sin. Everyone sins. But when sins are Crimes they should not be exempt from the conseguences of Breaking the Law. The issue of forgivenss of sins is another issue altogehter, but we must insist Criminals bee acountable to our judicial system.

  • the alliance Mar 16, 2007

    Anyone without sin may cast the first stone.

  • justcom Mar 16, 2007

    When you do your hit piece on the diocese please mention that Bishop Burbidge was appointed Bishop last year! I'm sure he is still getting the Diocese in order.

  • lilreno is in the wind Mar 16, 2007

    NUM8VOLVO,
    IT APPEARS THAT SOMEONE HAS REALLY STRUCK A NERVE WITH YOU. IF YOU DONT LIKE WHAT PEOPLE ARE POSTING, GET OVER IT. MAYBE YOU ARE HIDING SOMETHING, I DONT KNOW BUT SOMETHING IS REALLY CRAWLING UNDER YOUR SKIN????????

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