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Bishop Says Priest Abused Him as Teenager
Washington Post ^ | January 11, 2006 | Alan Cooperman

Posted on 01/11/2006 6:03:22 AM PST by NYer

Breaking ranks with his peers, a Roman Catholic bishop called yesterday for state legislatures to temporarily remove the time limits that have prevented many victims of sex abuse from suing the church.

In making that extraordinary appeal, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit also unburdened himself of a secret. As a teenager 60 years ago, he said, he was "inappropriately touched" by a priest.

Gumbleton, 75, is the first U.S. bishop to disclose that he was a victim of clergy sexual abuse. He is also the first to endorse proposals in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and other states to follow California's example and open a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits over sexual abuse, no matter how long ago it took place.

"I don't want to exaggerate that I was terribly damaged. It was not the kind of sexual abuse that many of the victims experience," Gumbleton said in a telephone interview. But, he said, he knows why sex abuse victims often cannot file lawsuits within the period allowed by the statute of limitations, which in many states is two to five years after the alleged crime.

"They are intimidated, embarrassed, and they just bury it. I understand that," he said. "I never told my parents. . . . I never told anybody."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: abusivepriests; homosexualpriests

1 posted on 01/11/2006 6:03:25 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Gumbleton, who was appointed as a bishop 38 years ago by Pope Paul VI, is a pacifist with a reputation as one of the most liberal U.S. prelates on economic and social issues. During a meeting of the national bishops conference in Washington a few years ago, he said, he came close to mentioning his own experience with sexual abuse. "But then the conversation somehow changed," he said.
2 posted on 01/11/2006 6:06:03 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

That ex priest who abused a child here on Long Island was abused when he was in High School. Do you recall the story I am talking about? I bet his is more common then we could imagine. I believe he was abused at Holy Trinity HS then later became a priest and an abuser himself. I believe the alleged elder priest was Ribuado who was defrocked as well.


3 posted on 01/11/2006 6:18:08 AM PST by alisasny (I)
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To: NYer

This "bishop" would say anything to cause contraversy or get in the news. I don't believe anything he says.


4 posted on 01/11/2006 6:47:32 AM PST by rogator
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To: NYer
He is also the first to endorse proposals in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and other states to follow California's example and open a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits over sexual abuse, no matter how long ago it took place.

Okay, how many millions does it take for a person to get over being "inappropriately touched" when he was a teenager ...?

Honestly, if I could collect from all the guys who groped me when I was a teenager, we could retire to a life of ease for the next 50 years.

5 posted on 01/11/2006 8:24:58 AM PST by Tax-chick (D-minus-13.)
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To: rogator

Talk about a waste of chrism.


6 posted on 01/11/2006 8:25:28 AM PST by TaxachusettsMan
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To: rogator; NYer

He turned 75 almost a year ago. He'll turn 76 in about 2 weeks.
He threatened last year not to send in his resignation letter as required.
What's going on with this guy? Why is he still there?


7 posted on 01/11/2006 8:28:13 AM PST by Deo volente
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To: NYer

Hmmm.


8 posted on 01/11/2006 9:12:04 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Deo volente

Most gays were victims of sexual abuse. The problem is that researchers and the gays themselves are loathe to call such experiences abuse, instead talking about their "sexual self-discovery" that occurred when they were 7 years old in a public men's room.

However, I believe Bishop Gumbleton sees that Pope Benedict is finally retiring bishops, and is trying to make it look like he is being punished.


9 posted on 01/11/2006 9:21:08 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus

You are onto something there.


10 posted on 01/11/2006 9:25:08 AM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: Tax-chick

"Honestly, if I could collect from all the guys who groped me when I was a teenager"

Weren't they teenagers too?


11 posted on 01/11/2006 9:30:11 AM PST by dsc (Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the repressive epidemic it is.)
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To: dangus

"Most gays were victims of sexual abuse."

Most? Try "all."


12 posted on 01/11/2006 9:31:10 AM PST by dsc (Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the repressive epidemic it is.)
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To: dsc

Some were, some weren't. Why should that matter? According to the reasoning of the lawsuits, it's the fact of having been "inappropriately touched" that ruins one's life and requires millions of dollars to compensate.


13 posted on 01/11/2006 9:34:00 AM PST by Tax-chick (D-minus-13.)
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To: NYer

If you think there's no bishop in the USA who would "attempt" to ordain a woman or start a schismatic hierarchy . . .

THINK AGAIN.


14 posted on 01/11/2006 9:55:19 AM PST by TaxachusettsMan
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To: TaxachusettsMan
If you think there's no bishop in the USA who would "attempt" to ordain a woman or start a schismatic hierarchy . . .

Did I say that? Au contraire ... our diocese has come as close as one can without going through the actual process.

15 posted on 01/11/2006 10:25:08 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Tax-chick

Now you are bragging! ;-)


16 posted on 01/11/2006 10:32:52 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: NYer

Explains a lot.


17 posted on 01/11/2006 10:35:08 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Tax-chick

"Some were, some weren't. Why should that matter?"

Because if you can demonstrate that there is a significant number of SSAD sufferers who weren't, you can disprove the assertion that SSAD is caused by a molestation or seduction in the pre-adult years.


18 posted on 01/11/2006 11:43:16 AM PST by dsc (Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the repressive epidemic it is.)
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To: dsc

"Some were, some weren't. Why should that matter?"

Or were you replying to # 11, "Weren't they teenagers too?"

If so, I think it might matter. If one teenager gropes another in the context of a consensual making out situation, that seems to me different from an older man molesting a teenage girl, or even some teenage jerk just groping some girl with whom he has no romantic relationship.

It also piqued my curiosity, in that I cannot imagine my 54 year old self touching a teenage girl, and I wondered how often that sort of thing happened.


19 posted on 01/11/2006 11:49:26 AM PST by dsc (Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the repressive epidemic it is.)
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To: dsc

No, I was not talking about "consensual making out sessions." However, since you bring that up, a number of the cases involving priests seem to have been "consensual" except that the youth involved was not legally capable of consent.

If I was touched inappropriately when I was 16, and need millions to recover, whether the touch-er was 17 or 22 or 30 is not *practically* relevant, although it's legally relevant.

The bigger point is that the genuine cases of "abuse," as any reasonable person would understand it, by priests, are easily lost amid cases of "he tried a grope, now give me money," especially when the media wishes to exaggerate "abuse" and conceal "pretty ordinary behavior of homosexuals."


20 posted on 01/11/2006 12:07:27 PM PST by Tax-chick (D-minus-13.)
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To: RobbyS

Only about my money-management skills ... I could make a liability settlement last!


21 posted on 01/11/2006 12:08:18 PM PST by Tax-chick (D-minus-13.)
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To: Tax-chick

"a number of the cases involving priests seem to have been "consensual" except that the youth involved was not legally capable of consent."

I would argue that, rather than giving willing consent, the boys were overawed by the priest's authority.

"If I was touched inappropriately when I was 16, and need millions to recover, whether the touch-er was 17 or 22 or 30 is not *practically* relevant, although it's legally relevant."

Okay, now this is where I get confused.

Why would inappropriate touching by a 17 year old mess up a 16 year old girl so badly -- unless it was a terrifying, quasi-rape experience with danger of violence?

I was in a lot of fights as a teenager, and it didn't send me to the mental ward.

"The bigger point is that the genuine cases of "abuse," as any reasonable person would understand it, by priests, are easily lost amid cases of "he tried a grope, now give me money," especially when the media wishes to exaggerate "abuse" and conceal "pretty ordinary behavior of homosexuals."

Can't argue with that. I had a music teacher make a pass at me when I was in high school by putting his hand on my thigh. I declined, gaffed it off, and moved on. Never occured to me to sue, nor have I ever lost a moments peace of mind over it.

It was creepy and repulsive, yeah, but not something to eat a gun over.


22 posted on 01/11/2006 12:45:49 PM PST by dsc (Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the repressive epidemic it is.)
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To: NYer
So THAT's what's wrong with Gumby. I alays wondered.
23 posted on 01/11/2006 1:01:58 PM PST by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: dsc
Never occured to me to sue, nor have I ever lost a moments peace of mind over it.

That's what I meant. I think there are people looking for money over incidents that just aren't any big deal. There probably aren't many people who have not, at some point, had to issue a very strong BUZZ OFF, perhaps with OR I'M CALLING SECURITY added. It's just one of of the annoyances of life.

24 posted on 01/11/2006 1:52:57 PM PST by Tax-chick (D-minus-13.)
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To: rogator

IMHO, yours is the best take on this turkey.


25 posted on 01/11/2006 3:32:26 PM PST by ninenot (Minister of Membership, Tomas Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: dsc

Yeah--same-o type of incidents with me.

Just roll on forward. My wife will testify that the incidents did not "make me" like little boys...


26 posted on 01/11/2006 3:35:20 PM PST by ninenot (Minister of Membership, Tomas Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: NYer

what's his motive?


27 posted on 01/11/2006 4:38:27 PM PST by Coleus (IMHO, The IVF procedure is immoral & kills many embryos/children and should be outlawed)
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To: Coleus

"Just roll on forward. My wife will testify that the incidents did not "make me" like little boys..."

Yeah, but we're the lucky ones.

Boys who run afoul of rapists often do develop SSAD. Sometimes decades later.

And not just classic rapists, but...what would you call them? Not "date rapists," because the victim initially has no idea what the perp is up to, just thinking an authority figure is taking a mentorly interest in him...perhaps "authority rapists," if that conveys my meaning.

It's funny -- lots of people agree that molested kids tend to become molesters, and at the same time vehemently deny that homosexually molested kids tend to become homosexual molesters.


28 posted on 01/11/2006 6:21:02 PM PST by dsc (Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the repressive epidemic it is.)
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To: rogator
I don't believe anything he says.

Yes our dear auxiliary bishop loves controversy and his name in the paper. I just bet the bishops in Ohio would love to kick his behind all the way back to Detroit. I guess Cardinal Maida let him slip his leash!

29 posted on 01/11/2006 8:24:19 PM PST by Diva
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To: Deo volente
Why is he still there?

He has no real power except to make news in this fashion, he excels at this sort of thing. He is an auxiliary bishop and I'm wondering how the Vatican will proceed.

30 posted on 01/11/2006 8:30:30 PM PST by Diva
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To: Diva
"He has no real power except to make news in this fashion, he excels at this sort of thing. He is an auxiliary bishop and I'm wondering how the Vatican will proceed."

He's really an auxiliary bishop in name only these days. He "resigned" his adminstrative diocesan responsibilities some 15 years ago, and became the pastor of an inner-city parish. About the only episcopal duties he still performs are ceremonial ones and conferring Confirmation as his turn comes up in "rotation".

There's really no point to the Vatican accepting his resignation, since they'll probably feel obligated to appoint another auxiliary in his place. I'm sure they would much rather utilize their declining number of available bishop-candidates for vacant sees and growing dioceses with greater needs than Detroit. I'm pretty sure this is much the same reason that they have delayed accepting the resignations of Cardinal Maida and Bishop Mengeling in Lansing.

The "rust-belt" dioceses are not exactly a high priority for the Vatican. The historical precedent of the Detroit ordinary being named a Cardinal is likely to end with Maida in favor of the Archbishop of either Houston-Galveston or San Antonio.

31 posted on 01/12/2006 8:05:04 PM PST by mirabile_dictu
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To: mirabile_dictu

I was wondering if we were going to retain a Cardinal. I guess things are on hold until more of the young men attending the seminary are ordained as they seem to be more conservative than their predecessors. A number of the newly ordained are being persecuted by their brother priests who believe the seminary is too conservative.


32 posted on 01/13/2006 5:42:38 AM PST by Diva
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To: NYer
This guy is always so full of it, I don't know if I should believe him. On the one hand this type of abuse could explain his psychological disorder...the outrageous remarks in a homily that suggested God could be a woman, or his activism in Dignity for the ordination of women priests, etc. Just goes to show how abuse of just one person can go a long long way in the Church.
33 posted on 01/15/2006 8:03:55 AM PST by right-wingin_It
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