Abuse survivors rally in Baltimore to demand action by newly elected US Catholic bishops president

Jonathan M. Pitts, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Religious News

The statement pointed to the March suspension of the Rev. David Marcotte, a priest in Indianapolis, amid allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, and last month’s release of a report by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel about abuse in the Marquette diocese, as evidence that abuse remains a problem.

Inside the Marriott, the bishops on Monday acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the creation of what’s also known as The Dallas Charter. SNAP leaders criticized what they termed a “victory lap.”

David Lorenz, director of the organization’s Maryland chapter, described the document as “toothless” because it contains no enforcement provisions.

“What do thoughts and prayers do to solve these problems and help survivors?” he said. “Do you know what happens if a bishop violates the charter? Nothing.”

In Maryland, people who were abused as minors have 20 years after turning 18 to seek civil redress in sex abuse cases. A state law passed in 2017 increased that grace period from seven years. There is no criminal statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases in the state.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore began posting the names of credibly accused priests on its website in 2002 and continues to update the list.


The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is completing work on a four-year investigation of allegations of abuse in the archdiocese by priests, teachers and other employees, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday, and one protester called that a positive development.

Teresa Lancaster of Edgewater survived abuse in the early 1970s by Joseph Maskell, a priest and chaplain at Archbishop Keogh High School. She hopes the report will be released as planned by early December.

“Names are going to be named,” Lancaster said. “We need to get these names out, not just of the abusers, but also of the enablers who make it happen.”


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