Posts Tagged Mark Rozzi
I have interviewed many survivors of child sexual abuse over many years, but this was the first time I had ever interviewed a survivor who was also a politician. State Representative Mark Rozzi sat behind his office desk at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. As he spoke he fidgeted with a small figurine he kept on his desk — a little dog with four heads, all snarling — a gift from a fellow survivor. We were discussing his long fight trying to pass legislation to make it easier for survivors to press charges and file lawsuits against their abusers.
“Well into the interview I asked him to tell me what had happened to him as a child. ‘The abridged version,’ I said. I had read his story elsewhere, but needed to hear it directly from him, even though I knew it would not play a big part in the article I planned to write. I figured that as a politician, he would have a well-practiced, pithy rendition.
“Twenty-five minutes of unrelenting trauma later, we had still gotten only as far as high school. Then, just as Mr. Rozzi was saying, “I’m going to tell you something I have never talked about to a reporter” — at that very moment — there was a knock at the door and his executive assistant came in to tell us that another legislator was waiting in the vestibule. Interview over.
“As I rushed to gather up my notebook, laptop and recorder, I realized I had no idea what he was about to reveal, but I had just gotten the answer to another question I am often asked: Why does the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church never seem to go away? Why is it still a story? It has been 31 years since National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic publication, broke the first story, about a serial abuser in Louisiana. It has been 22 years since I reported my first article about abusive priests (out on an Indian pueblo in New Mexico, for The Washington Post). Why is the news media still covering this?
“The answer lies with the victims.”
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
… When Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States this month, he will find that wounds from the U.S. Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal are still festering – and draining its finances – more than a decade after it burst onto the national stage.
“The tensions are being played out in courtrooms and state legislatures, where the Church is using its legal and political clout to oppose bills that would extend the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse. A statute of limitations forbids prosecutors or plaintiffs from taking legal action after a certain number of years.
“The pontiff has vowed to root out ‘the scourge’ of sex abuse from the Roman Catholic Church, and this year created a Vatican tribunal to judge clergy accused of such crimes.
“But U.S. victims’ advocates contend the biggest obstacle they face in giving victims more time to report abuse remains the Church itself, and want the pope to change that stance.”
By Scott Malone, Reuters — Click here to read the rest of this story