The recent story about new child abuse lawsuits in Maine is heartbreaking on so many levels. (“Six new lawsuits against Maine diocese say priest continued to abuse girls after changing parishes,” March 9, 2023). First, of course, is the reported heinous abuse of young girls by Fr. Lawrence Sabatino. The fact that at least one girl’s family was also mistreated by police adds to the heartache.

Next is the refusal of Catholic officials to expose, stop and punish this predator. Their callousness is compounded by their efforts now to prevent victims like these from getting their long overdue day in court.

I applaud these brave women – and every other abuse survivor. I hope they will find justice, closure and healing. And I hope – and believe – that their courage will inspire others still trapped in silence, shame and self-blame to find their voices and make our society safer for kids.

David Clohessy
Former national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
St. Louis, MO

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