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False witness

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Apr 18, 2003

Another first in the sex-abuse scandal: a bishop has been sued for slander.

Two women in the Erie, Pennsylvania diocese have brought the legal charges against Bishop Donald Trautman and his predecessor, Bishop Michael Murphy. (You can find the story-- with a bit of searching-- here.) They complain that when they first raised charges of sexual abuse against a priest in the diocese, the bishops said that their charges were baseless. Then, as the controversy heated up, the bishops said the women were lying about their prior complaints.

By now you can guess where the accused priest is today. In jail, on a felony rap. The women's complaints were right on target.

This is not the only time when American bishops responded to complaints from the faithful with the Clintonesque policy of smearing the victim. It's just the first time that the victim has sued for slander. It might not be the last.

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