First Roman Catholic bishop indicted in clergy abuse scandal dies / The Boston Globe

“Terence McKiernan, a spokesman for BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, said (former bishop Thomas L.) Dupre’s story reflects the Vatican’s past failures — and ongoing struggles — in holding bishops accountable for the abuse of children.”

In many ways, former Springfield bishop Thomas L. Dupre epitomized the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

“Dupre, who died Dec. 30 at 83, was the first Roman Catholic bishop to be indicted in the scandal, which burst into public view 15 years ago this month when the Globe’s Spotlight team began reporting about the church hierarchy’s protection of priests who abused minors. Advocates for victims say Dupre had cultivated a culture of secrecy that kept such abuse shrouded for years.

“But the Vatican never punished him beyond accepting his resignation — at least not publicly. And Dupre was never prosecuted for his crimes because the statutes of limitation had expired, preventing prosecutors from seeking justice.

“‘This man should have been held accountable,’ said Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who represented two men who accused Dupre of abusing them as minors. ‘He should have died in prison for the damage he did.'”

By Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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