Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston attorney made famous for representing victims of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, unleashed harsh criticism against the Archdiocese of Boston and its generally well-liked leader yesterday.
“Sean O’Malley is the one not reporting it, so the attitude of the church has not changed,” Garabedian said at a press conference where he released scores of names of alleged sexually abusive priests.
Attacks on the Archdiocese are not new since it was revealed that hundreds of children were abused by priests that were then transferred to various churches, even after abuse claims.
But O’Malley, who took over for the heavily criticized Cardinal Bernard Law, was seen as a savior for the embattled Archdiocese who would lead it toward better days.
After the remarks made by Garabedian and other victim supporters against O’Malley, the Cardinal’s supporters came to his defense.
“O’Malley has basically come in to clean up things. He has met with victims, has put in place education programs for priests and for church workers. A great deal of his time is spent on this problem,” said the Rev. James Martin, an editor at America magazine.
A statement from the Archdiocese said it was a leader in educating and empowering children about the problem of sexual abuse. In 2006, O’Malley and other clergy prostrated themselves in front of the alter at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to ask for forgiveness from the sins of the scandal.
However, that event wasn’t enough for some activists.
“It just shows he’s better at public relations and he knows how to make gestures that keep the crisis at bay, but doesn’t keep the children safe,” said Ann Hagan Webb, a coordinator of the New England Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.