NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Feb 24, 1988
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(Studio: Tom Brokaw) Report introduced.
(Allentown, Pennsylvania: Steve Delaney) Pennsylvania priest Thomas Bender shown being arrested for sexually molesting alter boy. Victim Jeffrey Savitsky's parents reported asserting molestation began nine years ago and now son is in drug rehabilitation program and has sexual identity confusion. Similar cases illustration geographically. Lawsuits' impact upon Catholic Church discussed. Lafayette, LA, priest Gilbert Gotay's molestation of eleven alter boys and punishment discussed. [Victim's FATHER - says it's over.] Church authorites reported cognizant of abuse and refused to prevent further molestations. [Jeffrey Savitsky's MOTHER - says diocese knew year before telling her.] Savitsky's lawsuit noted charging Bishop Thomas Welsh ordered Jeffrey to tell no one of rel. with Bender. [Mrs. SAVITSKY - says bishop told son priest would answer to God and advised no action.] Savitskys' faith and son's life noted shattered by molestation. [Canon law expert Thomas DOYLE - comments on people losing faith and trust in leaders] United States Catholic Conf. reported sending local bps. letter on subject. Vileness of priests molesting children noted. Doyle reported co- authoring confidential policy on priestly pedophilia. Policy quoted on screen. Bender noted free on bond while Welsh hasn't been charged. Children's vulnerability to such heinous crimes noted.