Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Healing available for abuse victims of Episcopal bishop from Erie

Published: July 27. 2010 2:10PM
Healing available for abuse victims of Episcopal bishop from Erie
Meeting others who were sexually abused by clergy can help victims heal, says a leader of a support group for survivors.

Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, didn't know whether victims of a local Episcopal bishop had contacted her group, but said they would be just as welcomed as the more highly publicized victims of Catholic priests.

At least nine allegations of sexual abuse have been made against the Rev. Donald Davis, bishop of the Erie-based Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania from 1974 to 1991. Two weeks after the abuse was made public by the current bishop, Episcopal Church leaders had little more to say.

The Right Rev. Sean Rowe announced July 11 that Davis, who died in 2007, had sexually abused four girls around age 10 in the 1970s and 1980s. Rowe asked other victims to contact him.

On July 13, Rowe said he knew of the possibility of more than five additional complaints.

This week, Rowe declined further comment at this time.

A spokeswoman for the head of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, declined a request from the Erie Times-News for an interview with Jefferts Schori.

S.N.A.P.'s Dorris encouraged victims of clergy abuse to contact law enforcement and seek help, whether from S.N.A.P. or a counselor.

-- Staff report

Read Wednesday's Erie Times-News or go to GoErie.com for more coverage.

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