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Cheryl Buchanan
Cheryl Buchanan
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Second Victim Comes Forth Naming Foley's Abuser

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As anyone who has studied the patterns and practices of pedophiles knows, they seldom strike once. Earlier this week, the first lawsuit was filed in the Miami Archdiocese naming Father Anthony Mercieca. Mercieca has become a household name recently, following the accusations of former Congressman Mark Foley. Now that a second courageous individual has come forward, one can’t help but wonder how many others are out there. It is impossible to know just how many victims stay silent. Because so many children are never able to escape the isolation and shame, we will never realy know the entire truth about how many people’s lives have been devastated by the tragic reality of clergy abuse in America.

However, there is a website that I encourage you all to explore. At www.bishopsaccountability.org, one can look up names of clergy members and discover any history of legal action, as well as pending lawsuits, and even view documents of public record. In the Mercieca case, for example, it is apparent that this perpetrator was also assigned with several other pedophile priests. Thanks to the dedicated people behind this resource, there is finally a safe place to ask questions and search for answers.

Clergy abuse is everywhere. Mark Foley’s experiences are no more important than thousands of others. Unfortunately, it was his own misconduct that brought light to yet another incidence of betrayal and deceit in the Catholic Church. Let us find an opportunity in this tragedy to encourage others that they are not alone, they will be believed, and their are places they can go for help and people who will listen.