Former review board member launches Web site about clergy abuse

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COLLEGEVILLE – A former St. John’s Preparatory School student launched a Web site today to help clergy molestation victims and challenged local Catholic officials to come clean.

Pat Marker, who was molested by a St. John’s priest in 1983, resigned in protest Friday from an external review board that was formed because of a clergy sexual abuse scandal.

“Many victims need to feel validated before they come forward. … This Web site has the potential to heal,” Marker said of his Web site, www.behindthepinecurtain.com.

Last month, the Collegeville abbey publicized allegations of sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 1980s that were made against three of its monks, one of whom has died.

The Rev. Michael Bik was accused of misconduct with two teen-age boys in the 1970s, before he joined the abbey and before his ordination.

“Archdiocesan and abbey officials knew about allegations against Bik in 1997. … And then the board kept the secret from the public,” Marker said.

Marker sent a letter today via fax and e-mail to Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Abbot John Klassen of St. John’s Abbey.

In the letter, Marker asks Klassen “to make public your reasons for waiting nine years to publicly disclose allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Bik.”

And Marker also asks Flynn in the letter “to make public your reasons for never disclosing allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Bik.”

David Clohessy of St. Louis, the national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called Marker’s resignation “a brave move that sends a strong message.”

Former review board member launches Web site about clergy abuse
By Frank Lee
Last updated: August 23. 2006 1:58PM
Former review board member launches Web site about clergy abuse

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Topics: Bruce Wollmering, David Clohessy, Harry Flynn, John Klassen, Michael Bik, Pat Marker, SNAP

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