Pope visit has LI churches revisiting sex abuse scandal

Long Island Catholic officials are taking Pope Benedict XVI's visit to New York as an opportunity to take a close look at the effect of the sex abuse scandal on church attendance and involvement among

News 12 Staff

Apr 17, 2008, 2:14 PM

Updated 5,935 days ago

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Long Island Catholic officials are taking Pope Benedict XVI's visit to New York as an opportunity to take a close look at the effect of the sex abuse scandal on church attendance and involvement among worshippers.
Every year there are 20,000 Catholic baptisms and weddings on Long Island, but some say ever since the priest sex abuse scandal exploded, the pews aren't as full.
Five accused priests once served at St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay. Chris Gallagher, who chairs family Mass at St. Dominic's, says pews used to be completely filled. Now, less than a third are filled.
Some priests who spoke to News 12 Long Island say the Catholic Church never opened the door to heal the wounds at the parishes hardest hit by the scandals. Similarly, others attribute the problem to a lack of faith in church leadership.
Decrease in attendance has not been the case at all parishes though. Hispanic and Korean immigrants have helped other parishes grow.


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