Diocese of Savannah Speaks Out About Former Priest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

6/27/02

Diocese of Savannah Speaks Out About Former Priest

The Diocese of Savannah is speaking out about former priest Father Wayland Brown. Brown is accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy more than 30 years ago in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He also served as an associate pastor at St. James Catholic Church for a year in Savannah in 1987. He was arrested Wednesday by Chatham County police.

Bishop Boland says he's deeply hurt by news of Brown's arrest. "The protection of children and the care of victims must be of top priority," he says, "but I find great sadness in the arrest of a priest for child molestation."

Bishop Boland would not comment on the arrest, but urged people to remember the victim. "In all of this," he said, "we cannot forget the alleged victim. He may have suffered trauma beyond telling and possibly the loss of faith in a God who loves him."

Bishop Boland also expressed concern for the damage the priest abuse scandal is doing to the Catholic Church. "Father Wayland's 15 minutes of notoriety will go on for weeks and months while the phenomenal good work of our diocese and church, carried on by fewer than 100 priests and by numberless religious layette in our parishes, schools and institutions will go on unnoticed."

Reported by: Liz Flynn

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