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Spotlight Report

Clergy task force picks its chairman

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 2/02/2002

The task force charged by Cardinal Bernard F. Law with critiquing the Archdiocese of Boston's clergy sexual abuse policy yesterday chose Dr. Aaron Lazare, the chancellor and dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as its chairman.

At their first meeting, the deans of several area medical schools agreed to recruit nationally known specialists on sexual abuse of children to serve on the panel. Law also has asked the task force to consider the feasibility of establishing a center to study sexual abuse of children, and to recommend ways to improve the church's outreach to victims of sexual abuse and their families. The group said it would choose the new members within a month.

Law has praised Lazare for his work on adoption. Lazare and his wife have adopted numerous children, and under Lazare's leadership UMass established a Center for Adoption Research.

Law set up the clergy sexual abuse task force after the Globe Spotlight Team focused public attention on the church's handling of priests accused of sexual abuse, including the case of John J. Geoghan, who during three decades as a priest was repeatedly transferred from church to church, and is accused in civil suits of molesting more than 130 children.

The Globe reported this week that the archdiocese has settled abuse claims against at least 70 priests over the last 10 years.

This story ran on page B6 of the Boston Globe on 2/02/2002.
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