'Lay Your Sin at the Foot of Christ': PA Catholic Priest Abuse Accuser Speaks Out
A man who said he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a retired western Pennsylvania priest spoke out to Martha MacCallum.
The interview came a day after the state attorney general announced a grand jury report on over one thousand similar cases over 70 years.
James Vansickle said he was sexually "groomed" and "attacked" by Father David Poulson when he was a teenager.
Poulson was arrested in March and charged with abusing two boys. He has not entered a plea and waived his right to a preliminary hearing in May.
Vansickle said he had a "long relationship of friendship" and mentorship with Poulson, a priest from Oil City, Pa.
He said that the abuse culminated in a "sexual attack" in a hotel room when he was 16 and traveling with a scholastic chess team.
Vansickle said that prior to that, Poulson would engage in "touching, tickling and wrestling" while also "helping [him] educationally."
He reacted to the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, David Zubik, who said this week "there was no cover up" and asked victims to forgive.
As a Catholic, Vansickle said he has been taught that "when I sin, I should lay out that sin at the feet of Christ [and] ask for forgiveness."
"[Zubik] hasn't laid his own sin at the foot of Christ," he said, calling the bishop's words "rhetoric."
He also criticized the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who served in Pittsburgh at the time of the abuses.
Several Pennsylvania dioceses, including those in Allentown, Greensburg, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Erie have been implicated.
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