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      Catholic priest speaks out on child abuse in Syracuse visit

      The Catholic Church has been rocked by child abuse scandals that have received plenty of publicity in recent years, but the only thing perhaps more scandalous has been the reaction from the church regarding the victims. Silence, high-level cover ups, even threats have left many to wonder who the church hierarchy are actually trying to protect. Tonight Rev. Tom Doyle, a catholic priest and retired Air Force Major, spoke at All Saints Church in Syracuse about the need for reform in the way the Catholic Church handles sexual abuse cases. "Victims are just swept under the rug," said Parrish member Jane LeClair. "It's like it's all about trying to dismiss any embarrassment in the Catholic Church." Doyle hopes that an open and honest discussion about child abuse within the church, and the way in which the church treats victims, will create much needed change. Though he has spoken across the country and the world on church reform, the Catholic Church has been apprehensive at best to give Doyle a platform. Tonight Doyle divulged that All Saints Church is just the fifth catholic venue to allow him to speak on the topic of child abuse within its walls. "The reality is it will not be fixed until the institutions, not just the church, but the institutions that have allowed their members to violate children change in such a way so that the violated and the victims are most important to that institution," said Doyle. "Not the reputation of the office holders or the leaders or the archbishops, not the financial or social image of the institution, but the victims. They are the most important ones. "In our church when we say 'who is the most important person?' It's not the pope. It's not the Virgin Mary. It's the person who's the most violated, isolated and needy."