Demonstrators Demand Knoxville Bishop’s Resignation

A group of advocates for child sex abuse victims held a demonstration in front of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Sunday morning.

The group demanded the resignation of Bishop Richard Stika following a 2022 lawsuit alleging he was involved in the cover-up of a rape. The first hearing for the case was earlier this month.

Susan Vance works with the group Survivor’s Network of Those Abused By Priests, or SNAP, and said abuse in churches is a common issue.

“We as representatives of survivors of clergy abuse want to know why he is not gone, and it is very important to survivors that their stories be understood and their stories be told,” Vance said.

The lawsuit, filed by a church musician, alleges defamation and negligence by Stika after the musician accused a seminarian at the church of rape. The musician is suing Stika and the Knoxville Diocese, not the seminarian.

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