Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinal's Accuser Speaks Publicly Man Insists Allegations against Bernardin Are True; `I'm Tired of Hurting'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinal's Accuser Speaks Publicly Man Insists Allegations against Bernardin Are True; `I'm Tired of Hurting'

Article excerpt

A man who leveled sexual abuse allegations against one of the nation's top Roman Catholic officials insisted Sunday his recollections are accurate and his accusations true.

Steven Cook, 34, of Philadelphia said he sued Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for $10 million to purge the images of abuse that haunt him.

Bernardin has repeatedly denied the accusations.

"If I keep holding that secret in, it's going to kill me," Cook said Sunday at his attorney's office in this town 15 miles east of Philadelphia.

Cook spoke publicly for the first time since he filed the lawsuit and was interviewed by CNN last week. He said he is stunned by the reaction and wants it "all to go away."

"I'm tired of hurting," he said during the half-hour news conference.

Cook says Bernardin molested him at least once while Cook was in a high school program at a Cincinnati seminary during the late 1970s. Bernardin, now 65, was archbishop of Cincinnati at that time. …

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