Posts Tagged abuse coverup
More than 20 state attorneys general have initiated investigations, most of which are still underway … The scale of the abuse outlined is on par with other large abuse cases uncovered in lawsuits and other investigations in dioceses in Boston, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Illinois.The New York Times
“The attorney general of Maryland has identified more than 600 young victims of clergy sexual abuse over the course of 80 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, according to a court document filed Thursday (Nov. 17).
“The filing, which broadly outlines the attorney general’s findings, requests that a judge allow the release of the full report: a 456-page document detailing decades of clergy sex abuse in Maryland.
“The new report marks a symbolic milestone in the long-running international abuse scandal that has shaken faith in the Catholic Church and led to some reforms and billions of dollars in settlements. The Baltimore report is one of the first major investigations completed by a state attorney general on sexual abuse in the Church since a scathing report on six dioceses in Pennsylvania shocked Catholics across the nation in 2018. Colorado investigators issued their own report in 2019 on church abuse.”
By Ruth Graham, The New York Times — Read more …
The Catholic Church knew it had pedophile ‘time bombs’ in its midst.
‘It not only let them keep ticking away but also covered up the pedophiles’ evil deeds to protect its reputation.
‘The extent of the cover-up is still being dissected by the child abuse royal commission but victims advocacy group Broken Rites spokesman Dr Wayne Chamley expects its report will be absolutely scathing of the Catholic Church.
”The commission is unpicking a conspiracy,’ Dr Chamley said.
“‘These bishops collectively have been running this conspiracy certainly since 1992.'”
By Megan Neil, Adelaide Independent News — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The feature film “Spotlight” about The Boston Globe’s investigation of Catholic clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston has been in wide release in the U.S. for nearly three weeks and continues to open eyes and garner critical acclaim. This story in The New Yorker is by its roving cultural correspondent, Sarah Larson.
“Since seeing the movie “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe investigation of sexual abuse and coverups in the Catholic Church, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and the questions it raises—about how far institutions will go to protect themselves, about who we listen to and protect, about who and what we ignore, about the power of disclosure and even conversation …”
And how did Catholics react after the events depicted in the movie?
“In the movie, the revelations of the Spotlight investigation make (Globe Spotlight team member Sasha) Pfeiffer too uneasy to keep going to Mass with her grandmother. I asked how her grandmother reacted in real life. ‘She was shocked and saddened, but she stuck with the Church till the day she died,’ Pfeiffer said. ‘Some people left the Church; others tried to change it from within, like the group Voice of the Faithful; others loved their parish, they loved their pastor, and they sort of said, ‘Oh, that’s terrible,’ and they kept going to Mass.’”
The Catholic church knew it had child abuse ‘time bombs’ ticking away in a number of Australian dioceses, an inquiry has heard.
“A special issues committee meeting at the Australian Catholic Bishops conference in 1992 noted: ‘It was agreed that there are serious time bombs ticking away in a number of dioceses at the present time’ …
“(Bishop Hilton) Deakin (Melbourne vicar general, 1987-1992) said when he was an auxiliary bishop he spoke to the Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s representative in Australia, about a priest called Peter Searson.
“‘I was telling him about this priest, who was a most evil person, doing evil things to little children in a school and had been doing it for quite some time,’ he said.
“‘I was hoping and praying that something would be done.’
“He said the Apostolic Nuncio thanked him and walked away.”
By Australian Associated Press in The Gudardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
For Catholics, ‘Spotlight’ landed in theaters this holiday season like the proverbial coal in the Christmas stocking. Watching the recounting of The Boston Globe’s clergy pedophile investigation resurrected old feelings in this practicing Catholic. I seethed again at the men who committed these crimes and covered them up. (Full disclosure: In my past life, I was the Globe’s freelance religion columnist, and my wife until recently worked as a reporter for the paper.)
“Yet the film is actually a Christmas gift. We Catholics bear special responsibility for pondering the lessons of the scandal, and special entitlement: Those were Catholic kids molested by priestly perverts. Some Catholics are drawing lessons from the movie that are obvious, even banal — appreciation for our free press and justice system, the need for ‘more, not less, holiness in the priesthood.’ (I’m unaware of anyone calling for less holy priests.) I believe there’s a more fundamental and valuable wisdom to be gleaned from the movie. Catholics, split between theological traditionalists and liberals, must understand that, at least on this one, the liberals were right.”
By Rich Barlow, WBUR-FM — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
Let victims pursue their abusers: New York’s outdated civil statute of limitations badly needs fixing / New York Daily News
The following is an op-ed piece published in the New York Daily News by attorney Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children.”
The greatest barrier to child protection is ignorance. The movie (‘Spotlight’) shows smart, experienced journalists struggling to comprehend what was right in front of them. ‘Spotlight’ will likely educate millions about the ways in which adults and institutions we trust protect adults and put children at risk every day.
“Despite news coverage of one scandal after another, most adults still trust their instincts regarding who is an abuser and who is not. That is dangerous. Until parents, teachers, clergy and all other adults understand the cunning moves of pedophiles and the ease with which we as adults let abusers persist, kids are at serious risk.
“’Spotlight’ should carry special significance in New York, where, unlike in Boston, so little of the truth about the bishops’ cover-up has surfaced. That is because New York shares the ignominious distinction with Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi of having the worst civil statutes of limitations for child sex abuse in the United States.”
Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop resigned on Monday (June 15) after prosecutors recently charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect youths from abuse by pedophile priests.
“In statements released Monday morning, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piché, said they were resigning to help the archdiocese heal.
“‘My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them,’ Archbishop Nienstedt said. ‘Thus my decision to step down.’
“The resignations come about 10 days after prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for its mishandling of repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and a few days after the Vatican announced the formation of a tribunal for judging bishops accused of covering up or failing to act on cases of child sexual abuse by priests.”
By the New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Archbishop Philip Wilson pleads not guilty to concealing child sex abuse / The Sydney Morning Herald
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty to concealing child sex abuse in the Catholic church via his lawyer in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday (June 6).
“Archbishop Wilson, who did not appear, was represented by barrister Simon Buchen, who said his client was pleading not guilty and he was anticipating a lengthy hearing …
“Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world to be charged with concealing a child sex abuse allegation against another priest.”
By Gabriel Wingate-Pearce, The Sidney Morning Herald — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Archdiocese of St. Louis ordered to produce 20 years of documents on sexual abuse / St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A judge has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Louis to produce two decades worth of internal documents on sexual abuse allegations.
“Thomas J. Prebil is only the second judge to attempt to compel the archdiocese to hand over such an extensive number of records.
“The order, released earlier this week (week of Mar. 9), is part of a civil lawsuit filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court involving the parents of a man from Florissant who sued the archdiocese over the suicide of their son …
“The documents are needed in order to show that the archdiocese had a pattern of reassigning problem priests, plaintiff lawyers argue.
“The records are also essential in proving that the archdiocese made such reassignments knowing they would almost certainly lead to further harm — the burden of proof plaintiff lawyers in Missouri need to meet in sexual abuse lawsuits involving priests such as (Bryan) Kuchar.”
By Lilly Fowler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Click here to read the rest of this story.
For the first time, the full Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors will meet in Rome tomorrow, Friday (Feb. 6). Two members are clergy sexual abuse survivors: Peter Sanders from Britain and Ireland’s Marie Collins. Collins will be the featured speaker at the Voice of the Faithful® 2015 National Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 18.
Pope Francis has sent Catholic clergy a powerful reminder of their duty to stamp out sexual abuse of children by priests, warning that they must never let a fear of scandal lead to cover-ups.
“In a strongly-worded letter to the heads of national bishops’ conferences and religious orders, the pope demanded ‘close and complete’ cooperation with a new child protection watchdog he has established at the Vatican.
“‘Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children,’ he said.”
By Angus MacKinnon, Agence France-Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.