Posts Tagged secrecy

Catholic sexual abuse partly caused by secrecy and mandatory celibacy, report finds / The Guardian

“The patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions meant that abuse went unchallenged and, while a small number of nuns were abusers, the report found the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests and religious brothers had minimal contact with women. The report estimated about 7% of clergy had abused children between about 1950 and 2000.” (The Guardian)

Mandatory celibacy and a culture of secrecy created by popes and bishops are major factors in why such high rates of child abuse have occurred in the Catholic church, a comprehensive study has found.

“The report, which looked at the findings of 26 royal commissions and other inquiries from Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands since 1985, found that while the endangerment of children in institutions has been considerably lowered in Australia, children remained at risk in Catholic parishes and schools and Catholic residential institutions in other countries across the world, especially in the developing world where there are more than 9,000 Catholic-run orphanages, including 2,600 in India.

“The patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions meant that abuse went unchallenged and, while a small number of nuns were abusers, the report found the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests and religious brothers had minimal contact with women. The report estimated about 7% of clergy had abused children between about 1950 and 2000.”

By Melissa Davey, The Guardian — Read more …

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Catholic Church’s ‘pontifical secret’ stops disclosure of sex abuse allegations, expert says / The Guardian

The Catholic church’s ‘pontifical secret’ rule is still preventing bishops from disclosing child sexual abuse allegations in some states, an expert has said.

“he royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday (Feb. 9) began to examine how canon law contributes to the secrecy surrounding child abuse within the Catholic church.”

By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also of interest, “Vatican enforces Church ‘secrecy,’ royal commission hears,” By Rhian Deutrom, The Australian

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Let victims pursue their abusers: New York’s outdated civil statute of limitations badly needs fixing / New York Daily News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.

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Number of Alleged Sex Abusers Greater Than Archdiocese Has Revealed / Minnesota Public Radio

The list symbolized all that victims believed was wrong about the Catholic Church’s handling of abuse claims — the secrecy, the failure to warn the public, the hidden offenders. Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson received the list under court seal as part of a lawsuit in 2009. In December, a judge ordered the archdiocese to release the names to the public. The secrecy appeared finished.

“But it wasn’t. The list of 33 was incomplete. An MPR News investigation has found the actual number was more than double the archdiocese’s official count. The priests served in nearly every parish in the archdiocese.

They include men who admitted abusing children, such as the Rev. Gerald Funcheon, who testified under oath in 2012 that he had sexually abused a number of boys. ‘I couldn’t count ’em up,’ he said. ‘I’ll go, I don’t know. I’ll go to 18 … I can’t give you a number on this.’”

By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Here is a follow-up story by Brian Roewe in National Catholic Reporter, Report Alleges Larger List of Abusive Priests in Twin Cities

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National Catholic Reporter Names Catholic Church Abuse Whistleblower Jennifer Hasselberger It’s 2013 Person of the Year

Thank God for the courage of abuse survivors and the families of victims who will not let our bishops and leaders forget the abuse and their complicity in it. Thank God for activists who stand with survivors. But most of all, thank God for one very special class of people: the priests and church personnel who do stand up to their leaders and cry out for justice.

“People like Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle and former Benedictine Patrick Wall, who sacrificed promising ecclesiastical careers because they sided with the victims of abuse and not with those who would cover it up. Thank God for the recently formed Catholic Whistleblowers, a group of mainly priests and religious women, Catholic insiders dedicated to fighting the scourge of sex abuse and its cover-up.

“Finally thank God for Jennifer Haselberger.”

Click here to read this entire editorial in National Catholic Reporter.

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Church Wavers on Child Sex Scandals in Pope’s Homeland / Global Post

Pope Francis’ promise of a more humble, tolerant Catholic Church may have earned rave reviews around the world, but in Latin America, a string of child sex scandals has left some wondering what’s really changed in the Vatican.” By Simeon Tegel, Global Post

Read the rest of Tegel’s report by clicking here.

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Clergy Sexual Abuse Kept Secret for 50-years, Australian Inquiry Hears

The Hunter Valley in New South Wales, two hours north of Sydney, is best known for its vineyards, surf beaches, coal mines and polluting power stations. But in recent years, the region has also become known as the epicenter of Catholic sex abuse in Australia.

Since 1996, seven priests, four religious brothers and six lay teachers of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese have been convicted. The church has paid compensation to the victims of eight other  priests, and four priests and two brothers are currently facing abuse or concealment charges. There are 400 known victims.

Now, a special commission of inquiry in Newcastle has heard that leaders of the diocese knew of the numerous pedophiliac activities of one priest, Fr. Denis McAlinden, for 50 years, but did not notify police until 2003.” By Stephen Crittenden, The Sydney Morning Mail, in National Catholic Reporer

Read this entire article, “Australia Inquiry Hears of 50-Year Cover-Up,” by clicking here.

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